Elon Musk: The Twitter deal ‘cannot move forward’ until I learn more about spam

Last Friday, Elon Musk announced, before the markets opened, that he was putting his purchase of Twitter “on hold” until he learned more about Twitter’s bot accounts. Many saw that for the feint that it was. Twitter’s stock price has dropped, which means Musk would be overpaying by billions of dollars if the deal goes through for a $44 billion purchase. Not only that, but Musk likely does not have the money anymore. Cryptocurrencies have crashed, and Musk was heavily invested in crypto. Much of his net worth is tied up in Tesla as well, and it’s likely a situation where Musk can have Tesla or Twitter but not both. In any case, Musk is a special kind of 21st century broke-ass and his attempts to purchase Twitter on layaway have been unsuccessful. So now he’s saying that the Twitter deal cannot move forward.

Elon Musk raised further doubts about the future of his $44 billion acquisition of Twitter on Tuesday, saying “this deal cannot move forward” until he gets more details about the volume of spam and fake accounts on the platform.

Mr. Musk, who is carrying out a public tweet-by-tweet negotiation for the influential social media platform, has latched onto the issue of fake accounts in recent days, in a move that some analysts figure is an attempt to drive down the acquisition price or walk away from the deal altogether.

Twitter has long said in regulatory filings that fewer than 5 percent of its accounts are fake — a figure that Mr. Musk says is hard to believe. In a tweet published at 3:32 a.m. Eastern time on Tuesday, Mr. Musk said the figure could be well above 20 percent, without providing information to support the claim.

“My offer was based on Twitter’s SEC filings being accurate,” Mr. Musk said in the message. When a Twitter user replied that the volume of fake, bot and spam accounts could account for more than half of all Twitter accounts, Mr. Musk responded: “Exactly.”

The tweets on Tuesday built off similar remarks by Mr. Musk at a technology conference in Miami on Monday. Mr. Musk, the world’s richest man, said striking a deal for Twitter at a lower price was “not out of the question” considering the questions about spam and fake accounts.

“The more questions I ask, the more my concerns grow,” Mr. Musk said at the event. “So you know, at the end of the day, acquiring it has to be fixable with a reasonable time frame and without revenues collapsing along the way.”

[From The NY Times]

LMAO. Even the Times is calling this out for what it is – market manipulation and a brokeass way for Musk to save face when he pulls out of the deal. The thing is, this whole situation has snowballed to such a crazy degree, I doubt Musk could even walk away free and clear. The SEC is already investigating him for his lack of disclosures. He’s also in violation of his nondisclosure agreement. And when he does pull out of the deal, he’s going to get sued by a lot of people.

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red.

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

79 Responses to “Elon Musk: The Twitter deal ‘cannot move forward’ until I learn more about spam”

Comments are Closed

We close comments on older posts to fight comment spam.

  1. teehee says:


    Maybe think of this


    If a woman did this kind of nonsense she’d be stoned to death in the square

    • MsIam says:

      Agree. What a dummy. Elon Musk, the GeNiUs! And people are investing their hard earned money into crypto following this pied piper.

  2. LoveGossip says:

    He just figured out that MAGA doesn’t buy Teslas.

    • C-Shell says:

      And neither will I, even though I’ve decided my next car will be electric or at least hybrid. TBH, I would never have bought a Tesla and added to this tax dodger’s net worth.

      • ThatsNotOkay says:

        Gurrrrrl, me too. Me too.

      • Peanut Butter says:

        Same, no Tesla for me now or ever. I drive a hybrid now and the next car will be electric and anything but Tesla. If I had a Tesla, I’d hate the sight of it for constantly reminding me of Musk, another very stable genius.

      • StillInPJs says:

        I just got a Polestar 2 and really love it

      • MeganC says:

        Much better to buy a car from companies that have fueled (literally and figuratively) the climate crisis for generations. 🙄

      • michyk says:

        so, meganc, what’s the correct answer? if i hate musk and won’t buy a tesla, and i can’t buy from an already existing car company, what are my options? cars are kind of like cellphones-hard to build one in your house, for many people a necessity, and a lack of market diversity to make truly ethical choices. i think people are just trying to do their best.

      • Maida says:

        MeganC, at least the major automobile manufacturers have union jobs that pay decent wages with benefits and offer employee protections. Musk moved a lot of Tesla to Texas to avoid unions (and paying taxes), and he’s been manufacturing batteries in China with employees who were forced to sleep in the factory during covid lockdowns because if they went home they couldn’t come back.

