New York, US

Elon Musk, the world’s wealthiest man, put his proposed $44 billion purchase of social networking site Twitter on hold on Friday pending a review of the number of fake accounts on the platform.

“(The) deal (is) temporarily on hold pending details supporting (the) calculation that spam/fake accounts do indeed represent less than 5% of users,” Musk said in a Tweet on Friday morning.

Twitter shares immediately plunged nearly 20% to around $36.5 before Wall Street opened.

Musk later tweeted that he was "still committed to (the) acquisition".