Drama swirls around Elon Musk and his bitter feud and attempted hostile takeover of Twitter. His multibillion dollar bid to purchase the company was contingent on Twitter executives proving that the number of bots and fake accounts was less than 5% of the reported total number of users on the Twitter platform.
Twitter executives have not satisfied this requisite but have demanded Musk follow through with his bid to purchase the company.
Musk has taken the matter to court, arguing that Twitter is in breach of contract.
On Wednesday, the Washington Post gave Musk a boost when they published a whistleblower’s report noting that Twitter executives reportedly “deceived regulators and the company’s board of directors about ‘extreme, egregious deficiencies’ in combatting hackers and spam.”
The allegations come from a notable source — Twitter’s former head of security, Peiter Zatko. The Examiner reports that his formal complaint, just now made public, was filed in July with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission.
The complaint supports Elon’s claims that Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal was “lying” when he tweeted in May that Twitter was “strongly incentivized to detect and remove as much spam as we possibly can.”
Zatko also supports Elon’s assertion that Twitter prioritized user growth over reducing spam. According to the Washington Post report, Zatko claims Twitter executives earned bonuses of up $10 million for increasing the number of daily users, but no incentives were offered for reducing spam accounts.
Zatko, who was fired from Twitter in January, wrote: “I felt ethically bound. This is not a light step to take.”
Twitter boasts it has 238 million daily users and is the #1 messaging platform for government agencies, heads of state and other influential public figures. Elon alleges the 238 million figure is greatly inflated.
The Post noted that Twitter may have a nefarious agenda, emphasizing that Twitter has collected personal information on many government leaders and notable figures and that this information could be weaponized to put certain individuals “at great personal risk.”
Twitter spokeswoman Rebecca Hahn rejects the assertions, saying: “Security and privacy have long been top companywide priorities at Twitter.”
Today’s revelations in the Post come one day after Elon Musk’s legal team subpoenaed former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey in preparation for a fall trial in which Twitter is attempting to force Musk to make good on his initial pledge to purchase Twitter for $44 billion.
Scroll down to leave a comment and share your thoughts.