        NO car company is blameless. But it’s absolutely true that the major companies are already offering or are developing electric vehicles, that they’ll be able to manufacture at a scale Tesla can’t, and that they already have the customer infrastructure Tesla lacks (dealerships and repair). Couple all that with Tesla’s problematic safety record and Elon Musk’s loud-mouthed know nothing crap and I’ll certainly never buy a Tesla.

      • MeganC says:

        Less than one quarter of US auto workers are union workers. All car manufacturers source parts from China and Tesla is the only car company that does 100% of assembly in America. Chevy had to buy back tens of thousands of Volts because of fire risks. Musk is a raging a-hole, but auto manufacturers fought electric cars until he forced them into the market.

      • Another Anna says:

        C-shell, you are not alone. My brother has to buy a new car and, while he wants an electric car, he refuses to even look at a Tesla because of how awful Musk is.

        Does anyone here watch Leverage? One of their episodes has a villain who is definitely not Schmelon Shmusk. Watching him get taken down, even fictionally, is quite satisfying.

        Also I would love it if alleged reporters would stop credulously believing whatever nonsense Elon spouts. He’s out here trying to pull a you-can’t-fire-me-I-quit about this deal when it’s becoming clearer and clearer that a) he’s a spoiled rich kid who wants to play CEO and b) his net worth took a beating this week and I doubt he can actually afford it.

      • Dot says:

        We’ve had a fully electric car for 6 years (BMW i3) and LOVE it. We’re switching out to maybe a Kia in the fall, but cannot recommend highly enough.

        (Also, Mr. “Look at meeeee!” can DIAF.)

      • AlpineWitch says:

        MeganC you seem very misinformed about car companies in general but please ask yourself where the parts of the last electric item you bought were made… chance is you’ve bought many, many items coming from China and workers weren’t certainly paid as well as those working for big car companies.

        I’m eyeing to buy an electric too, it’ll be a Volkswagen or a Nissan. No way I’ll give money to that misogynist with an over-inflated ego, he can right FO.

      • MeganC says:

        AlpineWitch – What is your point? One third of the parts in any vehicle come from China where the workers were paid China wages, not US wages. Also, the average wage of UAW worker is $25/hour. That is not a middle class wage in much of the country.

      • liz says:

        I’ve been driving Subarus for the last 17 years. The first one gave us 140,000+ miles in 12 years and we’ve had the current one for 5 years (it has about 60,000 miles on it). I think Subaru is introducing an electric car this year. When we get around to buying a new car, it will be electric and probably another Subaru.

        But the big question that I have around electric cars is how well do the batteries manage in extreme cold? Battery life decreases in temperature extremes, particularly in the cold. If I leave an electric car sitting overnight (or longer) in a parking lot when it’s -10F, will run the next day? I’ve done that with my car and while a gas engine may be a little grumpy, it will run, even if it needs a jump-start at first.

        The other concern I have is about long-distance driving. I know that if I’m driving 500 miles (the distance from home to my child’s college), I will need to stop for gas at least once, but it will only take 5 minutes at a given stop. Fully recharging a battery will take a lot longer than that. I’m dreading adding more time to a drive that already takes at least 8 and a half hours.

      • AlpineWitch says:

        My point is that you are providing no reasons why buying a Tesla should be preferable, generally speaking. And I was making you notice the Chinese argument is pointless as many things come from China nowadays, including food. There is no way we’re not contributing to the Chinese market as many parts of anything we use come from China.

        Teslas are overpriced electric cars. I live in the UK and there are no British carmakers (thanks Thatcher) so buying an electric VW, Nissan or Mini is certainly a better idea than a Tesla from my point of view.

        Liz, I might have the same issue. I was discussing with a colleague today that commuting over 400 miles a week would mean I need 2 electric cars to do that as it wouldn’t be possible to recharge one during the night.

    • Duo says:

      He recently said he will be voting Republican from now on, so he is clearly still courting MAGAs. But probably just the tech dude bro ones, who already worship him.

  3. Colby says:

    I think anyone with even minimal understanding and use of Twitter knows it’s WAY over 5% bots.

    And yes, he will have to pay something regardless at this point- I have read he is on the hook for a billion if he pulls out now, so he’s trying to make a case that he was defrauded.

    • ThatsNotOkay says:

      You love to see it. He is a troll himself so he knows there are others on the platform just like him, there only to spread propaganda and elevate MAGA and Russian talking points.

