12% of all traffic originating from Twitter is made up of bots, new study from Israeli cybersecurity company CHEQ found
About two weeks ago, billionaire and Tesla CEO Elon Musk said his $44 billion deal to buy Twitter will not move forward unless the social media giant shows public proof that less than 5% of the accounts on the social media platform are fake or spam. Musk also suggested in a tweet that 20% of Twitter users are fake/spam accounts. It now appears that Musk was right all along–More than 5% of Twitter users are fake or spam.
According to a new study published on Monday by Israeli cybersecurity company CHEQ, “Up to 12% of all traffic originating from Twitter is made up of bots.” CHEQ found that 11.71% of all website visits originating from Twitter were by bots or fake users, Jerusalem Post reported, citing the company.
CHEQ added that the bots include spambots, scrapers, botnets, click farms, and automation tools, as well as other forms of fake, fraudulent, and non-human traffic.
As part of the study, CHEQ used over 2,000 different cybersecurity tests to determine the authenticity of Twitter users. The study later concluded that “Out of 5.21 million website visits analyzed by CHEQ, 617,000 were determined to be ‘invalid,’ meaning it was most likely driven by non-human traffic.”
“The data suggests that Twitter’s bot problem is probably larger than 5%.”
In a statement, Guy Tytunovich, founder and CEO of CHEQ said:
“Our study looked into users who came from Twitter to other websites,” Guy Tytunovich, founder and CEO of CHEQ, said. “But,” he continued, “if you consider that many bots don’t click through to other sites and only stay on Twitter, then it seems very likely that bot traffic inside the platform itself could be significantly higher than 12%.”
We’re living in the “era of fake web,” Tytunovich declared, where “bots, malicious users and automation tools make up a large portion of all web traffic.” Tytunovich added, “Ultimately, we’re living in the era of the fake web”
Meanwhile, in a May 17 tweet, Musk said that “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 added: “Yesterday, Twitter’s CEO publicly refused to show proof of 5%. This deal cannot move forward until he does.”
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.
Yesterday, Twitter’s CEO publicly refused to show proof of <5%.
This deal cannot move forward until he does.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 17, 2022
This study further provides an excuse for Musk to get out of the $44 billion takeover deal or use it as a bargaining chip to get a better deal.