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Twitter Is in This Mess Because Jack Dorsey Was Too Busy Being a Bitcoin Influencer

The dispute between the social media giant and Tesla CEO Elon Musk exposes the vapidity of one of Silicon Valley’s most admired entrepreneurs.

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Illustration: Scorpion Dagger for Bloomberg Businessweek

Heavy Twitter usage does not generally correlate with soundness of mind. The social media service, as has frequently been pointed out, rewards trolling, shitposting, self-promotion, and oversharing. It has this in common with reality TV, of course—though Twitter’s great innovation, arguably, is to offer a broader user base the rich lodes of emotional toxicity otherwise available only to FBoy Island contestants and your lesser Kardashians. Twitter serves it up to anyone, in any language, at any time. This can be entertaining, of course—and, at times, even enlightening—but it has a tendency to elevate the shallowest people in the world. It’s fitting that the service was, until recently, run by Jack Dorsey.

If you’re on the social media platform and follow its biggest, shitposting-est business influencer, you probably know that Dorsey was deposed last week in a Delaware lawsuit that seeks to force Elon Musk to follow through on his agreement to buy the company. The litigation has been disastrous for everyone involved, except Dorsey, who left Twitter last November, just before the mess started, and has managed to float above the controversy as he runs his payments company, Block, and plays the crypto-influencer. In recent months he’s invented something called Web5 (?), hyped a risky form of financial speculation to residents of New York City housing projects, and buddied up with El Salvador’s would-be authoritarian. (Relax, he likes Bitcoin!)