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Twitter to Provide Musk with its ‘Full Firehose’ of Tweets as it Works to Finalize Takeover Deal

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Elon Musk Launches Hostile Takeover Bid for Twitter

The Twitter/Elon Musk saga is moving to the next uncomfortable stage, with Twitter now planning to provide Musk’s team with its ‘full firehose’ of tweets, in order to let Musk determine for himself the amount of fake and bot profiles in the app.

Earlier this week, Musk’s legal team filed an official statement with the SEC in which it explained that Musk will not go through with his $44 billion takeover of the company if Twitter’s unable to provide evidence to support its claim that fake accounts and bots make up just 5% of its active user base.

Musk’s team asserts that this is critical information, as Twitter relies on its reach data to maximize its core ads business, and if a significant proportion of its users are not actual, real people, that materially changes the deal.

Thus far, Twitter has stood by its numbers, which it says have been measured via processes that have been accepted by the SEC in the past. Now, it’s looking to hand over all the information that it can to Musk’s team.  

As reported by The Washington Post:

After a weeks-long impasse, Twitter’s board plans to comply with Elon Musk’s demands for internal data by offering access to its full “firehose,” the massive stream of data comprising more than 500 million tweets posted each day, according to a person familiar with the company’s thinking.”

What, exactly, Musk will then do with all that info is hard to say, but clearly, Twitter’s legal team has advised that this is the only way to appease Musk’s demands, providing all the information that it can, which will then enable Musk and Co. to develop their own assessment process to determine the amount of fake profiles in the app.

What happens from there is hard to say. If Elon comes up with his own methodology, and finds that the fake profile count is more like 20%, what then?

Some have noted that Musk waived various due diligence elements in his initial takeover offer, in order to hasten the deal, which means that he essentially has to go through with the purchase, no matter what.

But clearly, Elon himself believes that won’t hold up in this respect.

And he’s likely right, but when it comes to bots and fake accounts, the challenge for Elon will be in proving that Twitter acted with ill-intent – i.e. has Twitter intentionally misreported its numbers in order to enhance its market position?

I would suggest that would be difficult to prove definitively, even if Musk can come up with his own detection methodology – if Musk’s team comes up with a better solution for detecting bots, I suspect that Twitter will say ‘thanks for that, we weren’t aware of that in the past’, and the deal would then have to go through as planned, because Twitter hasn’t acted in bad faith in its past disclosures.

Though there is another argument – that Musk can wriggle out of the deal if he’s able to demonstrate that a ‘major event’ has significantly altered Twitter’s value, which then changes the parameters of the initial deal. That’d be a lot harder to prosecute, but maybe, if Musk can come up with a breakthrough reporting process, which shows that many more than 5% of Twitter’s active users are fake, that could be classified as a ‘major event’ in itself?

That seems like weaker legal ground, but Musk seems to believe that if he’s able to provide clear evidence that the amount of fake profiles on the platform is indeed much higher than Twitter says, that he’ll be able to walk away, or maybe reduce his offer price.

In reality, I’m not sure that’s actually how this will play out.

In any event, Twitter’s moving ahead with its preparations for an Elon takeover, with Reuters reporting that it’s planning to hold a shareholder vote by early August to consummate the deal.

At the same time, legal challenges continue to provide additional distractions for the company, with Twitter also fighting a January 6th committee request for its employees’ internal communications – “including Slack messages about moderating Tweets related to the Capitol attack”.

As per Rolling Stone:

“The social media giant is asserting a First Amendment privilege to push back on the panel’s demand for communications about moderating tweets related to the Capitol insurrection.”

Of course, Twitter’s constantly facing challenges and issues of this type. But you can only imagine that Musk’s legal team would be grinding their teeth at the thought of having to deal with such in future.

If such issues are bothering Elon himself, however, he’s hardly showing it. He’s too busy tweeting about the believability of ‘Red Riding Hood’, and setting his sights on another social app.

It’s like he’s just now realizing that there’s a lot of scam activity on social platforms, which you would think that someone would take more note of before offering $44 billion to purchase a social app.

Will Elon eventually become the owner of Twitter? On balance, taking legal considerations into account, and looking at the public-facing evidence, that still seems the most likely outcome.

But there’s a lot more to come before we reach a final conclusion.

