Opening another front against Twitter CEO (chief executive officer) Parag Agrawal, Tesla CEO Elon Musk on Tuesday asked the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to probe whether Twitter's claim on the number of its user base is true.
Replying to a follower who said that if it turns out that Twitter lied in the official filing, serious consequences and complete distrust of investors can await it, Mr Musk replied: "Hello @SECGov, anyone home?"
While Twitter said in its SEC filing that less than 5% of its monetisable daily active users (mDAUs) are fake, Mr Musk believes the number of bots is four times higher.
To prove his point, Mr Musk has now started a poll among his over 93mn (million) followers.
"Twitter claims that >95% of daily active users are real, unique humans. Does anyone have that experience?" he posted.
A user replied: "I have to think @elonmusk knew this was the case before he moved on Twitter. If Twitter lied about how many actual users they have to the SEC, we're looking at a company that has perpetuated fraud on its shareholders and advertisers. Big trouble for the Twitter commies."
"Absolutely," replied Mr Musk.
"Seems like Twitter should welcome external validation if their claims are true," he added.
Mr Musk earlier said that the $44 billion Twitter deal "cannot move forward" until Agrawal proves the exact bot numbers.
In a series of tweets, Mr Musk mentioned that the CEO publicly refused to show proof of less than 5% bots.
"20% fake/spam accounts, while 4 times what Twitter claims, could be much higher. My offer was based on Twitter's SEC filings being accurate," Mr Musk wrote.
"Yesterday, Twitter's CEO publicly refused to show proof of less than 5 per cent. This deal cannot move forward until he does," he added.
Mr Musk, at a conference in Miami, said that Twitter could have at least four times more fake accounts than what has been revealed in its filing.
On Monday, Mr Musk attacked Mr Agrawal after the Twitter CEO went into finer details on how the micro-blogging platform is fighting spam and fake accounts.
The Tesla CEO even posted an emoji depicting a 'pile of poop' to Agrawal on his Twitter thread.
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