Tesla CEO Elon Musk on Tuesday said that he will proceed with his USD 44 billion take over of Twitter only if the microblogging giant is able to prove that less than 5 per cent of its users are bots.
"20% fake/spam accounts, while 4 times what Twitter claims, could be *much* higher. My offer was based on Twitter's SEC filings being accurate.
"Yesterday, Twitter's CEO publicly refused to show proof. This deal cannot move forward until he does," Musk tweeted.
His tweet came in response to a Twitter user who wrote that the billionaire entrepreneur may be looking for a better deal as the previously quoted amount of $44 billion seems too high with 20 per cent users being fake or spam accounts.
This comes a day after Twitter CEO Parag Agarwal issued a series of tweets amid the debate surrounding the spam controversy between the company and Musk.
Agarwal on Monday emphasised that the company strongly incentivised to detect and remove as much spam as we possibly can, every single day.
"Next, spam isn't just 'binary' (human/not human). The most advanced spam campaigns use combinations of coordinated humans + automation.
"They also compromise real accounts, and then use them to advance their campaign. So - they are sophisticated and hard to catch," he tweeted.
The Twitter head said the company suspends over half a million spam accounts every day, usually before any of you even see them on Twitter.
"The hard challenge is that many accounts which look fake superficially - are actually real people.
"And some of the spam accounts which are actually the most dangerous - and cause the most harm to our users - can look totally legitimate on the surface," he added.
Musk last week said that the deal to buy the social media platform Twitter is put on hold due to the calculation of fake accounts in it.
Twitter shares fell by 20 per cent in early trading after this announcement.