Lawyers for Elon Musk and Twitter on Wednesday outlined arguments they could make during the trial to force or not force entrepreneurs to buy into the social network, including the recently disclosed pitcher alert.
Representatives for Mr Musk are trying to convince the judge in charge of the case, Kathaleen McCormick, to force Twitter to share more data about its users to verify that the social network is not lying on fake accounts that exist among its subscribers .
But the billionaire only wants them to arrange them his own way, and most importantly, should demand them before agreeing to buy the company, countered Bradley Wilson, the platform’s lawyer.
The two sides held a meeting to discuss information shared ahead of the trial scheduled for October.
Musk’s team asked for broader access to the methods and data Twitter uses to calculate the proportion of fake accounts and spam, which the platform estimates is less than 5 percent, compared with a much higher percentage of entrepreneurs.
But the request was not “relevant,” Twitter’s lawyers countered, because the platform has been using the number as an “estimate” in official filings.
The latest news came in February, “before Mr. Musk reached out to Twitter to discuss a potential acquisition.”
Wilson noted that even if Twitter granted all of Musk’s requests, it would represent “billions of data points.” This may violate platform rules and even certain laws regarding the protection of private data.
– “Because of the bonus” –
He acknowledged that the platform may share limited data related to 9,000 accounts and a quarter with Mr Musk — not the public. But Mr Musk’s team may mainly want to be able to “count themselves and see if they can come up with a different number”.
However, Musk’s team isn’t alone in trying to clarify the issue: The Securities and Markets Administration (SEC) also asked Twitter to provide him with his details in mid-June, according to a filing made public on Wednesday. Ways to identify fake accounts and other spam.
Mr Musk’s lawyer, Alex Spiro, also accused the platform of publicly emphasizing what it calls “monetizable” daily active user numbers in its financial results, rather than showing its activity stagnating or even declining. other standards.
But Twitter has consistently said in its financial results that it considers other criteria to assess its performance, even if the group doesn’t necessarily detail those criteria, the social network’s lawyer responded.
“They have a financial incentive to defraud” investors, Mr Spiro insisted, before referring to a complaint from a whistleblower, the platform’s former security chief, who sent it to US authorities in early July and sent it to US authorities in early July. Public on Tuesday.
“As (Peiter) Zatko said, because of shareholder groups and bonuses, management doesn’t want to properly measure the prevalence of bots (accounts managed by software rather than humans, editor’s note),” he pushes.
His team asked for the whistleblower to testify, but Twitter, which fired him in January, refused, arguing it was “irrelevant,” expressing regret to the lawyer.
On the other hand, the Senate committee deemed it important to hear from the former hacker, also known as “Mudge,” who was subpoenaed for a hearing on Sept. 13.
The whistleblower’s allegations were also raised at Twitter’s management meeting with employees on Wednesday, with company bosses expressing regret over Zatko’s “misleading views,” according to US media reports.
The judge did not say when she would make a decision.