Judge slams Elon Musk’s absurdly broad data requests

twitter musk trial

After hearing from lawyers for Elon Musk and Twitter about their discovery requests, Judge Kathaleen McCormick said "no" to the Musk team's "absurdly broad" request in favor of a much smaller set of information. But Twitter must give Musk more details about how it figures out the number of "monetizable daily active users" (mDAU) and the estimate of bot activity that goes with it, which Musk says is fake.

In her ruling, McCormick said that Musk's lawyers asked for "all the data Twitter might store for each of the about 200 million accounts in its mDAU count every day for nearly three years." This includes trillions of data points. "Plaintiff [Twitter] has trouble figuring out how hard it would be to respond to that request because no sane person has ever tried to do something like that. It's enough to say that the plaintiff has shown that this request is too much.

Both sides are looking for information to back up their arguments about whether or not Musk should be able to back out of his deal to buy Twitter for $44 billion before the trial starts on October 17.

McCormick ruled that Twitter must give over the 9,000 accounts it looked at as part of its audit in the fourth quarter of 2021. They will also have to give over "a small set of additional data from its review database," which are "documents reflecting discussion of any other key metric identified by Defendants, whether or not those documents expressly address mDAU," McCormick wrote. Also, Twitter has to tell Musk's team how those 9,000 accounts were chosen for review. The Twitter team said that gathering this information would take about two weeks.

Also, the judge partially gave in to Twitter's request for documents from Musk's side. Twitter wants to know what kind of data analysis Musk did before he tried to get out of the deal. "At the very least, Defendants must produce the Analyses," writes McCormick. He also says that related information should be listed on a privilege log so that Twitter's lawyers can ask to see certain documents.

Letter Decision Resolving Defendant's Second Motion

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