In the wake of Elon Musk's announcement that he wants to find out how many fake accounts are on Twitter's platform, an audit has been done on a very influential Twitter account.
In a new report from Newsweek, an audit conducted by software company SparkToro found that nearly half of President Joe Biden's Twitter followers, which is currently at 22.2 million, are fake accounts. Notably, the software company found that 49.3% of accounts following Biden's "@POTUS" Twitter account were "fake followers". SparkToro defines a "fake follower" as "accounts that are unreachable and will not see the account's tweets (either because they're spam, bots, propaganda, etc. or because they're no longer active on Twitter)."
Twitter has estimated in its last 11 quarterly reports that approximately 5% of users are spam/fake accounts, which Musk has now thrown into question following several recent tweets where Musk has proposed new ways to estimate the number of bot accounts, and asked the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) to get involved. Furthermore, SparkToro found that 70.2% of Musk's 93.3 million Twitter followers are fake accounts.
With the investigation into how many fake accounts are on Twitter now heating up, we can expect to see more prominent Twitter accounts have their follower count investigated. Perhaps even accounts that have been deleted for breaking Twitter's policies will have their followers investigated for potential bots *cough* Trump *cough*.
Additionally, Musk said that he believes approximately 20% of all Twitter accounts are fake, and that the deal will not proceed until he is shown proof of Twitter's acclaimed 5% figure. Musk demanded that Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal show him proof or, "This deal cannot move forward until he does." Adding, "20% fake/spam accounts, while 4 times what Twitter claims, could be *much* higher."
If Twitter is found to have underreported the true number of daily active users, Musk could argue down the $44 billion price tag. Furthermore, if Twitter was busted for underreporting its numbers, the company would have many new headaches with the SEC, as that would likely mean that the company's past 11 quarterly reports are also inaccurate.
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