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Florida lawmakers push to ban social media for children under 16

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Vietnam plans to ask all social media users on platforms such as Facebook and YouTube to verify their identities

Social media. — © AFP/File Olivier DOULIERY

Florida moved Thursday towards enacting what would be one of the strictest bans on children’s use of social media in the United States after the state Senate passed a bill to keep those under 16 off such platforms.

The controversial bill seeks to protect children’s mental health against the “addictive features” of such platforms, amid fears over online dangers including from sexual predators, cyber bullying and teen suicide.

The legislation, which was approved 23-14, will now go back to the state House. It has already passed there, with the House speaker championing the legislation, but changes made in the Senate need to be approved in the lower chamber.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has expressed concerns over whether banning social media for children under the age of 16 violates parents’ rights – Copyright AFP Philip FONG

It would then have to be signed by Republican Governor Ron DeSantis, who has expressed skepticism about the legislation. Similar efforts by other states have previously been blocked by courts.

“We’re talking about businesses that are using addictive features to engage in mass manipulation of our children to cause them harm,” the bill’s sponsor, Republican Erin Grall, told the Florida Senate on Thursday.

But DeSantis, who has previously said he is sympathetic to fears over the impact of social media on children, voiced concerns about parental rights.

“A parent has the right to opt in,” he told a press conference Thursday.

The governor has argued many times that parents should have more control over decisions affecting their children, particularly in education.

Under DeSantis Florida has passed laws to curtail teaching about sex education and gender identity in schools and to eradicate diversity programs in state-funded universities.

Scores of books have been removed from the state’s school library shelves in recent months, deemed inappropriate for children by conservative parents and school boards.

Some critics say such a law targeting social media use would violate the First Amendment of the US Constitution, which guarantees freedom of speech.

Last year a federal judge blocked an Arkansas initiative that sought to require parental consent to open a social media account.

Most social media networks already have a minimum age of 13 to open an account, though they do little to ensure compliance with the provision.

If the regulation is approved, the platforms will have to block children under the age of 16 from creating accounts and close those already opened.

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Solar Flares Or Sabotage? Internet Theories On Today’s Massive Cell Phone Outage

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Solar Flares Or Sabotage? Internet Theories On Today's Massive Cell Phone Outage

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Massive cell phone outages across America are being reported today by customers of AT&T, Cricket Wireless, Verizon, T-Mobile, Consumer Cellular, Boost Mobile, US Cellular, and Straight Talk Wireless, according to data from Downdetector, an online platform that monitors connectivity. That story and more news you need to read today, inside.

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Meta Expands Access to Instagram’s Creator Marketplace

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Meta Expands Access to Instagram’s Creator Marketplace

Meta has announced that it’s finally expanding access to its Creator Marketplace tool, which will give more businesses the capacity to search for creators to work with on their Instagram campaigns.

Meta first launched its Creator Marketplace back in 2022, enabling U.S.-based brands to search and connect with relevant platform influencers based on a range of qualifiers, including focus topics, follower counts, location, etc.

And now, businesses in the following regions will also be able to access the tool:

  • Canada
  • Australia
  • New Zealand
  • United Kingdom
  • Japan
  • India
  • Brazil

In addition to this, Meta also says that Chinese export brands will also be invited to connect with onboarded creators in countries outside of China.

Which is interesting, considering Meta’s tenuous history with the CCP’s “Great Firewall”, but the deal here relates to Chinese businesses operating in regions outside of their homeland, which is somewhat separate to Meta’s internal dealings.

In addition to expanding access, Meta’s also rolling new machine learning-based recommendations within Creator Marketplace, which will use Instagram data to help brands more easily discover creators who are the best fit for their campaigns.

Instagram Creator Marketplace

As you can see in this example, the new recommendations will highlight accounts that have strong engagement rates in your niche, have mentioned your brand in the past, or have produced good results for similar businesses.

That could make it easier to find the right fit, or at the least, to give you more options to consider in your process.

Branded Content collaborations can be highly effective on IG, by using the established expertise and experience of creators who have already built a following in the app, and know what works, to boost your promotions.

By working with the right creators, with connection to your target audience, you can secure valuable endorsement within key communities, which can help to germinate your branding in the right communities.

Brands can check out Instagram’s creator marketplace in Meta Business Suite, with access coming to these new regions shortly.



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