Bowing to Elon Musk, Twitter Lets Him Access its Tweet Stream

In an effort to salvage the Musk-Twitter acquisition, the social media platform has agreed to provide Musk with access to billions of tweets
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In light of Elon Musk’s recent threats to pull out of his potential $44 billion deal for Twitter if the social media platform does not soothe his fears that an unkown number of its users are actually just spambot garbage, the company now plans to grant the SpaceX chief access to the darkest corridors of its data, The New York Times reports.

The issue has been threatening the takeover for weeks as Twitter denied Musk access to the information he sought regarding fake accounts, instead offering only details of the company’s own methods for assessing its own potential bot problem, Musk contends.

Twitter has now acceded to Musk’s demands, and will send over its “firehose”—the stream of billions of tweets that flow through the company’s site and network every day, a source told the Times. It is still unclear whether the Tesla boss will be granted full or merely partial access to this hose.

This decision could fulfill Musk’s requirements, giving him the tools to pick apart the platform and decipher which accounts may be junk. It could also turn out that access to this data won’t be the silver bullet Musk needs to determine whether only about five percent of Twitter’s accounts are fakes, as the platform claims. Some experts say the company uses an entirely different methodology, involving proprietary data and human analysis, to reach that figure.

But, again, Musk says he’s not interested in that. On Monday, his lawyers sent Twitter a letter accusing it of puzzling his efforts to obtain the info he says he needs to close the deal. He’s also been tweeting nonstop about it.

If the deal were to fall through, there would be a $1 billion breakup fee for Musk. However, it includes a “specific performance clause,” which would allow Twitter to sue Musk and force him to either complete or pay for the deal, as long as the debt financing he has accumulated remained steady.

“Twitter has and will continue to cooperatively share information with Mr. Musk to consummate the transaction in accordance with the terms of the merger agreement,” Twitter said in a previous statement. “We believe this agreement is in the best interest of all shareholders. We intend to close the transaction and enforce the merger agreement at the agreed price and terms.”

Musk did not immediately respond to LAMag’s request for comment.


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