Elon Musk's deal to buy Twitter reportedly in jeopardy

Elon Musk’s deal to buy Twitter reportedly in jeopardy due to inability to verify Twitter’s figures on spam accounts

  • Elon Musk offered to buy Twitter for $44 billion but has threatened to walk away
  • The Tesla CEO, 51, wanted to to verify claims on Twitter’s spam accounts   
  • Musk’s team has concluded that Twitter’s figures on spam accounts are not verifiable, sources told The Washington Post
  • Twitter said on Thursday that it removes 1 million spam accounts each day
  • The briefing aimed to shed more light on the company’s fake and bot accounts

Elon Musk’s deal to buy Twitter is reportedly in jeopardy due to the inability to verify Twitter’s figures on spam accounts. 

The Tesla CEO, 51, who offered to buy Twitter for $44 billion, has threatened to walk away from the deal if the company can’t show that less than five percent of its daily active users are automated spam accounts. 

Twitter offered Musk and his team access to the platform’s ‘firehose’ of raw data on hundreds of millions of daily tweets last month. 

But three people familiar with the matter told the Washington Post that Musk’s team has concluded that Twitter’s figures on spam accounts are not verifiable.

The sources said Musk’s team is likely to take drastic action, but would not say what that could be. If Musk pulls out of the deal, he could be in for a massive legal battle, the Post reported. 

Elon Musk’s deal to buy Twitter is reportedly in jeopardy due to the inability to verify Twitter’s figures on spam accounts, people close to the matter have said

Twitter, in a call with executives on Thursday said it removes 1 million spam accounts each day. The briefing aimed to shed more light on the company’s fake and bot accounts as it tussles with Elon Musk over ‘spam bots’

In a call with executives Thursday, Twitter said it removes 1 million spam accounts each day during a briefing that aimed to shed more light on the company’s fake and bot accounts as it tussles with Musk over ‘spam bots.’

Musk has argued, without presenting evidence, that Twitter has significantly underestimated the number of these ‘spam bots’ — automated accounts that typically promote scams and misinformation – on its service.

Twitter said on the call that the spam accounts represent well below five percent of its active user base each quarter. 

To calculate how many accounts are malicious spam, Twitter said it reviews ‘thousands of accounts’ sampled at random, using both public and private data such as IP addresses, phone numbers, geolocation and how the account behaves when it is active, to determine whether an account is real.

Private data, which isn’t available publicly and thus not in the data ‘firehose’ that was given to Musk, includes IP addresses, phone numbers and location. Twitter said such private data helps avoid misidentifying real accounts as spam.


Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal (left) has complied with Elon Musk’s demand for data on fake accounts and unleashed its full data stream on the billionaire, according to a report

Fake social media accounts have been problematic for years. Advertisers rely on the number of users provided by social media platforms to determine where they will spend money. Spam bots are also used to amplify messages and spread disinformation. 

But Twitter noted in the call that not all automated accounts are malicious bots. Last year, it came out with a label for automated accounts to identify what the company calls ‘good bots’ – such as accounts that send news, health or weather updates, for instance.

The problem of fake accounts is well-known to Twitter and its investors. The company has disclosed its bot estimates to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for years, while also cautioning that its estimate might be too low.

This week, Musk will come face to face with Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal as the two attend this year’s billionaire summer camp in Sun Valley, Idaho – where Musk is expected to give the the marquee speech in front of moguls like Bill Gates and Warren Buffet. 

The conference, referred to as the ‘billionaire summer camp,’ is where the biggest names in tech and business come together to discuss the future of the industry. 

Parag Agrawal, CEO of Twitter, walks to a morning session during the Allen & Company Sun Valley Conference on July 07, 2022 in Sun Valley, Idaho

Musk, seen here in March 2022, will come face to face with Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal as the two attend this year’s billionaire summer camp in Sun Valley, Idaho

The annual invite-only, conference is hosted by the investment bank Allen & Company. This year, the five-day conference, running from July 6 to 10, is being held at the edge of Idaho’s Sawtooth National Forest in a tiny town of just 1,500 people. 

The conference is being held this week as news broke that Musk secretly fathered twins with his top executive at Neuralink, Shivon Zilis, 36, last year. 

Zilis, who has been floated as one of the people Musk could tap to run Twitter after his $44 billion deal acquisition, gave birth to twins in November. 

Musk and Zilis filed a petition in April to change the twins’ names in order to ‘have their father’s last name and contain their mother’s last name as part of their middle name,’ according to the court documents.

Videos later surfaced of Zilis mimicking Musk on Twitter in 2019 a year after he famously showed of his company’s flamethrower.

Musk, 51, had famously showed off his Boring Company’s flamethrower in January 2018, and Shivon Zilis, 36, had shared a video of herself mimicking the world’s richest man on Twitter the following year.

