• Thu. Jun 30th, 2022

Twitter CEO explains why finding bots in a random sample of 100 users won’t work. Elon Musk responds with a poo emoji.

ByRandall B. Phelps

May 16, 2022
Elon Musk

HANNIBAL HANSCHKE /Getty Images

  • Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal on Monday explained why Elon Musk’s plan to identify bot accounts is flawed.
  • Musk said Friday his team would do a random sample of 100 subscribers to find spam accounts.
  • Agrawal said such an estimate could not be made outside of Twitter. Musk responded with a smiling poo emoji.
  • For more stories, go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za.

Elon Musk says his deal to buy Twitter is on hold due to a proliferation of spam and rogue accounts on the platform, but CEO Parag Agrawal disagrees with his plan to investigate the seriousness of the problem.

“We do not believe this specific estimate can be done externally, given the critical need to use both public and private information (which we cannot share)” Agrawal tweeted monday of Musk’s proposal to sample a random set of 100 users. “Externally, it is not even possible to know which accounts are counted as mDAU on a given day.”

According to Musk, publicly disclosing his plan apparently got Musk in trouble with Twitter’s legal team, who said he violated a non-disclosure agreement.

“We don’t believe this specific estimate can be done externally, given the critical need to use both public and private information (which we cannot share),” Agrawal continued. “Externally, it is not even possible to know which accounts are counted as mDAU on a given day.”

Agrawal also said Twitter has a “strong incentive” to find and remove spam and that “anyone who suggests otherwise is just plain wrong.”

Shortly after, Musk responded to Agrawal’s thread with a smiling poop emoji.

Monday’s conversation between the two parties is the latest twist after Musk said on Friday that its acquisition of Twitter was pending until he could verify that the company’s estimate of fake users or spam users was accurate, noting that he was “still committed to acquisition.”

The company previously said that fake accounts account for less than 5% of users.

In the meantime, Musk also threw punches at Twitter’s algorithm, advising his followers to set their deadlines in chronological order.

“You are manipulated by the algorithm in a way that you do not realize”, he said.

Twitter co-founder and former CEO Jack Dorsey with whom Musk has always shared a friendly rapport online, responded that the app’s algorithm “wasn’t designed to manipulate” but rather to save time for users who step away from the platform for a while and want to see the content you want it with interact more.

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