Elon Musk says Twitter's legal team told him he violated a non-disclosure agreement

Tesla boss reveals social media platform's sample size for checks on automated users (bots) is 100

Elon Musk has secured more than $7.1 billion in new equity funding from a group of investors to help finance his $44bn acquisition of Twitter. Reuters
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Elon Musk says Twitter's legal team told him on Saturday he has violated a non-disclosure agreement by revealing the social media platform's sample size for checks on automated users (bots) is 100.

"Twitter legal just called to complain that I violated their NDA by revealing the bot check sample size is 100!" Mr Musk tweeted on Saturday. "This actually happened."

The billionaire businessman tweeted on Friday that his acquisition of Twitter for about $44 billion is temporarily on hold pending details on the amount of fake accounts on the social media platform. Mr Musk later said he is still "committed to acquisition" of the microblogging website.

He said his team will undertake a random sample of 100 followers of Twitter to find out the number of bots.

When a user asked Mr Musk to "elaborate on the process" of finding out the real percentage of fake accounts, he replied: "I picked 100 as the sample size number, because that is what Twitter uses to calculate <5% fake/spam/duplicate."

That response to the user's question triggered Twitter's accusation of violating an NDA.

Mr Musk on Sunday tweeted that he has yet to see "any analysis" that suggests Twitter has fake accounts of less than five per cent.

"There is some chance it might be over 90 per cent of daily active users, which is the metric that matters to advertisers," he said.

Twitter's share price fell 9.6 per cent to $40.71 in trading on Friday, from the $54.20 per share acquisition price.

In a filing last week, Twitter said false or spam accounts represented fewer than 5 per cent of its monetisable daily active users during the first quarter. The San Francisco-based social media company said it had 229 million users who were served advertising in the first quarter.

The disclosure came after Mr Musk, who is the founder and chief executive of electric vehicle maker Tesla and rocket company SpaceX, tweeted that one of his priorities would be to remove spam bots from the platform.

Updated: May 15, 2022, 9:00 AM