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Elon Musk urges Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal to ‘publicly discuss’ bots

Elon Musk on Saturday challenged the CEO of Twitter to a “public debate” about how the social network treats fake accounts and spambots.

Musk threw down the gauntlet in a series of tweets responding to comments about his countersuit against San Francisco-based Twitter over its attempt to back out of a $44 billion deal to buy the company.

“If Twitter just provides its method of sampling 100 accounts and a way to verify their authenticity, the deal should continue under the original terms,” Tesla and SpaceX CEO Musk wrote. “However, if their filings with the SEC turn out to be materially false, that shouldn’t be the case.”

“I hereby challenge @paraga to a public debate about the percentage of bots on Twitter,” Musk continued, using the Twitter account of the company’s CEO, Parag Agrawal. “Let him prove to the public that Twitter matters.

In June, Musk, 51, closed a deal to buy Twitter for $54.20 a share, a large premium to the stock’s price of about $38 at the time. In July, he said he was backing out of the deal because Twitter was unable or refused to provide information about fake or spam accounts on the platform.

A few days later, Twitter sued, demanding that the court force the deal. He then won the first battle in court, securing an expedited trial date in October after the world’s richest man tried to delay the case until next year.

Musk filed a counterclaim in late July, the details of which were revealed on Thursday. In the lawsuit, he alleged that Twitter withheld necessary information and misled his team about the true number of users.

Parag Agrawal has yet to respond to Musk’s Twitter challenge. Kevin Ditch/Getty Images

Twitter, in its response, called the accusations “incredible and contrary to reality.”

Agrawal did not release a response to Musk’s challenge.

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