13 May 2022

Elon Musk says Twitter deal ‘temporarily on hold’

13 May 2022

Elon Musk has said his deal to buy Twitter is “temporarily on hold” over details around the number of spam and fake accounts present on the site.

The billionaire Tesla owner agreed a £34.5 billion deal to take over the social media giant last month, pledging to improve free speech on the site and remove fake accounts.

But in a tweet on Friday, Mr Musk said the deal is now on hold “pending details supporting calculation that spam/fake accounts do indeed represent less than 5% of users”.

Elon Musk said his bid to buy Twitter is on hold ‘temporarily’ (Evan Agostini/AP) (AP)

His tweet linked to a report published earlier this month which said Twitter estimates spam and fake accounts comprise less than 5% of its daily users.

It is unclear why Mr Musk has said this detail would compromise the deal, and the Tesla boss has not tweeted any further on the issue.

When his proposed takeover was announced in April, Mr Musk said one of his key aims was to “defeat the spam bots”, in reference to the fake and automated accounts operating on the platform.

Mr Musk had also pledged to bolster free speech on the site and earlier this week reiterated his belief that former US president Donald Trump should have his permanent Twitter ban reversed.

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