Disney Pulled Out of Deal to Buy Twitter in 2016 After Learning About the Number of Spam Bots

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The Walt Disney Company was on the verge of acquiring Twitter in 2016 before then-CEO Bob Iger learned that bots made up a “substantial portion” of users.

Iger spoke about the finding during a segment at the Vox Code Conference in Beverly Hills on Wednesday.

He says Disney estimated that the percentage of spam bots on Twitter far exceeded the 5% that Twitter reported to the U.S. Securities and Exchange, thus devaluing the price of Twitter.

“I don’t remember the number, but we discounted the value heavily,” Iger said.

Sound familiar?

This summer, Elon Musk terminated a deal to acquire Twitter with claims that over 20% of accounts are fake.

So maybe Elon Musk is not the crazy right-winger that TV hosts in Disney’s ABC News division say.

We wrote a column in May about the significance of Musk exposing Twitter’s misreporting of the number of spam bots on its service. Arguing:

“The greatest threat Elon Musk poses to Twitter is not taking control of the platform for future purposes, but uncovering the previous inner workings of the entire ruse.

“Musk also has an opportunity to pull back the curtain on the foundation of lies that propelled Twitter to lead the most influential institutions in the country into a false reality.”

You can read the full piece here:

Iger says in addition to believing Twitter lied about the number of fake users, Disney had concerns about attaching Twitter’s toxic environment to its brand.

“Then you have to look, of course, at all the hate speech and potential to do as much harm as good,” he said.

“We’re in the business of manufacturing fun at Disney — of doing nothing but good, even though there are others today that criticize Disney for the opposite, which is wrong.”

As bad as Twitter has been under current management, can you imagine the wokeness that Disney would have injected into Twitter?

It would have been like real Twitter but even worse.

If Disney can ruin Star Wars, surely it could have made Twitter even more arbitrary and partisan than its current form.

Forget kicking users off for telling the truth about masks and vaccines. We are thinking mandated gender pronouns in the bio and proof of the Covid vaccine to even remain active.

#DontSayGay would still be atop the manipulated Trending section on the app.

So while Twitter lying about its bots might cost us Elon Musk opening up the service to free speech, at least all those fake spam accounts prevented Disney from controlling the town hall of the internet. #GlassHalfFull

Written by Bobby Burack

Bobby Burack is a writer for OutKick where he reports and analyzes the latest topics in media, culture, sports, and politics..

Burack has become a prominent voice in media and has been featured on several shows across OutKick and industry related podcasts and radio stations.


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