The epic Twitter vs Elon Musk court battle has taken another twist as attorneys raised new accusations from a whistleblower who says the social media giant has made misleading disclosures on spam and fake accounts.

Musk’s lawyer, Alex Spiro, pointed to a suit made public on Tuesday, August 23, to support Musk’s claims the tech behemoth misled shareholders with information.

In the complaint, Twitter’s former head of security Peiter Zatko accused the social media giant of making misleading regulatory disclosures on spam and bogus accounts.


In the 84-page document, Zatko claims Twitter lied to Musk about bots and spam accounts after his initial $44 billion takeover bid.

He alleges the site had security deficiencies that called into question the firm’s statements to federal regulators.

It has since prompted more investigation of the social media firm.

The complaint says: “Twitter executives have little or no personal incentive to accurately ‘detect’ or measure the prevalence of spam bots,” adding “deliberate ignorance was the norm.”

Zatko’s complaint also asserted that the firm misinformed regulators about its cybersecurity threats.

Musk’s lawyer stated that Twitter handpicked documents and misled investors about data on spam and false accounts.


Spiro said: “Twitter has misled investors, stonewalled us about data and information, and has economic incentives to mislead.”

He cited the MDAU metric as the main technique that the social network company informs investors about how many users view ads and how executives get bonuses.

He claimed that data, metrics, and communications were required to capture what the firm knows about spam or false accounts.

The hearing in Delaware Chancery Court on Wednesday, August 24, focused on Musk’s team’s ability to seek information regarding the firm’s internal policies and data.

He said: “Mr. Zatko, who was responsible for much of this — including processing and removing various spam bots — he was not some low-level employee.

“He was one of the top handful of officers in the company.”

Previously, the judge ruled against Musk’s team when it demanded information from more than 20 company executives.

Zatko was one of the officials from whom Musk’s team had requested information.

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However, the judge denied the motion, boosting the chance that Musk’s team would use the new info to revisit the request.

The San Francisco firm has already challenged the whistleblower’s and Musk’s claims on spam and bots.

Twitter attorney Bradley Wilson argued in court on Wednesday that spam counts were only estimates, citing regulatory disclosures that underlined the count’s imprecision.

He said: “We have an inherently subjective assessment.

“Twitter was making an estimate and it was very candid that that’s what it was doing.”

He added some of the Musk team’s requests “explicitly seek private data” that the company was not willing to give away, including user IP addresses, phone numbers and information about users’ locations.

Spiro contended that the information given by the company is materially deceptive, which would be grounds for terminating the agreement.

He added that Twitter has alternative ways of measuring engagement that it did not reveal to shareholders or the general public.

Source: The Washington Post 

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