Elon Musk uses poop emoji in response to Twitter CEO's spam explanation post

Elon Musk
The Tesla founder has put his purchase on hold over the number of spam accounts. Photo credit: Getty Images / Newshub

Prospective Twitter buyer Elon Musk has taken his 'shitposting' on the social media platform to a new level by using the poop emoji in a reply to a post from its CEO.

Parag Agrawal posted a thread discussing the platform's spam and bot accounts after Musk revealed he'd put his purchase plans on hold while he determines how many of its users are fake.

Musk replied to Agrawal's detailed analysis of the issue with the 'poop' emoji, indicating he probably didn't believe the CEO's explanation of the issue.

The Tesla founder then followed up his poop post by asking: "So how do advertisers know what they're getting for their money? This is fundamental to the financial health of Twitter."

If Agrawal had thought providing more information publicly would appease Musk, it appears his efforts were futile.

Musk had previously stated he would do a random check of 100 users to try and verify if under 5 percent were bots before continuing with the purchase.

He revealed he would do this by ignoring the first 1000 followers, then pick every 10th follower after - but was "open to better ideas".

Many pointed out the method wasn't random, while others speculated that Musk may be using the issue to either lower the US$44 billion purchase price for Twitter or pull out of the deal completely.

In the thread, Agrawal accepted that spam and bot accounts harm the experience on Twitter and therefore can harm the business.

"As such, we are strongly incentivised to detect and remove as much spam as we possibly can, every single day. Anyone who suggests otherwise is just wrong," he continued.

He also said it wasn't as simple as automated accounts were bad, saying advanced spam campaigns used humans as well, making them sophisticated and hard to catch.

"We suspend over half a million spam accounts every day, usually before any of you even see them on Twitter," Agrawal said.

"We also lock millions of accounts each week that we suspect may be spam – if they can't pass human verification challenges (captchas, phone verification, etc)."

He acknowledged the company wasn't perfect at catching accounts and so measured the amount internally, saying every quarter they estimated that under 5 percent of daily active users were spam accounts.

"Our estimate is based on multiple human reviews (in replication) of thousands of accounts that are sampled at random, consistently over time. We do this every quarter, and we have been doing this for many years.

"Our actual internal estimates for the last four quarters were all well under 5 percent – based on the methodology outlined above. The error margins on our estimates give us confidence in our public statements each quarter."

Agrawal then said that the need to use both public and private information stopped external users, like Musk, from being able to accurately estimate the percent of spam accounts.

"We shared an overview of the estimation process with Elon a week ago and look forward to continuing the conversation with him, and all of you," Agrawal concluded.

Musk told a conference in Miami that he suspected bots made up between 20 and 25 percent of Twitter's users, according to tweets from conference attendees reported by Reuters.