Tag Archives: Parag Agrawal

The bird and the cat

Yes, who has not heard of that setting, Tweety and the cat Sylvester, in real life duplicated by Twitter and fat cat Elon Musk. And in that setting most people will group behind the little budgie, yet is that a correct step? Reuters gives us ‘Musk says $44 bln Twitter deal on hold over fake account data’, the article (at https://www.reuters.com/technology/musk-says-44-billion-twitter-deal-hold-2022-05-13/) gives us “Musk, the world’s richest person, decided to waive due diligence when he agreed to buy Twitter on April 25, in an effort to get the San Francisco-based company to accept his “best and final offer.” This could make it harder for him to argue that Twitter somehow misled him.” I have an issue here. Face accounts in Twitter have been the setting of conversation in many nations. 

Trolls, click farms, and many fake accounts, all thee to give people false impressions, to fake that some care about issues no one cares about and to create flames. The problem is that Twitter is (or should) be aware of this. The element that is overlooked is engagement, Some looked into a similar setting in Facebook and it seems nice that one can buy clicks, but when someone in Utah sees that they get 150,000 clicks and 65% are all in Sri Lanka (or some other vague location), who does it serve? The one buying the clicks, and the one facilitating the clicks and it has evolved in an actual economy. So when I see “This could make it harder for him to argue that Twitter somehow misled him”, I wonder just how delusional they are at Twitter. There is a larger need to have two books, one with all the numbers and one filtering for expected fake accounts and it is not some small issue, the numbers are deep in the double digits at present, and as far as I can tell, Twitter and its CEO Parag Agrawal should know better. And now that we see “The estimated number of spam accounts on the microblogging site has held steady below 5% since 2013, according to regulatory filings from Twitter, prompting some analysts to question why Musk was raising it now. “This 5% metric has been out for some time. He clearly would have already seen it … So it may well be more part of the strategy to lower the price,” said Susannah Streeter, an analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown.” In this I wonder what (and how much) Susannah Streeter is getting paid for that view? I personally reckon that it has not been as low as 5% since 2 October 2018, when that columnist that no one gives a fuck about went missing, you know the one. And since the events Covid (2019) and The Russian invasion in Ukraine (2022) we are confronted with an even larger explosion of fake accounts. So when I see “The estimated number of spam accounts on the microblogging site has held steady below 5% since 2013”, my slightly less diplomatic view will be “Give me a fucking break please”. 

If there is one side where Parag Agrawal failed it will be to set a more realistic side to finding and creating a clear marker for fake accounts. Now, I get it, it will not be a simple setting, but I think we can agree that even Mother Goose will not tell the children in Digital Sleepy Town that 5% is realistic, no one is THAT delusional.

So when we see “prompting some analysts to question why Musk was raising it now”, the answer is rather simple, the analysts should have raised it themselves at any time since 2018 and who did? I reckon that list is rather short, perhaps non-existent.

So as some are willing to blame fat cat Sylvester, there are plenty of indications that Twitter is hiding behind some granny knowing that it was wrong from the very beginning. 

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What’s the name, what’s the game?

I saw the news a few days ago, and for the most it does not matter to me, but there is an awful lot of hypocrisy going around and the media is (as I personally see it) as tainted as anything else. The stage is set to Elon Musk, or better stated is set against Elon Musk. Why? Don’t really know the man, but he seems the modern day Midas. Whatever he touches turns to gold. He made an upheaval in the battery market, the mobile market, the energy market. The man is (allegedly) an inventor like me, or he can see proper innovation just like Steve Jobs. How is this a bad thing? Consider the news that he was getting involved in social media. Why not? I do not know if it is a bad idea. But he has the dough to become part of it. Yet the Sydney Morning Herald gives us ‘Elon Musk launches $58 billion hostile takeover of Twitter’ (at https://www.smh.com.au/business/companies/elon-musk-launches-hostile-takeover-of-twitter-20220414-p5admv.html) as such lets take a look at what constitutes a hostile takeover? The definition gives us “A hostile takeover occurs when an acquiring company attempts to take over a target company against the wishes of the target company’s management. An acquiring company can achieve a hostile takeover by going directly to the target company’s shareholders or fighting to replace its management” is this true? CBS gives us ‘Elon Musk offers to buy Twitter for $43 billion’, so who is giving us the truth and who is giving a stakeholder a blow job? You think this is rude? You ain’t seen nothing yet. We can argue until the sun goes down, but the setting of finance is clear. If a company is worth it, or could become worth it, you buy it. This has been the case in many occasions. Yet no one is saying that about Microsoft and Blizzard. There we get ‘Activision Blizzard/Microsoft Deal Discouraged by Letter Penned by SOC Investment Group’, how quaint.

