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    Texts show roll call of tech figures tried to help Elon Musk in Twitter deal / ArsTechnica · 2 days ago - 14:23

Illustration of Elon Musk juggling three birds in the shape of Twitter's logo.

Enlarge (credit: Aurich Lawson | Photo by Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images)

A trove of text messages released as part of the legal fight over Elon Musk’s effort to terminate his acquisition of Twitter has revealed frantic efforts to put the $44 billion deal together with help from a cast of high-profile Silicon Valley backers.

Hundreds of messages from early 2022 between Musk and his associates showed the billionaire entrepreneur had engaged with Twitter’s management and board, his advisers at Morgan Stanley, potential investors such as FTX chief executive Sam Bankman-Fried, and random supporters of his bid, including podcast host Joe Rogan.

Jack Dorsey, Twitter’s former chief executive, told Musk that he had previously tried to get him on to the company’s board in 2020 but was refused, the texts revealed.

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    Les SMS privés d’Elon Musk dévoilent les coulisses du rachat de Twitter / Numerama · 2 days ago - 11:19

À quelques jours du début du procès Twitter v. Musk, plusieurs conversations privées entre les différents acteurs de l'affaire deviennent publics. Elon Musk n'a pas encore témoigné, mais certains de ses textos suffisent pour mieux comprendre ce qu'il s'est passé. [Lire la suite]

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    Twitter says Elon Musk’s own data scientists did not back up bots claims / ArsTechnica · 4 days ago - 13:34

Twitter says Elon Musk’s own data scientists did not back up bots claims

Enlarge (credit: Thomas Trutschel/Getty Images)

Twitter has said Elon Musk’s own data scientists did not support his claim that the number of fake accounts on the social media platform is “wildly higher” than the company’s estimates, as the parties prepare to go to trial in October.

The Tesla chief executive is attempting to pull out of a $44 billion deal to buy Twitter, arguing that it misled regulators and investors about the true number of fake and spam accounts on the platform, which he alleges far outstrips the 5 percent figure that Twitter has cited for years.

During a three-hour hearing in a Delaware court on Tuesday, Twitter’s lawyers said documents they had received during discovery showed that two different consultants hired by Musk, Cyabra and CounterAction, had produced estimates of the amount of spam on Twitter of 11 percent and 5 percent, respectively—figures broadly in line with Twitter’s public estimates.

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    Meta disrupted China-based propaganda machine before it reached many Americans / ArsTechnica · 5 days ago - 19:48

Meta disrupted China-based propaganda machine before it reached many Americans

Enlarge (credit: Chesnot / Contributor | Getty Images News )

China’s ability to influence American politics by manipulating social media platforms has been a topic of much scrutiny ahead of the midterm elections, and this week has marked some progress toward mitigating risks on some of the most popular US platforms.

US President Joe Biden is currently working on a deal with China-based TikTok —often regarded as a significant threat to US national security—with the one goal of blocking potential propaganda or misinformation campaigns. Now today, Meta, owner of Facebook and Instagram, shared a report detailing the steps it took to remove the first “Chinese-origin influence operation” that Meta has identified attempting “to target US domestic politics ahead of the 2022 midterms.”

In the press release , Meta Global Threat Intelligence Lead Ben Nimmo joined Meta Director of Threat Disruption David Agranovich in describing the operation as initiated by a “small network.” They said that between fall 2021 and September 2022, there were four “largely separate and short-lived” efforts launched by clusters of “around half a dozen” China-based accounts, which targeted both US-based conservatives and liberals using platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

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    Musk filing claims “conspiracy among Twitter executives” to deceive public / ArsTechnica · Friday, 16 September - 18:22

Photo illustration with Elon Musk’s Twitter account displayed on the screen of an iPhone.

Enlarge (credit: Getty Images | Chesnot )

Elon Musk filed an amended countersuit against Twitter, claiming the allegations by Twitter's former security chief, Peiter "Mudge" Zatko, give Musk new legal grounds to kill the merger deal.

"Needless to say, the newest revelations make undeniably clear that the Musk Parties have the full right to walk away from the Merger Agreement—for numerous independently sufficient reasons," the amended countersuit claims. "In short, the Musk Parties and Twitter's many other investors were sold a different company than the Twitter that actually exists—one that was more valuable, more popular, more secure, and more compliant with governing law."

The amended countersuit was filed under seal last week and a public version was released yesterday. Delaware Court of Chancery Judge Kathaleen McCormick had granted Musk's request to amend the countersuit but rejected his attempt to delay the trial by at least four weeks, so the trial is still scheduled to begin October 17.

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    Big Tech must prove content moderation works or pay $15K daily fines in Calif. / ArsTechnica · Wednesday, 14 September - 16:54

Big Tech must prove content moderation works or pay $15K daily fines in Calif.

Enlarge (credit: Jon Cherry / Stringer | Getty Images News )

Today, California Governor Gavin Newsom enacted a law that has been described by its author, California Assemblymember Jesse Gabriel, as “ the most stringent transparency measures for Big Tech” in the world.

AB-587 was drafted in direct response to the January 6 attacks on the US Capitol and was designed to hold Big Tech companies like Meta accountable for “grossly inadequate” self-policing of hate speech, disinformation, and conspiracy theories on social media platforms. Now passed, the California law requires social media companies to post their policies and then submit enforcement reports publicly, every quarter, to California's attorney general.

If companies fail to abide by the law, they risk “penalties of up to $15,000 per violation per day,” enforced by the attorney general or specified city attorneys.

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    Weird Fallout from Peiter Zatko’s Twitter Whistleblowing / Schneier · Wednesday, 14 September - 02:56

People are trying to dig up dirt on Peiter Zatko, better known as Mudge.

For the record, I have not been contacted. I’m not sure if I should feel slighted.

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    Twitter shareholders approve the $44B merger Musk is trying to get out of / ArsTechnica · Tuesday, 13 September - 20:03

Closeup shot of a Twitter logo seen displayed on a smartphone screen.

Enlarge (credit: Getty Images | NurPhoto )

Twitter shareholders voted to approve Elon Musk's purchase of the company, weeks ahead of a trial over Musk's attempt to exit the merger deal. Though a specific vote tally wasn't available today, multiple news reports said investors backed the Twitter board's recommendation to approve the $44 billion deal that Musk agreed to in April before changing his mind.

"A majority of Twitter shareholders voted in favor of accepting Musk's $54.20-a-share offer to acquire the social-networking company, according to a preliminary vote count read on Tuesday," Bloomberg wrote .

Today's shareholder vote was the last remaining approval Twitter needed for the Musk deal, but the bigger question is what will happen at the upcoming trial at Delaware Court of Chancery. Twitter sued Musk to force him to complete the deal, and a trial is scheduled to begin on October 17.

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