Elon Musk will push for access to internal Twitter geolocation data related to spam accounts at his court hearing on Wednesday after it was revealed a former top executive accused the company of “lying about bots” to the billionaire. Tesla boss.
Geolocation data could help Musk better analyze the fake Twitter account problem, a source close to the case said. New York Post.
The in-person hearing in Musk’s ongoing legal battle to scrap his $44 billion deal to acquire Twitter is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. ET in Delaware Chancery Court, documents show. judicial.
Musk is likely hoping his case will be bolstered by former security chief Peiter Zatko, who filed a complaint with the Securities and Exchange Commission in July accusing Twitter of “lying about bots to Elon Musk.”
Musk hopes Zatko’s complaint will convince Judge Kathaleen McCormick to agree to her legal team’s request for vital data, a source following the case said, though that is not a given.
Mr. Zatko’s complaint claims that Twitter leadership has financial incentives to improve user numbers rather than crack down on bots.
Musk has repeatedly accused Twitter of covering up a bot problem as part of his effort to get out of his $44 billion (A$63.5 billion) acquisition deal.
In Mr. Zatko’s complaint, which was first reported by CNN and the Washington Post On Tuesday, the former executive said Twitter executives could receive bonuses worth up to $10 million ($14.4 million Australian) if they increased the number of users, which would incentivize them to ignore the site’s widespread problem with spam accounts.
“Twitter executives have little or no personal incentive to ‘detect’ or accurately measure the prevalence of spam bots,” the complaint said.
“Senior management did not want to properly measure the prevalence of bot accounts…they were concerned that if accurate measurements were ever made public, it would damage the image and valuation of the company.”
While Zatko’s complaint accuses Twitter of everything from misleading the Federal Trade Commission to allowing an Indian government agent “access to vast amounts of sensitive Twitter data,” a source who followed the case said he expects Musk’s legal team to zero in on the bot’s claims. which line up with accusations the Tesla CEO has been making for months.
Zatko also claimed that an unnamed senior Twitter executive tried to shut down a key internal tool called “only read-only phone” that was used to combat bots and spam accounts.
He claimed the exec tried to shut down the feature after “receiving a small number of unsolicited DMs.” [direct messages]”.
Washington Post cited three unnamed sources who claimed the unnamed senior executive was Kayvon Beykpour, Twitter’s former head of consumer products who was fired by CEO Parag Agrawal earlier this year.
Musk’s legal team has already received permission from the Delaware Court of Chancery to obtain Mr. Beykpour’s records.
Musk weighed in on the whistleblower’s claims on Tuesday, tweeting a screenshot of the Washington Post story and wording: “So the prevalence of spam *was* shared with the board, but the board chose not to disclose it to the public.”
He also posted a tweet of an emoji raising an eyebrow in response to another story about the whistleblower.
Shares of Twitter closed down 7.4 percent at $39.86 (Australian $57.53) on Tuesday. The company wants to force the SpaceX chief to go through with his deal to buy Twitter for $54.20 ($A78.23) per share.
Mr. Zatko was fired from Twitter in January this year, months before Musk initially tried to buy the social media platform, due to what the site claimed was “ineffective leadership and poor performance” in a statement to Twitter. The charge.
“What we have seen so far is a false narrative about Twitter and our privacy and data security practices that is riddled with inconsistencies and inaccuracies and lacks significant context,” a Twitter spokesperson said.
“Mr. Zatko’s accusations and opportunistic timing appear to be designed to capture attention and inflict harm on Twitter, its customers and shareholders. Security and privacy have long been company-wide priorities at Twitter and will continue to be so.”
One of Musk’s lawyers, Alex Spiro, said The charge: “We have already issued a subpoena for Mr. Zatko, and find his departure and that of other key employees curious in light of what we have been finding.”
This article originally appeared in the New York Post and is republished with permission.