Elon Musk Sends Another Signal He Will Follow Through With Twitter Purchase


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Elon Musk signaled earlier this month that he was likely to continue his $44 billion bid to purchase Twitter, and he gave another major indication that the deal would go through again on Wednesday.

The billionaire Space X and Tesla founder known for his wit posted a video clip of himself entering Twitter’s San Francisco-based headquarters carrying a sink along with the caption: “Entering Twitter HQ – Let that sink in!”

Musk is facing a 5 p.m. deadline on Friday to either complete the deal, or litigation against him to force him to proceed with it will relaunch in Delaware. But by all indications, he appears set to go through with it.

In addition, Musk changed his Twitter bio to read “Chief Twit.” Later, he tweeted, “Meeting a lot of cool people at Twitter today.”


Earlier this year, after Musk’s initial offer to buy the platform, he appeared to have second thoughts, citing his belief that the platform was home to many more bot and spam accounts than Twitter executives were admitted.

According to leading cyber security specialist Dan Woods, who formerly worked for the FBI and CIA, as many as 80 percent of Twitter accounts are bots, The Australian reported early last month.

“Sure sounds higher than 5%!” Musk wrote on the platform in response to Woods’ findings.

“More than 80 percent of Twitter accounts are likely bots, according to former CIA and FBI cyber security specialist Dan Woods, who created a fake profile and quickly gained more than 100,000 fake followers in one weekend by purchasing them on the dark web,” the outlet reported.

“Mr. Woods, who studies bot traffic as part of his current role with global cyber security provider F5, told The Australian that Twitter’s bot traffic was almost certainly far greater than it has expressed publicly and greater than it believes internally,” the outlet continued.

“I’m not a programmer, but I watched YouTube and in a weekend I wrote a script that automatically creates accounts on Twitter without encountering any obstacles,” he told the outlet.

“There’s huge demand (for bots), there’s a marketplace to serve that demand, and if I can write a bot that creates accounts on Twitter, and I’m not even a programmer, imagine what a sophisticated programmer could do,” he continued.

“Twitter doesn’t want (its number of bots) to be that high, so they’re going through the motions of canceling some accounts,” Woods added.

“I’m not saying they’re lying, but we’ve really studied these accounts and we’ve come to the conclusion that there are a lot more fake accounts than Twitter is letting on,” he noted further.


He said that allowing large numbers of bot accounts on Twitter and other major social media platforms is dangerous because it gives foreign malign actors and hostile governments a means to influence and manipulate another country’s political processes.

Musk is also prepared to make major changes to the workforce at Twitter when he officially owns the company.

For instance, he plans to cut the workforce by “nearly 75 percent of Twitter’s 7,500 workers, whittling the company down to a skeleton staff of just over 2,000, the Washington Post reported. But even if Musk does not complete his purchase of Twitter the report said that the current owners plan to cut the workforce by 25 percent:

The extent of the cuts, which have not been previously reported, helps explain why Twitter officials were eager to sell to Musk: Musk’s $44 billion bid, though hostile, is a golden ticket for the struggling company — potentially helping its leadership avoid painful announcements that would have demoralized the staff and possibly crippled the service’s ability to combat misinformation, hate speech and spam.

The impact of such layoffs would likely be immediately felt by millions of users, said Edwin Chen, a data scientist formerly in charge of Twitter’s spam and health metrics and now CEO of the content-moderation start-up Surge AI. He said that while he believed Twitter was overstaffed, the cuts Musk proposed were “unimaginable” and would put Twitter’s users at risk of hacks and exposure to offensive material such as child pornography.

“It would be a cascading effect,” the data scientist said. “where you’d have services going down and the people remaining not having the institutional knowledge to get them back up, and being completely demoralized and wanting to leave themselves.”

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