Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton on Monday launched an investigation against Twitter for potential false reporting over its fake “bot” accounts.
The false reporting over fake bot accounts would violate the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act.
“Texans rely on Twitter’s public statements that nearly all its users are real people. It matters not only for regular Twitter users, but also Texas businesses and advertisers who use Twitter for their livelihoods,” said Attorney General Paxton. “If Twitter is misrepresenting how many accounts are fake to drive up their revenue, I have a duty to protect Texans.”
Via Ken Paxton’s office:
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Today Attorney General Ken Paxton launched an investigation against Twitter for potentially false reporting over its fake bot accounts in violation of the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act.
On Twitter, “bots” are automated, non-human accounts that can do virtually the same things as real people: send tweets, follow other users, and like and retweet others’ posts. Spam accounts like these inflate followers and reach, and often push deceptive and annoying activity. Bot accounts can not only reduce the quality of users’ experience on the platform but may also inflate the value of the company and the costs of doing business with it, thus directly harming Texas consumers and businesses.
To address this concern, Attorney General Paxton issued a Civil Investigative Demand (CID) to investigate whether Twitter’s reporting on real versus fake users is “false, misleading, or deceptive” under the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act. The CID requires Twitter to turn over documents related to how it calculates and manages its user data and how these numbers relate to Twitter’s advertising businesses. Twitter has until June 27 to respond to Attorney General Paxton’s Demand.
Today I’m investigating Twitter for potentially misleading Texans on the number of its “bot” users. I have a duty to protect Texans if Twitter is misrepresenting how many accounts are fake to drive up their revenue.https://t.co/OZbwdV3pnY
— Texas Attorney General (@TXAG) June 6, 2022