Judge Orders Twitter to Give Elon Musk More Bot Data

Tesla CEO Elon Musk will get more bot data from Twitter, as ordered by Delaware Judge Kathaleen McCormick on Thursday.

According to the Financial Times, McCormick says Twitter must provide Musk with information related to 9,000 user accounts it audited in late 2021. McCormick, who is overseeing the upcoming case, says Twitter also needs to provide materials linked to internal discussions and other data about its users, beyond the monetizable daily active users (mDAU) metric.

The judge stopped short of forcing Twitter to provide Musk with data on over 200 million mDAUs, agreeing with the social network that would be burdensome.

“[Musk’s] documents request would require Plaintiff to produce trillions upon trillions of data points,” wrote McCormick, according to the Financial Times. “[Twitter] has difficulty quantifying the burden of responding to that request because no one in their right mind has ever tried to undertake such an effort,” she added.

One of Musk’s attorneys, Alex Spiro, said the team looked “forward to reviewing the data Twitter has been hiding for many months”.

Musk has said Twitter’s mDAU metric was created to impress Wall Street and hide slowing user growth and a huge spam problem.

Earlier this week, Twitter’s ex-security head, well-known in the white hat hacking community, made a whistleblower complaint in Musk’s favour, citing similar metrics on active users and bots. Twitter misled regulators on bot numbers, claimed the former security chief.

Judge McCormick also ruled separately on Thursday for Musk to provide information to Twitter on the methodology he used to claim the social network’s user base was at least 10 per cent fake or bots, instead of the less than 5% claimed by Twitter.

Twitter and Elon Musk will head to trial on October 17, where the Delaware court will decide if Musk needs to proceed with his $44 billion purchase of the social network. Musk argues Twitter has been withholding bot data, suggesting there are more spam accounts than stated by the social network.