Tesla CEO and ace techpreneur Elon Musk’s claims about prevalence of fake accounts or bots on handles have been vindicated by none other than Disney’s former CEO Bob Iger. The entertainment firm’s ex-boss revealed that it dropped the plan to buy Twitter in 2016, because a “substantial portion” of Twitter handles were not real. Speaking at Code Conference, Iger mentioned that Disney had intentions of using the microblogging platform for distributing its content online.
The assertion comes days after Musk took another jibe at Twitter, by claiming that 90% comments on his tweets were from bots. Earlier this month, head of intelligence at cybersecurity firm F5 Dan Woods had also claimed that eight out of 10 Twitter handles were fake. Elon Musk had backtracked on his bid to buy Twitter, after alleging that 20% of its users were actually bots. He also challenged Twitter to prove its claims about less than 5% handles being fake.
Musk’s love-hate relationship with Twitter
In April 2022, Musk’s $43 billion offer to buy Twitter had created a buzz on social media, raising eyebrows among tech geeks and investors alike. The SpaceX founder had been increasing his stake in Twitter since January, and acquired 9.2% of the firm by April to become its largest shareholder. After some push back by investors, Twitter’s board accepted a $44 billion offer from Musk, after which Musk raised concerns about the presence of spam accounts on the platform.
After the deal was dragged on for months, Twitter’s shareholder sued Musk in July 2022, asking the court to compel the billionaire to seal the deal. The former Disney chief executive’s comments validate Musk’s concern’s that made him stall the deal. Iger also added that a rise in hate speech on Twitter in the run-up to 2016’s presidential poll in the US, also played a part in their decision.
Did Musk inspire the ‘edit button’?
Recently, Twitter introduced the option to edit tweets for select users, which was also seen as a vindication of Musk’s demands for an edit button on the platform. Although Musk launched his bid as a mission to ensure freedom of speech on Twitter, he later called for intervention to remove spam bots from the social media site.