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Twitter bots give Musk cold feet

Ah, buyer’s remorse. We’ve all been there, whether the object of our regret is an improbably high pair of heels or a massive TV that costs more than a year’s worth of lattes. But when you’re a billionaire, the stakes are a little higher and a lot more public just ask Elon Musk. The SA-born Tesla and SpaceX boss is having second thoughts about his $44 billion Twitter purchase. 

We told you last month about what some characterised as Musk’s “hostile takeover” of the social networking site. This week he announced (in a tweet, appropriately enough) that the deal was on hold: “Twitter deal temporarily on hold pending details supporting calculation that spam/fake accounts do indeed represent less than 5% of users.” In another tweet, he suggested that the actual number of fake users may be ten times as much as what the platform claims. 

Musk has also warned that this issue may drive him to pay less for Twitter; he hasn’t specified why but may believe that fewer real users means the platform is worth less. Some have argued that it’s just a convenient excuse to back out of a bad business decision that’s led to a $30 billion drop in his net worth. Shame.😑