Elon Musk Challenges Twitter CEO to Public Debate on Spam Accounts

On Saturday, Elon Musk challenged Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal to a public debate about the number of non-human spam accounts on the social media platform.

“I hereby challenge [Agrawal] to a public debate about the Twitter bot percentage,” Musk tweeted Saturday. “Let him prove to the public that Twitter has [less than] 5% fake or spam daily users!”

The outspoken billionaire also posted a Twitter poll asking people whether they believed Twitter’s claim that less than 5% of their daily users are fake accounts. A little over 35% who responded said they bought the claim, while nearly 65% said they were skeptical.

Musk has been in a protracted legal battle with Twitter since July, when the Tesla CEO announced he was backing out of his $44 billion agreement to buy the social media company. At the time, Musk claimed Twitter had misrepresented the number of fake accounts on the platform. Twitter denied Musk’s claims and sued the billionaire to force him to complete the takeover deal.

Last week, attorneys for Musk filed a countersuit against Twitter, alleging that the company has been deceptive about its percentage of spam users as part of a “scheme to mislead investors about the company’s prospects.”

The suit claimed filings made by Twitter to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) contained “numerous, material misrepresentations or omissions that distort Twitter’s value and caused the Musk Parties to agree to acquire the company at an inflated price.”

Musk’s attorneys also wrote that Twitter’s initial lawsuit had been “filled with personal attacks against Musk and gaudy rhetoric more directed at a media audience than this Court.”

In response to Musk’s countersuit, Twitter said the billionaire’s claims were “imagined in an effort to escape a merger agreement that [he] no longer found attractive once the stock market … declined in value.”

“The counterclaims are a made-for-litigation tale that is contradicted by the evidence and common sense,” the response said.

Twitter’s lawsuit against Musk is set to begin on Oct. 17 in Delaware Chancery Court.