Hey, remember a few weeks ago when an 18-year-old gunman entered an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas and killed 19 children and two adults with the gun he bought a few days earlier? And the police waited inexplicably outside? And then many parts of their story changed again: why had they screwed up the situation so much? Since we assume the answer to all those questions is yes, you can probably also tell us why this announcement from the Texas Attorney General’s Office is complete and totally bizarre:
Yes, that’s the Texas AG warning people that some of his office’s time will be spent investigating spam accounts on Twitter. Are bots annoying? Secure. Would Twitter be better off without them? Probably. Most Texans care about them so much, to the extent that they think they need “protection”[ing]by the Texas AG? We’re going to take a wild guess here and say no. But do you know who that is? extreme concerned about the situation of the Twitter bot, as far as it appears to be using it to get out of the deal it signed to buy the tech giant? Come down, Elon Musk.
As CNBC notes, the Texas AG’s investigation was launched the same day the world’s richest man threatened to pull out of his deal to buy Twitter for $44 billion (or $54.20 a share), over concerns about crash. In a letter sent to the company by his lawyers, Musk’s representatives allege that Twitter has “opposed and thwarted” the Tesla co-founder’s right to information about the number of fake accounts on the site, and that the alleged defiance ” clear material”. violation” of the terms of their agreement. Musk has been complaining about the bot situation for some time in an obvious bid to pull out of the deal, but as Bloomberg’s Matt Levine wrote on Monday, the pretense that Twitter supposedly has more fake accounts than it thought was not a really good one — in fact, one of Musk’s stated reasons for buying the site was, in his own words, “beat the spam bots or die trying† — so his lawyers came up with the one where he tried to get data from Twitter and Twitter and said no. (As Levine also writes, it’s easy to see why Twitter wouldn’t want to hand over sensitive user data to Musk, given (1) the many “regulatory and risky reasons to be nervous about sharing user data with someone who, for now at least , doesn’t work on Twitter” and (2) the fact that Musk is a huge troll.)
Anyway, why is the Texas Attorney General’s office literally spending time on this, time that could be better spent investigating what happened in Uvalde last month? Here we remind you that the Attorney General of Texas is: Ken Paxton who, in addition to being personally charged with securities fraud — he has pleaded not guilty and has yet to face trial — is a Donald Trump super fan. In other words, he’s got a type, and they’re conservative cowards trying to use the government to… go after their enemies† Meanwhile, Paxton’s investigation is not only a ridiculous waste of Texans taxpayer money, but also… Marc Fagel, a securities law expert, told CNBC it doesn’t even fall under his job description. “States are not necessarily equipped to do this kind of advanced research,” Fagel said. “It’s one thing if you’re dealing with a local company, but if you’re talking about a national, publicly traded company in another state, that’s the SEC’s county.” As Levine wrote today, “Paxton is happy to hitchhike himself” [Musk’s stunt]: If he harasses Twitter on behalf of Musk, he will endear himself to Musk’s fans online, which seems valuable to an elected official, but obviously not to his voters, or to the rule of law.”