Tech billionaire Elon Musk bites into his announced purchase of Twitter, accusing the online service of giving too low a number of fake accounts. The deal cannot go ahead until Twitter boss Parag Agrawal proves that such profiles actually make up less than five percent of the user base, Musk wrote on Twitter on Tuesday. He made his approximately $ 44 billion purchase offer in the belief that the official information from Twitter was correct.

The boss of the electric car manufacturer Tesla has been putting the alleged false information on fake and spam accounts in the foreground since Friday. So he declared the deal “temporarily suspended” – while it is legally questionable whether he can unilaterally put the agreement with Twitter on hold. After the subsequent fall in the Twitter share price, he brought up a lower bid on Monday.

At a conference on Monday, Musk said that he believes a significantly higher proportion of bot accounts than reported would be serious misinformation. The agreement with Twitter provides that the sides can withdraw from the deal in the event of massive deviations.

Earlier, Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal attempted to explain the service’s methodology in estimating the number of spam and bot accounts in a series of tweets. He also wrote that such estimates are difficult to make from outside the company. Musk countered with a poo emoji and asked, among other things, whether Twitter had tried simply calling users with suspicious-looking accounts.

This idea was immediately ridiculed by experts. Twitter calls the figure of 229 million daily users that the service can reach with its advertising. The fake accounts identified by Twitter have already been deducted from this number.

Musk had agreed with Twitter’s board of directors on a takeover at a price of $54.20 per share. In premarket US trading on Tuesday, the stock started at just $36.35, according to Musk’s continued statements. It is unclear whether incorrect information about the number of fake accounts really counts as such serious misinformation about the Twitter business that Musk can change the terms of the deal or call off the takeover. The deal between Musk and Twitter includes a $1 billion penalty if either side breaches the deal.