Ten Percent of Twitter Users 'Posting Spam' in Report Supporting Elon Musk's Concerns
New data could sink Tesla CEO's purchase
New data has estimated spam bots are dominating ten percent of Twitter’s active userbase, supporting Tesla CEO Elon Musk's concerns as his purchase of the platform hangs in the balance.
Social media analytics company GlobalData suggests Twitter may be underestimating the number of active accounts posting spam content to the platform.
If determined to be an accurate analysis, it could affect the validity of Musk’s claim that the social platform is undercounting its fake accounts.
According to its report:
GlobalData collected data from 20,976 accounts over an extended period to determine if there were any patterns of spam activities. It then ran all of those accounts through various parameters to determine if they were spam accounts.
Parameters included whether an account was verified by Twitter if a tweet originated from a third-party app, the frequency of posts, and the number of posts with links or hashtags.
This led researchers to believe that 10.9% of accounts could be considered “spam.”
While the data appear to bolster Musk’s notion that Twitter has not accurately reported its spam bot numbers, it is important to note the metrics may not be the same used by Twitter.
The estimates are “conservative,” Sidharth Kumar, senior data scientist at GlobalData, said in a statement to the Washington Examiner.
The researcher also emphasized that “there is no conclusive way of knowing if a certain account is a bot or spam.”
The social media analytics firm is not the first to claim that Twitter’s spam bot problem may be greater than it has estimated in the past.
A joint analysis by SparkToro and Followerwonk found that 19.42% of active accounts are either fake or bots.
The analysis also found that 70% of Musk’s followers were likely to be fake or spam accounts and that 1 in 4 active followers are likely to be fake.
The data appear to imply that Musk likely sees more fake or spam accounts than the average user and confirms previously reported issues about crypto scammers attempting to profit off Musk’s fan base.
Musk announced on May 13 that his deal to purchase Twitter was “temporarily on hold” due to the company’s low estimate of spam bots.
He has emphasized this point, claiming that the social platform’s user base consists of at least 20% bots or spam accounts.
Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal has attempted to explain the company’s approach to identifying spam accounts, including using private information to determine if accounts are indeed bots or fake.
Agrawal’s words did little to convince Musk that he was wrong.
The billionaire filed an SEC filing on Monday threatening to terminate his deal if the company did not provide him with the company’s data regarding spam bots.
If Musk attempted to end the deal, it would likely lead to either a long lawsuit with Twitter or a $1 billion fee.