Musk, 51, had famously showed off his Boring Company’s flamethrower in January 2018

Shivon Zilis, 36, a top executive at Musk’s AI Neuralink company, shared a video of herself mimicking the world’s richest man on Twitter in 2019

The tweet was sent out months before their children would have been conceived, with Zilis being active on the social media platform she’s reportedly tipped to run as she also openly mocked tech giants Mark Zuckerberg and former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey.

Musk, now a father of nine, will likely come across the two men as he is set to deliver the marquee address at the annual Allen & Co.’s Sun Valley Conference – also known as ‘billionaire summer camp’ – where tech moguls gather, this Saturday. 

Zillis had previously poked fun at former Twitter head Dorsey after he changed the name of his digital payments company from Square to Block as it ventured into a ‘Bitcoin-centric future’ last year. 

‘Guys stop panicking. It’s actually a 4 block collector set where the bottom 3 blocks are his beard, Zillis joked about an image of Dorsey displayed on a square block. 

Zilis also took a jab at Zuckerberg’s decision to change the name of Facebook to Meta back in October, sharing a grab of a text exchange over the news. 

‘Omg, he did not. Is that real,’ the first message reads regarding the name change. 

‘It’s real. It looks like an infinity loop with clinical depression,’ the text reply states, referencing the Meta logo. 

‘Which is actually the prefect metaphor, so as a logo, it’s iconic.’ 

Zillis poked fun at former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey after he changed the name of his digital payments company from Square to Block as it ventured into a ‘Bitcoin-centric future’ last year 

Zilis, who was born in Ontario, Canada, met Musk through OpenAI, the artificial-intelligence research-and-deployment nonprofit Musk cofounded in 2015. She studied economics and philosophy at Yale where she also played goalie on the women’s ice-hockey team

Zilis has been floated as one of the people Musk could tap to run Twitter Inc. after his $44 billion deal acquisition goes through in October

The ice hockey-loving Yale graduate and AI executive ‘tipped to run Twitter’ after Musk buys it

Court documents have revealed that Elon Musk quietly had twins with  Shivon Zilis, 36, the director of operations at Musk’s brain-machine interface company Neuralink.

Zilis, who was born in Ontario, Canada, met Musk through OpenAI, the artificial-intelligence research-and-deployment nonprofit Musk cofounded in 2015, Insider reported. 

Zilis has been a board member at OpenAI since January 2020, according to her LinkedIn profile. She previously worked as an adviser at the company for three years. 

She is also a Fellow at the Creative Destruction Lab, a startup focusing on the commercialization of science. She joined the company in 2015. 

Zilis studied economics and philosophy at Yale where she also played goalie on the women’s ice-hockey team.

In 2015, Zilis was on Forbes’ 30 Under 30 list in the venture-capital category and in 2017, got the chance to use her AI expertise at Tesla. 

Just last year, Zilis posted a nod to Prince Harry’s Silicon Valley startup with a throwback picture of the two of them from 2013 when she was asked to brief him on tech startups. 

From 2017 to 2019, she was a Project Director at Tesla working on AI projects with a special focus on autopilot and chip design. 

Zilis is currently the director of operations and special projects for Neuralink and has been floated as one of the people Musk could tap to run Twitter Inc after his $44 billion deal acquisition. 

Zilis, who was born in Ontario, Canada, met Musk through OpenAI, the artificial-intelligence research-and-deployment nonprofit Musk cofounded in 2015. 

She studied economics and philosophy at Yale where she also played goalie on the women’s ice-hockey team.

In 2015, Zilis was on Forbes’ 30 Under 30 list in the venture-capital category and in 2017, got the chance to use her AI expertise at Tesla. 

Just last year, Zilis posted a nod to Prince Harry’s Silicon Valley startup with a throwback picture of the two of them from 2013 when she was asked to brief him on tech startups. 

Zilis is currently the director of operations and special projects for Neuralink, Musk’s brain-machine interface company. 

The company has boasted its success in implanting company chips into monkey brains, claiming the primates were now capable of playing pong, CNN reported. 

Since then, the company has had to address concerns about its testing practice as it denied allegations of animal cruelty despite confirming earlier this year that monkey’s have died as part of its testing. 

Given her impressive tech resume,  Zilis has been floated as one of the people Musk could tap to run Twitter Inc. after his $44 billion deal acquisition goes through in October. 

The most recent hurdle over the deal came in May, when a Twitter shareholder sued Musk and Morgan Stanley, which is advising Musk on the deal. 

The shareholder,  the Orlando Police Pension Fund, claimed Musk and Morgan Stanley secretly plotted the details of the deal before it became public, and also claimed Twitter’s board breached ‘its fiduciary duty’ when they accepted Musk’s deal. 

