December 3, 2023

With the lawsuit between social media giant Twitter and billionaire Elon Musk heating up, experts believe that the technology that can act as deciding factor in the battle is bots.

Twitter sued Tesla CEO Elon Musk after he backed away from his $44 billion offer to buy the company. 

Musk, who is the world’s richest man, said he was provided a fake tally of fake or spam accounts.

Bots, which are ubiquitous and often unloved technology, could prove to be a vital factor in the lawsuit as per analysts.

With the aim of emulating how people behave, bots are software programs that do automated tasks online.

Also see | What happens next in the Musk-Twitter saga?

From a ban on posting about hot topics to trying to influence online conversations, Twitter has strict policies in place about automated actions by accounts.

While Twitter has claimed that bots are less than five percent of users on its platform, Musk believes that the platform made “false and misleading representations” about bots.

Due to the determination of the tally in part by Twitter’s internal definitions and the workers who apply the rules, ascertaining the number of bots on the site is a bit of an art.

Bot weeding process, which includes checking IP or email address or other sensitive user data, can be tricky for an outsider like Musk to confirm.

With its tricky, detailed and case-by-case aspects, speculation has mounted that the bot issue is just a convenient route for Musk to abandon or renegotiate his proposal.


(With inputs from agencies)

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