NEW: Texas AG Opens New Investigation Against Twitter

June 7th, 2022 9:20 AM

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton launched an investigation into the number of bot accounts on Twitter.

According to FOX Business, Paxton’s office issued a Civil Investigative Demand (CID) to investigate whether Twitter’s reporting on the number of bot accounts on the platform was "false, misleading, or deceptive" under Texas law. 

"Texans rely on Twitter’s public statements that nearly all its users are real people. It matters not only for regular Twitter users, but also Texas businesses and advertisers who use Twitter for their livelihoods," Paxton said in a statement. "If Twitter is misrepresenting how many accounts are fake to drive up their revenue, I have a duty to protect Texans."

Paxton said the bot accounts on the platform "inflate followers and reach, and often push deceptive and annoying activity." 

"A large number of bot accounts not reduces users’ experience on the platform, but may also inflate the value of the company and the costs of doing business with it, thus directly harming consumers and businesses – specifically, Texas consumers and businesses," Paxton told FOX Business.

You can read the CIB report here.

Quantifying the number of bot accounts on the platform has been a high priority for Tesla CEO Elon Musk. Musk reached a deal to purchase Twitter for $44 billion.

NewsBusters reported that Musk’s attorneys informed the platform that verifiable data on bot accounts was essential to the deal:

“Musk’s attorneys blasted Twitter leadership in a June 6 letter to Twitter Chief Legal Officer Vijaya Gadde. ‘Twitter has, in fact, refused to provide the information that Mr. Musk has repeatedly requested since May 9, 2022 to facilitate his evaluation of spam and fake accounts on the company’s platform,’ says the letter, which was posted on the Securities and Exchange Commission website. 

‘[Musk] does not believe the company’s lax testing methodologies are adequate so he must conduct his own analysis,” the letter noted “The data he has requested is necessary to do so.” The letter explained that Musk “believes the company is actively resisting and thwarting his information rights (and the company’s corresponding obligations) under the merger agreement.’” 

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