Twitter shareholders have voted to approve the proposed $44 billion acquisition by Tesla CEO Elon Musk. The vote comes in the middle of a legal battle after Musk tried to walk back from the deal, citing Twitter’s refusal to provide him and his lawyers with accurate numbers about bots and fake accounts.
Musk is currently in the midst of a lawsuit against the social media company, which does not want him to back out of the deal. The Tesla and SpaceX founder argues Twitter cannot be trusted with its self-reported percentage of fake accounts, which has cast the value of the company in doubt.
A more accurate assessment of the figures would allow him to make a more accurate assessment of the company’s value. Twitter stands by its figure of less than 5% of monetizable daily active users are fake or bot accounts, and claims it has provided Musk with all the information he needs to fulfill their end of the deal.
Twitter is currently suing Musk for allegedly breaching their agreement. The trial is expected to begin sometime in mid-October as it currently makes its way through the Delaware Court of Chancery.
As detailed by The Verge, Musk is set to argue that Twitter hid important details about its internal operations, including an alleged undercount of fake accounts, as well as details disclosed by former Twitter security chief Peiter “Mudge” Zatko. Zatko recently blew the whistle on the platform’s failure to protect user data and claims it poses a national security risk.
Earlier on Tuesday, Zatko testified before a Senate panel with details of the company’s alleged security failings.
As detailed by NPR, which covered the hearing, Zatko alleges that Twitter executives put company profits ahead of security and allowed the platform to remain vulnerable to infiltration by foreign agents and hackers.
“Twitter leadership is misleading the public, lawmakers, regulators and even its own board of directors,” Zatko told the Senate Judiciary Committee. “The company's cybersecurity failures make it vulnerable to exploitation, causing real harm to real people.”
Zatko further informed the committee that the social media platform failed to identify potential infiltration by foreign agents and was typically only able to do so when notified by outside agencies. He stated that Twitter was “unwilling to put the effort in” to clamp down on hackers.
“Twitter was a company that was managed by risk and by crises, instead of one that manages risk and crises. It would react to problems too late,” he said.
Speaking at the hearing, Sen. Charles Grassley revealed that the FBI warned Twitter that a Chinese agent was on the company’s payroll.
Twitter, which refused to show up to testify alongside Zatko and refuse his claims, has previously said that Zatko was fired for poor performance and that his whistleblower complaint was “riddled with inaccuracies.”