As Elon Musk threatens to back out of the deal to purchase the company over a dispute involving fake users, Twitter has admitted that it is suspending more than 1 million spam accounts daily.
The new figure, which the social media platform confirmed on Thursday, is twice as large as its previous update. In May, it’s CEO, Parag Agrawal, stated that 500,000 spam accounts were being suspended daily.
Musk, the CEO of Tesla and the richest man in the world, has agreed to pay $44 billion to acquire Twitter, but his lawyers have written to the company to complain that it has withheld sufficient information regarding the number of spam users using the service. Since then, it has started to give him information about recent tweets.
Since 2014, Twitter has consistently stated in its quarterly reports that it believes less than 5% of its daily active users are affected by the spam account problem. The 1 million figure will take into account accounts that are rejected as they try to sign up for the platform and are thus never counted as daily users.
Just under 230 million people use Twitter every day. Musk has voiced concerns that the 5 percent figure is significantly higher, a position that seems to be a launching point for either terminating or renegotiating a deal that is constrained by a stringent legal agreement. In an effort to address Musk’s concerns, Twitter has granted him access to a data stream made up of more than 500 million tweets that are posted every day.
Spam accounts are automated, meaning they are not managed by a human, and are created with the intention of manipulating users or obstructing their platform interactions. According to executives, the vast majority of tweets related to cryptocurrency or pornography.
They are also frequently caught off guard by automated procedures, though Twitter manually reviews thousands of accounts each month, working with forensic specialists and non-English language experts, to help calculate the 5 percent figure.