Twitter Cites Elon Musk’s Emoji Use as Evidence in Lawsuit

In their quest to hold Elon Musk to a $44 billion takeover deal, Twitter is reportedly pulling out all the stops, even going so far as to cite Musk’s tweets — and the emojis contained therein — as evidence for their lawsuit.

Filed on Tuesday, the social media giant’s lawsuit alleged that Musk has frequently “disparaged” the company, harming both its business prospects and share price. One of the examples of the disparagement cited by Twitter was a tweet Musk sent on May 16, when the billionaire responded to a tweet from the CEO of Twitter with a single character: the poop emoji.

Musk’s emoji message came in response to a statement from Parag Agrawal, Twitter’s CEO, about how the social media company calculates the number of fake accounts on its platform.

While Musk had — and continues to — claim that the number of spam accounts on Twitter is much higher than the company wants to let on, Agrawal argued there was no way the billionaire would be able to estimate that number.

“Unfortunately, we don’t believe that this specific estimation can be performed externally, given the critical need to use both public and private information (which we can’t share),” Agrawal wrote. “Externally, it’s not even possible to know which accounts are counted as mDAUS [monetizable daily active users] on any given day.”

Musk responded to Agrawal’s tweet with the poop emoji, and then followed up his wordless initial reply with a separate tweet: “So how do advertisers know what they’re getting for their money? This is fundamental to the financial health of Twitter,” Musk wrote.

In the lawsuit filed Tuesday, Twitter argued that Musk’s emoji response was one of the clearest examples of how the billionaire had “disparaged” the social media company.

“Since signing the merger agreement, Musk has repeatedly disparaged Twitter and the deal, creating business risks for Twitter and downward pressure on its share price,” the lawsuit claimed.

“He has purported to put the deal on ‘hold’ pending satisfaction of imaginary conditions … violated his non-disparagement obligation, misused confidential information, and otherwise failed to employ required efforts to consummate the acquisition,” the complaint continued.