Key Words: Jack Dorsey says Elon Musk is his favorite Twitter user, misses the irony

Twitter Inc. Chief Executive Jack Dorsey raised some eyebrows Tuesday during a chaotic live-tweet interview when he was asked who’s the most exciting and influential person on his platform.

His answer: Tesla Inc. Chief Executive Elon Musk, who has gotten into trouble on a number of occasions over irresponsible tweets.

“To me personally? I like how @elonmusk uses Twitter. He’s focused on solving existential problems and sharing his thinking openly. I respect that a lot, and all the ups and downs that come with it.”

Jack Dorsey

Dorsey’s comment came Tuesday afternoon during a 90-minute live-tweet interview with tech journalist Kara Swisher.

While Musk is among the most prolific and newsworthy tweeters in Silicon Valley, that has also been to his detriment. Musk has been accused of bullying journalists on Twitter, and Tesla stock has regularly swung wildly based on Musk’s candid tweets, leading some analysts and investors to suggest he should rein in his tweeting habit.

Some of his tweets have had serious consequences: Musk is facing a defamation lawsuit for calling a British cave diver a pedophile in a tweet, and he lost his job as chairman of Tesla last year as part of a settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commission after an ill-fated tweet that suggested Tesla had financial backing to go private — in fact, it did not, leading to allegations that he misled investors.

That tweet also cost Musk and Tesla TSLA, -0.33%   $20 million each, and Tesla was required to set up a system to oversee his communications.

Dorsey did not appear to pick up on the irony that his favorite tweeter is accused of using Twitter to harass other users, and his tweets are seen by some as a cautionary tale of what not to do.

Speaking of harassment, Dorsey said he realizes Twitter has a problem, but offered no clear solutions, other than repeating an oft-said desire to improve the user experience while admitting the burden has fallen on the victims of abuse. “That’s a huge fail,” he said.

Dorsey didn’t break much new ground in the interview, which perhaps was most notable for how difficult it was to follow, with numerous Twitter users complaining that threads were appearing in their feeds out of order, with no easy way to read the series of tweets coherently.

Dorsey acknowledged the problems. “Ok. Definitely not easy to follow the conversation,” Dorsey tweeted. “Exactly why we are doing this. Fixing stuff like this will help I believe.”

Twitter shares TWTR, +0.53%   are down 1.8% over the past year, compared to the S&P 500’s SPX, +1.29%   3.3% gain.

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