Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has launched an investigation into Twitter bots

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton speaks during a news conference after the US Supreme Court heard oral arguments in President Joe Biden’s bid to overturn a Trump-era immigration policy that has forced immigrants to remain in Mexico while awaiting US hearings on their asylum claims, in Washington , United States, April 26, 2022.

Elisabeth Frantz | Reuters

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton He said On Monday, his office opened an investigation into Twitter on the number of bot accounts on its platform.

“Attorney General Paxton has issued a Civil Investigation Request (CID) to investigate whether Twitter reports of real users versus fake users are ‘false, misleading, or deceptive’ under the Texas Deceptive Business Practices Act,” his office said in a newspaper. statement.

paxton demanding Details about 23 items, including extensive data on daily and monthly active users and monetized recipients of the social network. It also requests “sufficient documentation to show the number of non-genuine Twitter accounts per month from 2017 to present, broken down by non-genuine account category (eg, fake account, spammer account, bot account) if available.”

Paxton, who was supported by the former President Donald TrumpIt was the same Accused On charges of securities fraud seven years ago, but Not yet tried.

His investigation began on Twitter the same day Tesla and CEO of SpaceX Elon MuskThrough his lawyer, he threatened to backtracking to buy Twitter for about $44 billion over what it says are concerns about fake accounts, spam and bots.

In a letter sent to Twitter on Monday, Musk’s lawyers said he was entitled to access data from Twitter that could help him determine how many bots are on the platform. The letter also said Twitter was “resisting and thwarting” Musk’s right to obtain this information, which amounts to a “clear material breach” of the terms of their merger agreement.

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Mark VaglePaxton’s announcement is a bit unusual because such matters are not normally handled at the state level, said a securities law expert who previously served as a regional director for the San Francisco office of the Securities and Exchange Commission.

“Countries are not necessarily equipped to do this kind of complex investigation,” Fagel said. “It’s one thing if you’re dealing with a local company, but if you’re talking about a national company, which is publicly traded in another state, that’s the SEC district.”

Elon Musk, during an event at SpaceX headquarters in Hawthorne, California, US, on Thursday, October 10, 2019.

Bloomberg / Getty Images

Last year, Musk moved the headquarters of his electric car maker to Austin, Texas, from Palo Alto, California, and this was followed by the opening of a massive building Tesla Plant outside Austin this year. as move Accommodation To Texas in 2020.

SpaceX, Musk’s reusable rocket company, operates a mission manufacturing and launch facility in Brownsville, Texas, and wants to expand the operation pending approvals from the Federal Aviation Administration.

In addition to bringing high-profile business to Texas, Musk has emerged as a hero to many conservatives recently due to his criticism of Twitter, which has expelled a number of prominent conservatives from its platform, including Trump. Musk said last month Planning to vote for Republicans in the next elections.

Musk has often turned to Twitter, where he has 96.8 million followers, to criticize President Joe Biden and other Democrats.

A San Francisco-based Twitter spokesperson declined to comment on Paxton’s investigation.

Some Twitter contributors don’t want to let Musk get away with it despite his apparent state of buyer remorse. They’re suing him in California to secure the transaction at the agreed-upon price of $54.20 per share.

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