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Elon Musk reveals why Airtel and Telkom codes fail on Twitter

Twitter owner Elon Musk has today revealed why Airtel Kenya and Telkom Kenya mobile phone numbers sometimes fail to generate Twitter codes.

“Twitter was paying Telcos who are not being super honest in other parts of the world who were basically gaming the system and running 2FA texts over and over again,” said Elon.

Elon Musk, Twitter owner

Mr Musk was speaking at a Spaces organized by famed iPhone hacker turned white hat hacker and developer George Hotz.

To break that down further, Musk gave an example of a fourth tire Russian Telco which would come up with a bill that was unbelievable even going by their size. Some Telcos would create bot accounts or repeatedly send texts for Two-factor authentication (2FA)  over and over and pump up the bill to send to Twitter.

It seems like that is the same thing Telkom Kenya and Airtel Kenya have been doing. Elon had to stop this, that’s why sometimes, and for lack of better verification, Twitter muzzled some code requests.

Sending Twitter Two-factor authentication (2FA) requests bill that doesn’t add up.

In total, Musk said bills would sometimes be $60 million (Sh7.4 billion) from Telcos outside North America (USA and Canada)

In an article on December 6th, we asked Musk to solve the issues that bedevil Kenyan Twitter users.

READ: Dear Elon Musk, these are the issues Kenyans need you to solve on Twitter

One of the issues was the 2FA, where a Kenyan on Twitter (KoT) was more likely to be locked out of their account if they were using a mobile number from Airtel or Telkom.

Musk has been cutting down costs on the company he took over 6 weeks ago after paying over Sh5 trillion.

The company was just a few months to collapse when Musk bought it.

Twitter hasn’t booked an annual profit since 2019 and posted a loss in eight years of the past decade.

Musk’s cost-cutting drive was well in time.

“Twitter was tracking to spend $5B (Sh616Billion) next year’, Musk revealed, but that has come down significantly due to huge cost-cutting since he bought Twitter.

He now thinks Twitter will be roughly cash flow breakeven in 2023.

After the cost-cutting, the Twitter employee count is now just over 2k versus nearly 8k in October 2022, when he bought the company.

On adverts, Musk acknowledged that firms advertising on Twitter don’t get good Returns on Investment (RoI) and that a change where an advert is driven by content is in the offing.

He mentioned Instagram’s way of advertising that is targeted.

“If you ask someone if they bought something on Twitter in the past week, they would probably say no. However, if you ask the same question for Instagram, they would tell you they bought a couple of stuff”, Musk said.


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