So it was today when I saw (at https://www.reuters.com/technology/twitter-adopts-poison-pill-fight-musk-2022-04-15/) ‘Twitter adopts ‘poison pill’ as challenger to Musk emerges’, it is the Guardian version where we see “The method, known as a “poison pill” in the finance world, suggests Twitter will fight Musk to prevent a hostile takeover. It would go into effect if a shareholder were to acquire more than 15% of the company in a deal not approved by the board and expires 14 April 2023.”You see my issue is with the ‘hostile takeover’ part. The guardian gives us those goods with “Jack Dorsey, Twitter founder and former CEO, noted in a tweet on Friday that such surprise purchases are always a risk for the company. “As a public company, Twitter has always been ‘for sale’,” he said. “That’s the real issue.” Musk is already facing legal action for his Twitter purchases, with one investor suing the Tesla executive in a potential class action lawsuit for failing to disclose his buy-up of shares before the required deadline to do so. The lawsuit comes as Musk faces a number of investigations by the Securities and Exchange Commission for his investment activities, including insider trading allegations related to his own tweets.” So we see ‘insider trading’, we see ‘hostile takeover’ but we are given no real evidence of either. Merely the word ‘allegations’ that everyone is overlooking. 

The stage becomes even weirder as we consider the actions that Microsoft unleashed on the gaming industry and it is casually trivialised by too many media outlets. 

In all this the statement “he wanted to release its “extraordinary potential” to support free speech and democracy across the world.” Is trivialised by “Twitter’s board on Friday unanimously approved a plan that would allow existing shareholders to buy stocks at a substantial discount in order to dilute the holdings of new investors”, there is no real setting of who these board members are, the media seemingly forgot about that part. These members that include Bret Taylor (SalesForce), Parag Agrawal (CEO Twitter), Mimi Alemayehou (Mastercard), Egon Durban (Silver Lake), Martha Lane Fox (House of Lords), Dr. Fei-Fei Li (Stanford), Patrick Pichette (Google), David Rosenblatt and Robert Zoellick (AllianceBernstein Holding L.P.) there was a unanimous objection to the purchase by Elon Musk and no media outlet had anything from these members with the simple question ‘Why oppose?’. There might be a very valid reason, but I and all others were not informed, so what gives?

We can speculate on why it was done. Elon Musk sees that the US is going after the billionaires. As such he might be buying anything he can to drop the tax rift, and lets face it, he has been turning things to gold and Twitter is a golden idea. So whilst we see all kinds of objections on how analysts see (and say) things like “KeyBanc Capital analyst Justin Patterson downgraded the social media company in the wake of Elon Musk’s buyout proposal. Patterson cut his rating to sector weight, after being at overweight since January 2021, saying that the potential for the Musk bid to “go up in smoke” will turn investor focus on a more challenging macro environment that elevates downside risk to financial estimates.” I personally honestly do not know what will happen, but when a person buys a company, a person that has transformed several companies into powerhouses, I wonder what really is going on. It could be simple, it could be complex, yet the larger station is that people laughed at Tesla and now we see “As of April 2022 Tesla has a market cap of $1.018 Trillion. This makes Tesla the world’s 6th most valuable company by market cap according to our data.” So as I see it, the joke is on them. What was an idea is now 6th on the most valuable companies on the market and that is behind Apple, Microsoft, Aramco, Alphabet, and Amazon and as I gave voice to Microsoft, there is every chance that it will head of Microsoft in the next 3 years. And that is whilst no one has a clue where Meta will end, because they will become part of the top 7 soon enough (2024), and that too is out into the market. So I have questions and the media is not asking the board members of Twitter, or Elon Musk a clear set of questions. And all that before someone decides to ask KeyBanc Capital a few uncomfortable questions. So what is in the name Twitter, what is in the name Elon Musk and what is in the shares game being played now. No matter what is happening, I feel certain that the media will not properly inform us, that mush seems a personal given. Yet in all this we see the approximation of “to support free speech and democracy across the world”, it seems to me that Elon Musk is giving us options, options in mobile technology and energy technology. Who else has been giving us that? I see questions and no one asking them, it is weird, is it not?

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