    • equality says:

      Yeah, I think he’s right on the point about bots. Unless that somehow figured in the deal with a guarantee of the 5% thing, I don’t see how that will help him wiggle out.

      • LooneyTunes says:

        Just my 2 cents–he wanted Twitter to data mine people’s information and sell it for more than he paid for twitter. If twitter has a significant number of bots, there’s less information to profit off. if that was part of his deal, then he *may* have a legal basis to get out of the deal.

        I, for one, would be happy if the deal falls through. Wasn’t looking forward to all the MAGAts having free reign.

      • Colby says:

        Maybe – I think that will come down to Twitter’s stated purpose as an organization and his stated purpose for buying it. If he said to them clearly “I am buying this to sell peoples data” and they said “great no bots here!” Then maybe. But if he never said that outright I’m not sure he can get out of it legally.

    • ELX says:

      It’s not just the existence of fake accounts—it’s that there is a whole Twitter tweaking economy around the production and acquisition of bots to create fake engagement in order to get ad revenue. The unfortunate truth is—Twitter is poorly managed with a toxic, often nasty environment; not that many real people use it or stick around for any length of time.

      Also, Elon is a guy who was smart but also very lucky with PayPal—that kind of lucky doesn’t happen that often—his other businesses are not profitable. They make for rather romantic stories, but they aren’t profitable and will need enormous investment and scientific development to get there.

      Elon is overly self-involved, not serious and totally untrustworthy so not a good bet, really. Plus, this dude will push it until the government finally sends him to jail.

      • Colby says:

        He is the human form of “the vast carelessness of the truly wealthy”

        I saw that on, of all places, Twitter and it is so spot on.

      • Soapboxpudding says:

        I think that quote is referencing this line in the Great Gatsby:

        “They were careless people, Tom and Daisy — they smashed up things and creatures and then retreated back into their money or their vast carelessness or whatever it was that kept them together, and let other people clean up the mess they had made.”

      • Karennotakaren says:

        Truthfully, Elon was not at the starting gate of any of the companies he claims to have “founded” (with perhaps an exception for Zip2). He came in after engineers had built and launched the ideas and Elon came in and took credit for them in a PR sweep. In some cases, founders were forced out, e.g., PayPal, Tesla. He’s Not unlike Zuckerberg and several other tech execs in that respect. Not the smartest guy in the room, though he would like everyone to think that. He just the most evil and opportunistic.

      • Elon is a Ghoul!! says:

        Spot on assessment! Elon is a scammer who got lucky a few times. He’s trying to weasel his way out of this deal.

  4. Fuzzy Crocodile says:

    Kind of been waiting for it to go up in flames.

  5. Noki says:

    I read somewhere that if he does back out he has to pay quite a hefty penalty for doing so. Maybe he will cut his losses. But to worry about something petty as bots at this stage seems weird,arent those things suppose to have been under due diligence way before!?

    • Digital Unicorn says:

      I’m convinced this is nothing more than a stunt to try and shore up Tesla – he has a history of pulling sh!t like this. I don’t think he expected Twitter to call his bluff/take up the offer.

      He’ll pull out – his backers are.

      • Indywom says:

        I agree but I also think it is a distraction to the upcoming documentary about Tesla’s auto pilot driving that has led to a number of accidents.

    • pottymouth pup says:

      I think it’s a 1B penalty for backing out which is probably why he’s trying to blame Twitter

    • Jan90067 says:

      The amount whichever side backs out is $1B.

      There is also a lot of “chatter” that he is doing all this to tank the price so he can then offer a lower bid.

      I don’t think he counted on Tesla’s stock falling as far as it did though. He’s lost a shit-tonne between that and crypto. Even just on paper, I don’t think he can afford Twitter now.

  6. @poppedbubble says:

    Serves Twitter right for taking Musk up on his offer. Also, Musk needs to pay for his trumpian tactics.

  7. Leigh_S says:

    Its also a fair question whether he shorted Twitter stock before this to profit off the price drop and decrease his Twitter ownership in the process

    • ThatsNotOkay says:

      He is notorious for this. Remember when Azalea Banks was spilling all the tea about him? Yeah, her nutty ass was right all along. He is a market manipulator and should be jailed and fined for billions. I don’t know what Merrick Garland does anymore—he hasn’t made one move in two years, but this could’ve been an easy win.

      • TIFFANY says:

        Since when is Merrick Garland controlling how the SEC investigates people.

