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  • Writer's pictureBy The Financial District

Elon Musk's Own Data Scientists Say Twitter Bots Only 5% Of All Accounts

Twitter says Elon Musk was presented weeks ago with his own analysis on "bots" or fake accounts.

Photo Insert: Both findings by Musk's chosen firms are supposedly "very much in line with Twitter's claims."

His chosen data firms found the bots to be around 5% to 11%, Twitter's legal team said. Musk has claimed in the past that at least 20% of Twitter accounts are bots, Grace Kay and Kali Hays reported for Business Insider.

The day before Musk sent his first letter to Twitter executives terminating his agreement to acquire the company for $44 billion, two firms he hired to analyze massive Twitter user data reported their own estimates of bots on Twitter.

The firm Cyabra told Musk it estimated Twitter to possibly have 11% bots or fake accounts. The other firm CounterAction said its analysis turned up 5.3% bots, lawyers for Twitter said during a hearing on Tuesday.

That's very different from Musk's estimates. He said in May on Twitter that fake or spam accounts on the platform could be "much" higher than 20%. In his termination letter, Musk said he was backing out of the deal because bots on the platform were "wildly higher" than the 5% estimate Twitter has disclosed publicly.

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Twitter has sued to force him to complete the acquisition and the case is heading to court in Delaware in October.

Both findings by Musk's chosen firms are "very much in line with Twitter's claims," a lawyer for the company said. "None of these analyses remotely supported what Musk told the Twitter parties and told the world in the termination letter he served up on July 8."

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Twitter's lawyer went on to accuse Musk's legal team of intentionally withholding the data during the court battle, saying they had only just been able to view the documents as of Tuesday, despite seeking them since the early days of the lawsuit.

"If there are analyses that exist that actually substantiate what Musk told Twitter and told the world, they certainly have not been produced in discovery in this case," the attorney added during the hearing.

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