Elon Musk has declared that his 44 billion dollar purchase of Twitter “cannot move forward” until the platform proves that less than 5% of the 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 of <5%. This deal cannot move forward until he does,” Musk wrote on Twitter this afternoon.

In a follow-up tweet, he added: “Seems like Twitter should welcome external validation if their claims are true.”

Musk has revealed that his own team will do research about how many fake accounts are on the social media platform.

“To find out, my team will do a random sample of 100 followers of @twitter,” Musk tweeted.. “I invite others to repeat the same process and see what they discover.”

In subsequent tweets, he added: “Pick any account with a lot of followers,” and “Ignore first 1000 followers, then pick every 10th. I’m open to better ideas.”

“Any sensible random sampling process is fine. If many people independently get similar results for % of fake/spam/duplicate accounts, that will be telling. I picked 100 as the sample size number, because that is what Twitter uses to calculate <5% fake/spam/duplicate.”

However, Carl T. Bergstrom, a University of Washington professor who specialises in explaining data, told CNBC that a $44 billion purchase shouldn’t be decided over a sampling of one hundred followers of any single Twitter account. Facebook co-founder Dustin Moskovitz agreed with Bergstrom.

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