Tuesday, September 27

Majority of Twitter shareholders vote in favor of selling to Elon Musk

A majority of Twitter Inc shareholders voted in favor of the $44 billion sale of the social media company to Elon Musk, pushing the fate of the sale to a court showdown in October.

Musk informed Twitter that he would not proceed with the acquisition, arguing that he had been misled by spam accounts on the platform and had not been informed of a salary agreement reached. by the company with one of its main executives.

Shareholders were expected to vote in favor after a downturn in the stock market made Musk’s $54.20 per share deal for Twitter, which was signed in April, look expensive in the environment current. Twitter shares are now hovering around $41.

On Monday, Twitter said payments to a whistleblower did not breach any of the terms of his sale to Musk, after the billionaire, currently the world’s richest person, tried again to cancel the ‘OK.

Twitter’s lawyers said Musk’s reasons for wanting to pull out of the deal were “invalid and faulty.”

The whistleblower is part of the litigation

Musk’s lawyers last week said Twitter’s failure to seek his consent before paying whistleblower Peiter Zatko and his attorneys $7.75 million breached the merger agreement. , which restricted when Twitter could make such payments.

Zatko, who was fired by Twitter in January as the company’s chief security officer, last month accused the social media company of falsely claiming it had a strong security plan and made misleading claims about its defenses against hackers and spam accounts.

The whistleblower made his claims to a US Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday.

Twitter whistleblower Peiter Zatko testifies at a US Senate court hearing examining the security of data at risk, Tuesday in Washington DC (Jacquelyn Martin/Associated Press)

He said there was “at least one agent” from the Chinese intelligence service on Twitter’s payroll and that the company had knowingly allowed India to add agents to the company’s list as well, where they had access to highly sensitive data about users around the world.

Zatko told lawmakers that the social media platform is plagued by weak cyber defenses that leave it vulnerable to exploitation by “teenagers, thieves and spies” and put the privacy of its users at risk.

“I’m here today because Twitter’s management is misleading the public, lawmakers, regulators, and even its own board of directors,” Zatko said as he began his sworn testimony.

“They don’t know what data they have, where it is and where it came from and so, unsurprisingly, they can’t protect it,” Zatko said. “It doesn’t matter who has the keys if there are no locks.”

“Profit over safety”

“Twitter’s management ignored its engineers,” he said, in part because “their management incentives caused them to prioritize profit over safety.”

Zatko’s message echoes one presented to Congress against another social media giant last year. But unlike that Facebook whistleblower, Frances Haugen, Zatko didn’t bring a treasure trove of internal documents to back up his claims.

An image of Musk is seen on a smartphone atop printed Twitter logos in this illustration taken April 28, 2022. Twitter’s lawsuit against Musk is scheduled to begin October 17 in Delaware Chancery Court. (Dado Ruvic/Illustration/Reuters)

One issue that was not raised during the hearing was whether Twitter accurately counts its active users, an important metric for its advertisers.

Musk argued without evidence that many of Twitter’s estimated 238 million daily users are fake or malicious accounts.

Twitter’s lawsuit against Musk is set to begin Oct. 17 in Delaware’s Chancery Court.