Jack Dorsey consulted Elon Musk on fixing Twitter, and the Tesla billionaire said bots and troll armies are a problem

Dorsey Musk Ocasio Cortez

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Dorsey and Musk spoke via video call on Thursday.

  • Elon Musk has told Jack Dorsey how he'd fix Twitter.
  • The Tesla CEO spoke to the Twitter CEO on Thursday via video link in front of thousands of Twitter staff, when Dorsey asked Musk what he'd do if he was running the social media site.
  • Musk said it would be helpful to differentiate between real and fake users. "Is this a real person, or is this a bot net, or a sort of troll army, or something like that?" he said.
  • Musk's use of Twitter is both prolific and controversial, with the entrepreneur - who has more than 30 million followers on the platform - calling British diver Vernon Unsworth "pedo guy" on the platform in July 2018, leading to a defamation lawsuit which Musk won.
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Tesla chief Elon Musk has told Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey how he'd improve Twitter.

That's after the two tech entrepreneurs spoke via video link in front of thousands of Twitter employees Thursday.

During the conversation, Dorsey requested "direct feedback" from Musk about Twitter, asking him what he would do if he was running the platform.

Musk, despite being a billionaire who runs multiple tech companies including Tesla and SpaceX, is a prolific Twitter user with more than 30 million followers.

According to a video of the conversation posted by a Twitter employee, Musk said it would be "helpful to differentiate" between real and fake users.

"Is this a real person, or is this a bot net, or a sort of troll army, or something like that?" he said.

He continued: "Basically, how do you tell if the feedback is real or someone trying to manipulate the system, or probably real, or probably trying to manipulate the system. What do people actually want, what are people actually upset about versus manipulation of the system by various interest groups."

Twitter remains smaller than rival social networks, reporting 145 million daily active users in the third quarter of 2019. That number is growing, and Dorsey has spoken for some time of the firm's attempts to promote "healthier" conversations online - reducing abuse, misinformation, and fake users.

Musk is highly active on Twitter, responding to Tesla customers, random internet users, and challenging Tesla short sellers. His use of the social network has landed him in trouble too. He was sued last year by British cave diver Vernon Unsworth, whom Musk described as a "pedo guy." Musk won the defamation case.

And in August 2018, Musk tweeted that he'd secured the necessary funding to take Tesla private, at $420 per share. The Securities and Exchange Commission sued him for fraud over "false and misleading statements." In September, a settlement was reached. Musk agreed to have his Tesla-related tweets pre-approved, step down as Tesla chairman for three years, and pay the SEC $20 million.

Before either event took place, Dorsey praised Musk's use of Twitter in 2016, describing his account as "a really good model of how to do [Twitter] well."

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