The Real Reason Elon Musk's Twitter Deal Is On Hold

If there's one thing we can count on from Elon Musk, it's that he'll surprise us. The SpaceX and Tesla mogul — who sold his first video game to a computer magazine before he was even a teenager — shocked everyone in April by announcing his plans to buy out Twitter for $44 million, according to The Washington Post. A prolific tweeter himself, Musk was reported to have bought the platform because he felt it had threatened free speech by rolling out increasingly stricter content regulations.

The prime example? When ex-President Donald Trump was banned from the platform in 2021 for allegedly inciting a violent mob to storm the U.S. Capitol building. In fact, Musk called the ban a "mistake" during his keynote interview at FT Live's Future of the Car conference in May. "Permanent bans should be extremely rare and really reserved for accounts that are boots, or scam[s], spam accounts ... I do think it was not correct to ban Donald Trump," Musk said. "I would reverse the permanent ban."

For his part, Trump has remained adamant that he won't return to Twitter, even if Musk brings him back. "I want everybody to come over to TRUTH — conservatives, liberals, whatever," Trump told Fox News, referencing the social media platform he kickstarted in February. "The response on TRUTH is much better than being on Twitter." But whether or not Trump returns to Twitter remains a moot point if Musk pulls out of the deal, which he is currently threatening to do.

Could Elon Musk be trying to back out of his Twitter deal?

Since announcing his Twitter buyout plans, Elon Musk has kept fans guessing, most recently with a tweet indicating that his plans were on hold. "Twitter deal temporarily on hold pending details supporting calculation that spam/fake accounts do indeed represent less than 5% of users," he wrote. In his tweet, Musk linked to a Reuters article, which estimated that these spam accounts make up 5% of users on the platform. However, Twitter also said in a May 2 regulatory filing that its "estimation of false or spam accounts may not accurately represent the actual number," according to The New York Times.

For Musk, cracking down on spam bots is a top priority. In an April statement, he explained his plans to "enhance the product with new features, making the algorithms open source to increase trust, defeating the spam bots, and authenticating all humans," per The Washington Post. Therefore, you can see why it poses a problem if Twitter has more bot/spam accounts than it initially reported.

Unsurprisingly, Donald Trump couldn't resist trolling Musk over the news. "There is no way Elon Musk is going to buy Twitter at such a ridiculous price, especially since realizing it is a company largely based on BOTS or Spam Accounts," the former president wrote on TRUTH Social (via the New York Post). It's also possible that Musk may be trying to renegotiate Twitter's asking price, or else be backing out of the deal entirely, as analysts theorized.