Tesla CEO Elon Musk Publicly Files Updated Counterclaims Against Twitter
Elon Musk has publicly filed updated counterclaim against Twitter based on a disclosure he made earlier this month. His team based its analysis on accounts visible on Twitter’s “Firehose.” In response to Twitter’s failure to provide more detail about the prevalence of spam and bot accounts, Musk’s team relied on the Firehose to evaluate the risk.
Elon Musk’s team relied on accounts visible on the Firehose
Twitter has denied that it provided Elon Musk’s team with a complete Firehose of Twitter’s tweets. Instead, it provided a partial data set, called “Twitter Firehose Internal,” with certain configurations and data formats designed to prevent machine analysis. Twitter has also denied the claim that it provided Twitter’s engineers with a backdoor into its internal data collection.
While Twitter’s denials that it manipulated data, it has provided a detailed explanation of how it measures mDAU and other metrics. It also describes the criteria it uses to identify false accounts and spam.
Twitter’s failure to provide details about the prevalence of bots and spam accounts
Musk’s latest counterclaims have focused on Twitter’s failure to provide details about the number of bots and spam accounts, and the reasons behind these numbers. Twitter’s verification process relies on human reviewers applying unidentified standards to identify spam and bot accounts. Musk notes that Twitter only selects about 100 accounts each day for verification. But the CEO can’t explain how the reviewers select these accounts or why a few of them are rejected.
Musk’s lawyers say the layoffs violated the terms of the agreement and were a breach of contract. But Twitter denies the claim. While Musk’s lawyers claimed that the layoffs were in breach of contract, the company says it negotiated the right to hire and fire employees without Musk’s involvement and removed Musk’s request before signing the agreement.
Peiter Zatko’s disclosure
Tesla CEO Elon Musk has publicly filed updated counterclaim against Twitter based on Peiter Zako’s disclosure. Zatko, a former security manager at Twitter, claims that Twitter has a “lack of effective security measures” that enable bots to manipulate Twitter’s system. He further alleges that the actual number of spam accounts is much higher than Twitter has previously claimed. While Twitter hasn’t responded to the latest allegation, it may give Musk’s legal team ammunition in their ongoing legal battle with the social media platform. The case is set to go to trial in October.
Zatko alleges that Twitter violated the 2011 FTC consent decree by failing to address serious security vulnerabilities. He also claims that Twitter violated his intellectual property rights. According to the lawsuit, Twitter’s problems could pose a threat to democracy and national security. After hearing Zatko’s disclosure, Musk’s legal team sought a trial delay to incorporate additional arguments based on Zatko’s disclosure.
New claims in Musk’s countersuit
Twitter is fighting back. In a publicly filed countersuit, billionaire Elon Musk is questioning the validity of its business practices, including its use of monetizable daily users. He’s also arguing that Twitter’s metrics do not reflect the number of real people using the service. The countersuit is 164 pages long and questions Twitter’s ability to run a business without monetizable daily users.
The lawsuit is not over yet, but it continues to build momentum. Musk’s legal team recently filed updated counterclaims against Twitter, which are based on claims made by Twitter’s former head of security, Peiter Zatko. The filing comes less than a month before the parties begin a five-day trial.