New Delhi, India: The knives were finally out between Tesla CEO Elon Musk and Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal as the latter went into further detail on how the microblogging network is combating spam and false accounts, to which Musk opposed and halted the $44 billion Twitter takeover offer.
Musk also sent Agrawal a Twitter thread with an image showing a “lump of crap.”
In a Twitter discussion, Agrawal attempted to allay worries about the number of fake/spammy accounts using statistics, facts, and context, after Musk questioned Twitter data on eliminating fake/spammy accounts last week.
“Based on the technique explained above, our actual internal forecasts for the past four quarters were all far under 5%. Our estimations’ error margins give us confidence in our quarterly public announcements “Agrawal said.
He responded to Musk, who said that he does not accept Twitter’s claims that bogus or spam accounts account for less than 5% of the company’s monetisable daily active users (229 million).
Musk previously said that his team was using the random sampling procedure to determine the prevalence of fake/spam accounts.
Agrawal said, ” “Unfortunately, we do not feel that this kind of assessment can be done remotely.
Given the important necessity to utilise both public and private data (which we are unable to disclose), It’s impossible to determine which accounts are classified as mDAUs on any given day from the outside “.
To which Musk responded: “So, how do advertisers know what they’re paying for? This is critical to Twitter’s financial stability.”
Spam isn’t only “binary” (human/nonhuman), according to Agrawal.
“The most sophisticated spam operations combine human coordination with automation. They also hack into legitimate accounts and utilise them to further their cause. As a result, they are smart and difficult to capture “He protested.
“The difficult aspect is that many accounts that seem to be phoney on the surface are really genuine persons. On the surface, some of the spam accounts that are the most harmful – and inflict the most damage to our consumers – seem to be completely legal “explained the CEO of Indian ancestry.
He confessed that spam detection isn’t flawless.
“As a result, despite all of the spam eradication I mentioned before, we know that some still gets through. This is something we track internally. And we think that 5% of reported mDAU for the quarter is spam accounts “he said.
“Our estimate is based on numerous human assessments (in replication) of thousands of accounts from accounts we consider as mDAUs that are picked at random, consistently across time. This is something we do every quarter and have done for many years “Agrawal said.
Musk, or whomever it was, was not persuaded by Agrawal’s arguments.
“Underneath this high-level summary, there are a LOT of critical details. Elon and I discussed the estimating process a week ago, and we look forward to continuing the dialogue with him and all of you “Agrawal said.