As Tesla CEO Elon Musk struggles to escape a deal to purchase Twitter, former Disney CEO Bob Iger revealed Wednesday that Disney ultimately decided against making an attempt to purchase Twitter, in part because of the number of Twitter users that are “not real.”
Iger’s statement comes as Musk is attempting to terminate his deal with Twitter over claims that the social media giant misled him about the number of fake, or “bot,” accounts on the platform. Iger, speaking Wednesday at Code Conference 2022, stated that Disney and Twitter together found that a “substantial portion” of Twitter users were fake accounts, according to Vox. (RELATED: Court Allows Allegations Against Twitter Execs In Elon Musk Legal Battle)
While the Disney executive believed that the purchase would be a major win for distributing content to audience members, it came with a series of challenges that were ultimately insurmountable, according to Vox. Iger claims that the deal was mostly negotiated when last-minute concerns over bots and the “nastiness” of Twitter users ultimately sank the deal.
“[W]e estimated with some of Twitter’s help that a substantial portion — not a majority — were not real,” Iger said. “I don’t remember the number but we discounted the value heavily. But that was built into our economics. Actually, the deal that we had was pretty cheap.”
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) September 8, 2022
Iger said that between the issue of bots and concerns over hate speech regulation, any merger would damage Disney’s reputation worse than the offsetting benefits of having access to Twitter’s distribution network, Vox reported. Iger went on to say that Disney’s business is “manufacturing fun,” and that attempting to regulate Twitter users would have been “irresponsible.”
Twitter maintains that bots “represented fewer than 5%” of “Monetizable Daily Active Usage or Users”, according to a Twitter filing with the Securities Exchange Commission.
Elon Musk described the revelations as “Interesting…” in a sole tweet on the issue Wednesday.
Neither Twitter nor Disney responded immediately to a Daily Caller News Foundation request for comment.
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