What are spam bots and why they are an issue in the Elon Musk Twitter deal.

On Friday, technology billionaire Elon Musk announced a $ 44 billion deal to buy Twitter. He said the reason was a persistent misunderstanding over the identity of spam bots on the platform. Now, what a spam bot is, and how many are currently on Twitter, could be a major factor in legal battles over the dispute between Mr. Musk and Twitter.

Sometimes referred to as “bots” or “spam” or “fake tags”, they all point to incorrect tags that seem to indicate how everyone uses Twitter. Some spam tags are automatic, while others are man-made, making it difficult to find them.

Bots can tweet people, share tweets, follow and be followed by other people, among other things.

Mr. Musk has been talking about spam on Twitter for years. A.D. He appeared at a Twitter event in 2020 and encouraged the company to do more to prevent and eliminate spam.

Since Mr Musk announced his intention to buy Twitter in April, he has repeatedly tweeted about spam on the platform. In May, Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal tweeted on his Twitter page how the company detects and fights spam bots.

In a six-point letter on June 6, Mr. Musk’s lawyers asked the company for more information from Twitter, stating that the company was “blocking Mr. Musk’s data requests” to disclose the number of fake accounts on the platform. This was a “clear material violation” of the agreement, and lawyers said Mr. Mook had given them the right to terminate the agreement. The next day, Twitter agreed to allow Mr. Musk to access the “fire hose” directly.

A.D. Since its launch in 2013, Twitter has estimated that approximately 5% of its accounts are spam bots. On Thursday, the company told reporters that it would remove about one million spam account accounts every day and that it would remove millions more every week until those behind the account could pass anti-spam tests.

The company, however, allows spam bots to choose to call service automated bots. Twitter encourages many of these accounts to identify themselves as bots. The company argues that many accounts provide useful services.

Twitter describes good spam bots as “automated tags that help people find useful, fun and useful information.” @Mrstockbot, for example, provides automatic responses when people ask for a share price, and @earthquakebot provides tweets in the event of an earthquake of 5.0 and above worldwide.

But other spam bots are used by governments, corporations, or bad actors for some evil purpose. A.D. In the 2016 US presidential election, Russia used spam logos to impersonate Americans and sow discord among American voters.

Scams are often used on Twitter to persuade non-reward users to send cryptocurrency or digital currency to online wallets. Spam is sometimes used to attack celebrities or politicians and create a hostile environment for them online.

Kate Konger contributed to reporting.

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