Paxton alleges that Twitter may be potentially deceiving Texas consumers and businesses in violation of the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act.
“Texans rely on Twitter’s public statements that nearly all its users are real people," Paxton says. "It matters not only for regular Twitter users, but also Texas businesses and advertisers who use Twitter for their livelihoods. If Twitter is misrepresenting how many accounts are fake to drive up their revenue, I have a duty to protect Texans.”
Twitter has until June 27 to respond to Paxton's Civil Investigative Demand to turn over documents related to how it calculates and manages its user data and how the numbers relate to Twitter's ad business.
The issue of just how many Twitter accounts are automated or fake is driving billionaire Elon Musk's efforts to get out of a $44 billion commitment to buy Twitter for $54.20/share. About 30 minutes before Monday's market close, Twitter (TWTR) was down 1.7% to $39.46/share.
Twitter stock fell anew Monday after an updated SEC filing from Elon Musk showed he sent a new letter accusing the company of materially breaching its deal agreement.
In quarterly filings since it went public, Twitter has included language saying it estimates bot/spam accounts make up no more than 5% of its total.