A judge in Delaware’s Chancery Court dismissed the lawsuit with prejudice, meaning the shareholders can never sue with the same claims again. 

Musk has said he plans to grow Twitter by one billion users under his helm, but he has yet to official name the person who would be put in charge of the social media giant. 

It is currently unclear what his relationship is with Zilis, but the two appeared to be in amicable terms in 2020.   

At the time, Zilis posted a tweet defending Musk on his decision to move Tesla out of California over COVID-19 restrictions. 

California State Assembly member, Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher, had tweeted ‘F**k Elon Musk.’

Zilis responded: ‘This makes me sad. No one’s perfect but I’ve never met anyone who goes through more personal pain to fight for an inspiring future for humanity – and has done so tirelessly for decades. Everyone’s entitled to their opinion but mine is that there’s no one I respect and admire more.’

Court records have revealed that Musk fathered twins with Zilis in November – a month before he had his second child with singer Grimes, a baby girl named Exa Dark Sideræl Musk — although the parents will mostly call her Y.

From a baby with Grimes called X AE A-Xii to a child who disowned him: Who are Elon Musk’s nine children?

Nevada

Elon Musk and his first wife Canadian Justine Wilson had their first son, Nevada, in 2002. 

But Nevada died of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) at 10 weeks. 

Elon Musk and his first wife Canadian Justine Wilson had their first son, Nevada, in 2002 

Twins Griffin and Vivian Jenna Wilson (formerly Xavier), aged 18

After losing Nevada, Musk and Wilson – who were married between 2000 and 2008 – turned to IVF to grow their family. 

Wilson gave birth to twin sons Griffin and Xavier Musk in April 2004.

In April, Xavier filed court documents seeking to legally change from male to female and lose their last name, stating: ‘I no longer live with or wish to be related to my biological father in any way, shape or form.’

Xavier Musk, 18, filed the paperwork in Santa Monica, California, on April 18, seeking to be known as Vivian Jenna Wilson, taking the maiden name of her mother Justine Wilson, who was married to Musk from 2000 to 2008 and shares 18-year-old twins Xavier and Griffin and 16-year-old triplets Damian, Kai and Saxon.

The transgender teenager explained that they wish to take their mother’s last name to distance them from their dad but they have not commented on whether they receive financial support from their dad – whose $213 billion dollar fortune makes him the world’s richest man.

Elon Musk and his second wife, British actress Talulah Riley, are pictured in 2015 with Xavier and Griffin. The twins are now 18, and Xavier is known as Vivian

Triplets Damian, Kai and Saxon, aged 16

Musk and Wilson also used IVF to have triplet sons Damian, Kai and Saxon in January 2006. 

The couple divorced in 2008 and they share custody of their five sons.

Musk and Wilson also used IVF to have triplet sons Damian, Kai and Saxon in January 2006. Musk is pictured with his triplets

X AE A-Xii Musk, aged 2

Musk started dating singer Grimes in May 2018 and she gave birth to their son X AE A-Xii, in May 2020. 

Their son was originally named X Æ A-12, but ‘Æ’ and ’12’ violated California law, which prohibits the use of any numbers of symbols in a name. The couple then changed the spelling of their son’s name. 

Instead of X Æ A-12, they revealed just a few weeks after the baby was born that his birth certificate would be registered under the name X AE A-Xii – using the Roman numeral version of the number ’12’ and changing the character æ to AE. 

The couple then broke up in September 2021.

Musk started dating singer Grimes in May 2018 and she gave birth to their son X AE A-Xii, in May 2020 (Musk pictured with X) 

Exa Dark Sideræl Musk, who goes by Y, aged 1

Grimes and Musk later welcomed their first daughter, Exa Dark Sideræl Musk, via surrogate in December 2021. 

Grimes referred to Musk as her ‘boyfriend’ in a Vanity Fair interview, but after the interview was published, she took to Twitter to reveal that they had since broken up.

‘Me and E have broken up *again* since the writing of this article,’ she wrote on March 10. ‘But he’s my best friend and the love of my life.’

New set of twins, names unknown 

It has emerged that Musk quietly had twins with one of his top executives weeks before he welcomed a child with Grimes via surrogate.

In November, the Tesla CEO, 51, reportedly had twins with Shivon Zilis, 36, the director of operations at Musk’s brain-machine interface company Neuralink, Insider reported. He now has nine known children.

Musk and Zilis filed a petition in April to change the twins’ names in order to ‘have their father’s last name and contain their mother’s last name as part of their middle name,’ according to the court documents. 

The twins were born in November, just weeks before Musk and Claire Boucher, the musician who performs as Grimes, had their second child via surrogate in December. 

Shivon Zilis, 36, pictured, one of the top executives at Elon Musk’s company Neuralink, welcomed twins with the Tesla CEO in November, court documents revealed

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