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Twitter attorney says bot data given to Musk was ‘explicitly an estimate’

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Twitter Inc. provided data for spam and robot accounts that was “explicitly an estimate” to billionaire Elon Musk, who hasn’t shown any reason why that information is relevant to his plan to ditch a $44 billion buyout of the social-media platform, the company’s lawyer told a Delaware judge.

Musk, who claims the bot accounts inflated Twitter’s usage figures, is demanding the data because he wants a “do-over” so his experts can “analyze the number and see if they can come up with a different number,” Twitter lawyer Bradley Wilson said Wednesday during a court hearing.

The request by Musk also raises user privacy issues, and involved “trillions upon trillions of bits of data going back more than two years,” he said.

Chancery Court Judge Kathaleen St. J. McCormick is conducting a hearing on Musk’s request that Twitter identify the employees responsible for evaluating how much of the platform’s customer base is spam and robot accounts.

Earlier, Musk’s lawyer said Twitter has “stonewalled” requests to nail down how much of the social-media platform’s activity is generated by bot accounts.

“We’re been left in position that core metric of their business, they aren’t providing the data necessary,” Musk attorney Alex Sprio said. “It puts us at a huge disadvantage. We’re the would-be buyer.”

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