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Musk wants public debate with Twitter CEO instead of that upcoming court trial
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Musk wants public debate with Twitter CEO instead of that upcoming court trial 

A cellphone displaying a photo of Elon Musk placed on a computer monitor filled with Twitter logos.

Getty Images | Samuel Corum

Elon Musk, unsatisfied with the ongoing court case over his attempt to break a $44 billion merger contract, has challenged Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal to a public debate.

“I hereby challenge @paraga to a public debate about the Twitter bot percentage,” Musk wrote in a tweet on Saturday. “Let him prove to the public that Twitter has

Of course, a Musk/Agrawal debate is unlikely to happen, and Musk’s proposed debate would not be likely to prove any facts about Twitter spam that couldn’t be proven at trial. Musk, Agrawal, or both could also choose to testify at the upcoming trial in the Delaware Court of Chancery. CNBC reported, unsurprisingly, that a “source close to the company says a debate is not going to happen outside of a pending trial.”

Despite Musk’s claimed eagerness to prove his point in a public debate, he tried to have that trial delayed until February 2023. Judge Kathaleen McCormick rejected Musk’s request for a delay while granting Twitter’s motion to expedite the trial, now scheduled to begin on October 17. “The reality is delay threatens irreparable harm to the sellers,” McCormick said in her ruling.

In May, when Agrawal posted a thread explaining Twitter’s spam-estimate process, Musk responded with a poop emoji.

Trial is not about spam, Twitter says

Musk may be worried the trial won’t focus enough on his claims that Twitter’s spam numbers are accurate. “That’s not what this case is about,” Twitter attorney William Savitt said at the hearing on the trial date, calling Musk’s spam complaint a “manufactured issue.”

Twitter wrote in a court filing last week that Musk has no right to exit the merger based on the number of spam accounts, saying the agreement contained no references to false or spam accounts. “When Musk offered to buy Twitter, he did not ask for—and Twitter did not make—any representations regarding the number of false or spam accounts,” Twitter wrote, adding that “Musk forwent all due diligence—giving Twitter twenty-four hours to accept his take-it-or-leave-it offer before he would present it directly to Twitter’s stockholders.”

Twitter also pointed out that Musk’s analysis purporting to show that at least 10 percent of Twitter’s active daily users are spam or fake used a web tool that recently labeled his own account a likely bot.

Musk’s attempt to break the merger deal centers on his unproven claim that Twitter’s publicly stated spam numbers are incorrect. Specifically, Twitter reports in Securities and Exchange Commission filings that fewer than 5 percent of its monetizable daily active users (mDAU) are spam or fake.

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