Texas Attorney Launches Probe into Twitter’s Bot Reporting After Elon Musk’s Public Complaints

On Monday, the Attorney General of Texas, Ken Paxton, made the announcement that he had filed a Civil Investigative Demand (CID) to examine the claim made by Twitter that fewer than 5 percent of the platform’s users are automated “bots” rather than human users.
According to a news release from the Office of the Attorney General (OAG), bots might account for more than 20% of Twitter users.

“Texans place their trust in Twitter’s public declarations that virtually all of its users are actual individuals. It’s important not just for normal Twitter users, but also for Texas companies and marketers that rely on Twitter to make a living,” Paxton said in a statement. “I have a responsibility to safeguard Texans if Twitter is misrepresenting how many accounts are bogus to gain income.”

The CID has given Twitter until June 27 to turn over information on the number of active users on the site as well as documents pertaining to the company’s methodology for assessing the number of bots. Paxton’s letter to Twitter comes on the same day that Elon Musk, who is threatening to pull out of the agreement to buy the firm, addressed a letter to the company. Since late April, when Twitter revealed that it had accepted Musk’s $44 billion bid to buy the platform, Musk has voiced growing anxiety about the number of bots on the site.

In mid-May, Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal claimed that the business does not think bot estimate “can be accomplished externally, given the important necessity to leverage both public and private information.” “Twitter has, in fact, failed to disclose the information that Mr. Musk has repeatedly asked to enable his examination of spam and fraudulent accounts on the company’s platform since May 9, 2022,” Musk’s lawyers said in a letter to Twitter on Monday.

“Twitter’s current promise to merely give further information about the company’s own testing processes, whether via written documents or verbal explanations,” he said, “is comparable to ignoring Mr. Musk’s data demands.” The Office of the Attorney General is investigating whether Twitter’s assertion that bots account for fewer than 5% of users is “false, misleading, or deceptive” and thus violates the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act.

Source: TheTexan

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Written by Alex Bruno

Freelance space writer Alex Bruno specializes in covering China's quickly expanding space industry. In 2021, he started writing for SpaceXMania. He also contributes to publications including SpaceNews, IEEE Spectrum, National Geographic, Sky & Telescope, and New Scientist. When Alex was a small child, he first experienced the space bug after seeing Voyager photographs of alien planets in our solar system. When not in space, Alex likes to go trail jogging in the Finnish countryside.

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