The Twitter tale now gets rather.... interesting.
If you recall one of the things I've written on in the past is whether or not so-called "user counts" have any sort of actual relationship to reality. I've never been convinced they do.
Now in theory that which is filed in public company reports is true. I say in theory because despite Sarbanes-Oxley I've never seen anyone go to prison for lying and yet we know many firms have in fact lied. For example during the lead-up to the 2008 crash there were multiple financial firms that claimed to have some sort of value on their assets -- and then the FDIC came in, closed them, handed them off to another firm and somehow, magically, a third of that alleged "value" magically disappeared when they had just filed their quarterly report a few weeks prior.
Twitter claims that "less than 5% of the users on their system are bots/spam/fake." Ok, that's testable. It's also very material to the value of the company. Indeed its the entire reason someone buys advertising on these sites and thus forms the basis of the entire firm's value; if the entire site is full of bots and not people then the value of said "advertising" and thus the company's value is zero.
So Musk asked (in public, natch) for the evidence that the "less than 5% bot" claim was true.
Twitter's CEO refused to provide said evidence, claiming that it would require disclosing "non-public" information.
Well, once you have an agreement to acquire something you get to look. It's no different than a house; if you think there might be something wrong with the foundation you can have it inspected. Your purchase contract allows you to perform diligence to your satisfaction and further, if the seller is aware of a material falsehood that is part of the representations made he's required to disclose it.
As someone who has sold a company anything you represent as true is certainly fair game for the buyer to ask to see in evidence and that absolutely includes anything you publicly claimed to be true under penalty of perjury in a 10Q or 10K.
The argument that its "non-public" information that is used to prove this is crap; the entire purpose of the NDA that you sign when you enter into such a transaction and perform your diligence is that you get to look under the Kimono to your satisfaction.
So.... what's really going on here?
Never mind this report -- that basically half of Biden's "follows" are fake. Worse, 70% of Musk's are too according to that article.
Would you mind explaining to me how "less than 5% of the accounts are bots" when half of the President of the United States' accounts and 70% of Elon Musk's are, by audit, fake?
More to the point: What percentage of "people" ("Daily Average Users" and "Monthly Average Users") allegedly on these social media sites are actually..... people?
Is there any actual value in these "social media" firms at all or are they all ENRON on steroids?
And if the latter what makes you believe this is limited to a few tech companies? When was the last time you saw an executive frog-marched for committing fraud, even if people are financially destroyed or die as a result? It has been the explicit policy of the Federal Government to not charge or try corporations for felonies since Arthur Anderson, so why would you believe that every one of them isn't committing them, on a daily basis, by the score?
Virtually everything wrong with our American business and financial system comes down to one fact: Nobody goes to prison when they break the law in corporate America, even if the law clearly states that conduct is a criminal offense and carries prison time as a penalty or how badly it screws people -- even if that "screwing" comes in the form of human lives.