MUMBAI: In a bid to end the standoff between the company and Elon Musk, Twitter will grant Tesla's CEO unprecedented access to its “firehose” of public tweet data, The Washington Post reported. With this, the tech giant seeks to assuage Musk’s concerns over fake or automated accounts by yielding access to the firehose API, which contains ‘every tweet as it is posted.'
Twitter’s firehose API, in its entirety, shows what a user would see if they followed every account on Twitter — although the sheer volume of data is impossible to obtain or analyse without automation. Due to its value for ad-targeting and platform surveillance, it is also one of the company’s most closely held resources.
Firehose data could be immensely valuable as raw material for a study on automated activity. However, conducting a full study of automated activity would require significant time and resources, given the sheer scale of the data.
Providing valuable data could help Twitter score political points over Musk, as the micro networking platform seeks to fend off Musk’s qualms over the number of bots or automated accounts on the platform, and ensure that he honours his part of the buyout deal.
The news comes just days after the maverick billionaire once again threatened to back out of his deal to purchase Twitter, accusing it of failing to provide data on fake accounts.
In his filing with the US Securities Exchange on Monday, Musk accused Twitter of breaching its April agreement by not providing him sufficient data on automated accounts, rejecting the company’s offer to provide more detail on its internal studies of the issue.
Musk legally committed to purchasing Twitter in April this year, but since then has been increasingly vocal about growing bot activity on the platform, in what is seen by many as an attempt to renegotiate the deal on more favourable terms or cancel it altogether.
“Twitter’s latest offer to simply provide additional details regarding the company’s testing methodologies is tantamount to refusing Musk’s data requests,” Musk’s representatives said in the filing. “At this point, Musk believes Twitter is transparently refusing to comply with its obligations under the merger agreement.”
Despite all this, Twitter Inc. remains confident the deal will proceed as planned. In an internal meeting, a senior company executive assured employees that the deal was proceeding normally and set for a shareholder vote in late July or early August.
Meanwhile, the networking giant’s stock continues to trade well below the $54.20 price set by Musk, reflecting market skepticism that the deal will go through as agreed.
In response to Musk’s SEC filing, Twitter issued a statement earlier this week. “Twitter has and will continue to cooperatively share information with Musk to consummate the transaction by the terms of the merger agreement,” the statement reads. “We intend to close the transaction and enforce the merger agreement at the agreed price and terms.”