Former President Donald Trump on Saturday said there is “no way” that Elon Musk will buy Twitter at “such a ridiculous price” while pointing to the number of fake accounts and bots on the social media platform.
Trump took to his own social media platform, Truth Social, to make the comments shortly after billionaire tech mogul Musk announced that his deal to buy Twitter was “temporarily on hold” until detailed information becomes available supporting that bots or fake accounts make up fewer than 5 percent of users on the platform.
“There is no way Elon Musk is going to buy Twitter at such a ridiculous price, especially since realizing it is a company largely based on BOTS or Spam Accounts,” Trump wrote.
“Fake anyone?” he added. “By the time you get rid of them, if that can even be done, what do you have? Not much? If it weren’t for the ridiculous Billion Dollar breakup fee, Elon would have already been long gone.”
The former president went on to tout his own platform, adding that in his opinion it was “much better than Twitter” and is “absolutely exploding” with “incredible engagement!”
In his post regarding fake or spam accounts on May 13, Musk shared a Reuters report from early May stating that Twitter had estimated in a filing that false or spam accounts represented fewer than 5 percent of its monetizable daily active users during the first quarter.
Twitter said in its April 28 filing (pdf) that “there are a number of false or spam accounts in existence on our platform.”
“We have performed an internal review of a sample of accounts and estimate that the average of false or spam accounts during the first quarter of 2022 represented fewer than 5 percent of our mDAU [monetizable daily active users] during the quarter,” the company added.
“Twitter deal temporarily on hold pending details supporting calculation that spam/fake accounts do indeed represent less than 5 percent of users,” Musk said in his Twitter post.
The announcement sent shares of Twitter tumbling.
However, Musk followed it up with a second post shortly after noting that he is “still committed” to the acquisition and explained that his team will do a “random sample of 100 followers of Twitter” to find out the percentage of fake accounts.
“I invite others to repeat the same process and see what they discover,” the Tesla CEO added.
It was announced last month that Musk would take Twitter private for $54.20 a share, putting the firm’s value at about $44 billion. The businessman has said that if he is successful in purchasing Twitter, he intends to authenticate all real humans on the platform.
Elsewhere, Musk has said he will reinstate Trump’s Twitter account should his deal prove successful, stating that the social media platform’s decision to ban Trump was “morally bad.”
Trump was permanently suspended from the social networking site in January 2021, after it accused him of violating the company’s “Glorification of Violence” policy.
“I do think that it was not correct to ban Donald Trump,” Musk told a Financial Times conference on May 10. “I think that was a mistake because it alienated a large part of the country and did not ultimately result in Donald Trump not having a voice,” he added.
For now, though, Trump has no plans to return to Twitter.