        So y’all complained when Barr overstepped as AG and are not complaining because AG Garland is not doing the same.

        Just because POTUS ain’t out here telling Garland’s business on Twitter like that other guy y’all seem to love, don’t mean AG ain’t doing his job.

        Really, y’all should be ashamed and review basic civics.

      • ThatsNotOkay says:

        Hi. I know he’s not in charge of the SEC. I was just making comments. Also, yeah, Garland needs to do something or we will continue to end up with people like Payton Gendron out here shooting up black grocery stores. It’s way off topic, but it’s the truth. There’s an urgency to all this that some people don’t seem to get. It’s not overstepping to do your job. However, if like Barr, you are impeding investigations, hiding or misrepresenting the findings, harboring and covering for felons, yeah, THAT’S overstepping and not doing your actual job. Better?

      • TIFFANY says:

        Yeah. I stand by what I said. He ain’t out here to please your instant gratification. You told on yourself.

        He gets in front of a microphone or release a statement once ducks are in a row.

        If you think he ain’t been doing anything, Twitter Law has failed you.

      • ThatsNotOkay says:

        I think you told on YOURself. The SEC can, and often does, work with the Department of Justice and the United States Attorney’s Office to bring charges. You might need to brush up on your own (lack of) civics education, lol.

      • ChillinginDC says:

        Tiffany is correct, DOJ does not direct the SEC. And SEC has it’s own agents/investigators, etc.

      • Another Anna says:

        Tiffany, while the SEC has its own leadership and isn’t run by DOJ, it’s wrong to imply that the two are wholly separate. There has been a 50-year long quest to starve government agencies of funding and staffing (thanks, “good” Republicans!), which means that they have to do more with less. Functionally, if the SEC has an investigation going, DOJ isn’t going to start their own investigation into the same thing. It’s a waste of resources. However, the SEC frequently works with DOJ while in the investigation phase to make sure that the investigation will actually produce a prosecutable case.

        Because the SEC doesn’t have a criminal prosecution function, it refers cases out to DOJ for prosecution and then it’s a DOJ decision whether to prosecute. It’s the same thing for tax crimes – The IRS does the investigation and determination and then refers the matter to the DOJ for prosecution.

        Merrick Garland almost certainly wouldn’t be getting involved in this phase because the AG rarely makes prosecution/declination decisions. If he wanted to a la Bill Barr, the channels are probably in place for him to do that, which is its own problem. But I expect that Garland’s involvement would be limited to approving the decision to file charges, if he had any role at all.

  8. Dee says:

    Tesla stock dropped about 30% since he put a bid on Twitter. No longer the richest man in the world LMAO

  9. Snuffles says:

    “ Mr. Musk said the figure could be well above 20 percent, without providing information to support the claim.”

    I hate to agree with the jag-off but he’s probably right about the bots. He’s still trying to back out of the deal, and I have zero sympathy for him, but he’s right about those damn bots!

    If anything good comes out of this debacle, let’s hope it’s the exposure of how bots overrun Twitter so they can manipulate all kinds of things from politics to business to coordinated smear campaigns.

  10. C-Shell says:

    Musk has a track record of stock manipulation by tweet — he really should stop getting high and tweeting in the middle of the night. He may have done himself in this time. The SEC has probably been looking for a good reason to dig deeper, and he handed them the perfect case.

  11. Lisbeth says:

    “…or until I recover what I lost in a Bitcoin deal…”

  12. Louise177 says:

    Hasn’t he done something like this before? Trash a company to drive the price down? I don’t think he was trying to buy but wanted to hurt it. In any case, the bots is an excuse to get out of the deal. Everyone is saying that. I don’t know how deals like this work but I don’t understand how if a deal is in place, you can change the price on the basis that you’re the one speaking badly about it.

  13. Izzy says:

    LMAO that’s a lot of words for “bit off way more than I could chew.”

  14. May Bench says:

    I can’t stand Elon Musky and will never purchase a Tesla. In next two years there will be a lot more EV with Honda, VW, BMW, GM etc bringing out new EV cars at more reasonable prices. Then I won’t be at the mercy of the greedy oil companies. I bet we’ll get a tax break from IRS also for buying an EV.

  15. Silent Star says:

    Surely there’s something illegal about entering a buyout negotiation in bad faith in order to learn confidential information about the company? He’s already so rich, fines and court ordered penalties are not even a deterrent. This level of wealth is a menace to society.

    • TIFFANY says:

      On paper he is rich, I don’t think he has a ton of liquid.

