A tool created by the software company SparkToro that distinguishes real accounts from fake accounts known as “spambots,” or “bots,” found that almost half of President Joe Biden’s 22.2 million Twitter followers were not real, Newsweek reported on Tuesday.
The audit conducted by SparkToro’s tool found that 49.3% of those following the official @POTUS Twitter account are bots based on an analysis of location issues, default profile images, date of creation, and more.
The company’s tool also found that Biden’s account has more fake followers than most.
The news comes as Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk is in the process of closing a deal with Twitter worth $44 billion, which reached a roadblock Tuesday after Musk threatened to walk away if the company fails to crack down on its bot issue, according to the New York Post.
Musk made the statement through a Twitter post, implying the value of the company could be distorted. In the post, he said the “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,” he continued. “Yesterday, Twitter’s CEO publicly refused to show proof of <5% (spam accounts). This deal cannot move forward until he does.”
Musk then exchanged words with current Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal, doubting a thread from Agrawal where he claims the company is “strongly incentivized to detect and remove as much spam as we possibly can” and that less than 5% of users are bots.