In the latest episode of Elon Musk’s Twitter takeover drama, the multi-billionaire says the company’s legal team has accused him of violating an NDA (nondisclosure agreement). He had publicly revealed the platform’s sample size number for calculating the percentage of spam/fake accounts or bots. This follows Musk last week announcing that his $44 billion takeover of the social network is “temporarily on hold” over pending details on fake accounts.
Twitter had recently stated that only about five percent of its monetizable daily active users (mDAUs) aren’t real persons. Musk wanted more details on the company’s calculation process. He likely believed that there were more bots on the platform than reported.
Following Musk’s public announcement about the Twitter deal, CEO Parag Agrawal published a lengthy thread where he discussed the latest happenings in the company, including the departure of some senior personnel. He said the company needs to prepare for “all scenarios” even if its privatization is more likely to complete later this year.
In the meantime, Twitter seems to have shared details on its fake account calculation methodology with Elon Musk. And as we know him, he publicly revealed that the company takes a random sample of 100 users to determine the percentage of fake accounts on the platform. Musk urged his followers to do the same and “see what they discover.”
“I picked 100 as the sample size number because that is what Twitter uses to calculate <5% fake/spam/duplicate,” Musk said. But he was not supposed to tell this everyone. As such, he attracted a legal procedure from Twitter.
“Twitter legal just called to complain that I violated their NDA by revealing the bot check sample size is 100!” Musk tweeted. “This actually happened.”
Elon Musk tweets like he owns Twitter
Elon Musk is known for many things, with his tweeting habit being one of them. He has always tweeted like he owns Twitter. Now that he is actually in the process of taking over the social network, the Tesla CEO is voicing his concerns about the platform out loud. One such tweet may have now landed him in trouble. But he doesn’t care, does he?
Around the same time when Twitter’s legal team contacted him over the aforementioned NDA violation, Musk tweeted that the platform is manipulating you using its algorithm “in ways you don’t realize”. He was referring to Twitter’s content preference settings where you can select whether you want to see the latest tweets or recommended tweets first on your timeline.
Since the latter option is enabled by default, Musk says Twitter is deliberately showing you what it thinks you like. This event prompted a response from former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey who chipped in to clarify things. “It was designed simply to save you time when you are away from the app for a while,” Dorsey said. “Pull to refresh goes back to reverse chron as well.”
Elon Musk likely already knew it, but we know how he likes to talk. It will be interesting to see how Twitter changes under his ownership.