      When he bought the stock to become a majority stakeholder for Twitter, he could barely scrap together the 2.5 billion it took.

      He is gonna try and short sell it and get caught.

      I believe he will be done as Tesla’s CEO. He is banking on a golden parachute to leave the company and I think they will have ample proof not to give him one.

      • kacy says:

        Right now, he has the board heavily stacked in his favor. He accepted a settlement with the SEC that included the replacement of two board members, but he’s fighting it in Federal courts. He just lost in District court, but he will probably take it the circuit court. Who knows how SCOTUS would rule on it.

        This settlement for was for the tweet where he stated he was seriously looking to take Tesla private so I hope the penalties stick.

  16. Sue says:

    Well now I think he’s just buying time in the spotlight over this and will back out. I hope.

  17. Lightpurple says:

    The Twitter deal cannot move forward until I learn the cheapest way out of this mess I created.

  18. Emily says:

    Why are the standards so low for rich people and companies?

    The average person would be told to do their research before making an offer.

    • emmy says:

      The standards are not different for the rich and companies. Everyone is supposed to do due diligence before they buy a company, including Musk. He can pay the break fee (the 1B) to walk away from the deal, but he’s otherwise on the hook for the purchase of Twitter unless he can show that Twitter misrepresented material facts about the biz.

  19. Jessica says:

    God I hate him. I wanted a Tesla so badly, but he’s completely ruined all his companies for me. Why did he have to go Lex Luthor instead of Tony Stark? Tony is still an a$$hole like Elon, but at least he (kind of) tries to help the world. Elon is just a troll who thinks rules, laws, or common decency don’t apply to him. The epitome of spoiled rich d¡ckwad.

  20. Valerie says:

    Aww, space Karen is saying stuff, it’s cute, right?

  21. Sue E Generis says:

    Musk is Trump 2.0. All his value is in his ‘brand’ vs. any real accomplishments. He has manipulated the facts of his story to suit his carefully crafted narrative and many people have bought into it.

    He is not a genius, or even very bright. But, like they say, there’s a sucker born every minute and two to take him.

    • Jennifer says:

      I call him the world’s dumbest genius. Hoe can someone so supposedly smart do nothing but be a stupid troll?

    • Giddy says:

      All I need to hate him is to know that Musk has already said that one of his first actions after buying Twitter would be to reinstate Trump.

  22. HeyKay says:

    I find Elon Musk to be an interesting guy.
    Would I invest my money simply because of his opinion? No FN way!

    He enjoys being a celeb. Seems to at minimum, have a good sense of humor.
    He is a hell of a salesman tho. He slings the BS with the big boys, just as well.

    But, at the end of the day None of The Billionaires Club are good or honest people.
    No one gets close to that level of wealth by being honest.
    And, IMO, most of them are overvalued.

  23. JFerber says:

    Please let this deal fall through.

  24. Kalana says:

    Lol, his face cannot move forward until he gets a better plastic surgeon. Giving Phantom of the Opera vibes but without the sincerity and heart.

  25. elle says:

    oh, look… it’s Penguin from Batman.

  26. Saucy&Sassy says:

    Okay, here’s my theory on this deal. After it was announced that a deal had been struck, Musk sold about $8.4 BILLION worth of Tesla stock (he needed the money to buy Twitter). Both Tesla and Twitter stock have gone down since then. I thought at the time that this was just Musk getting some cash in his pocket. I never expected him to go through with the deal. If there is a $1 bn penalty, he can pay that and still have $7.4 bn left in his pocket.

  27. Rea says:

    Bots is Twitter. If you those account are taken away the actual users are pretty low. It’s a terrible investment..the platform does..not have many actual people compared to insta, tik tok and even Facebook..though it’s questionable 🤔 in ethics has more engagement than Twitter.

  28. Yo says:

    My god he’s ugly inside and out He looks like a villain from the 1970s Rudolph the red nose reindeer’s claymation

  29. Ohcomeon says:

    I’m surprised at his lack of savvy, but shouldn’t be. Ego is always brain dead.

  30. Bisynaptic says:

    He looks so much like a frog.

  31. JFerber says:

    I wish he would go back to South Africa and stop messing with our country. We have enough jerks already who are wreaking havoc here. Go away, Elon!

  32. Twinkle says:

    Speaking of spam. He’s such a cheesehead.

  33. Lou says:

    He’s right about the boys, but he knew that already. The whole deal is garbage, and so is he.