The swamp of despair: Jack Dorsey refers to Facebook in private text to Elon Musk

The text was sent to none other than a long-time friend and Tesla CEO, Elon Musk.
Ameya Paleja
Jack Dorsey at an event in 2009
Jack Dorsey at an event in 2009

Wikimedia Commons 

Twitter founder Jack Dorsey referred to rival social media, Facebook, as "the swamp of despair" in private text messages, Business Insider has reported. This information was made public as part of Twitter's lawsuit against Tesla CEO Elon Musk, asking him to honor his agreement to buy out the social media company.

Twitter's legal team submitted the text message as part of the pretrial discovery process. It is among hundreds of text messages between Musk and the who's who of Silicon Valley, including Oracle co-founder Larry Ellison and LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman, Business Insider said in its report.

The Twitter founder, who is a long-time friend of Musk, appears to be quite welcoming of Musk's decision to buy the company and also texted him on April 5, when he learned that Musk would join the Twitter board, the records put in Delaware Court of Chancery, where a five trial is scheduled to begin on October 17 show.

The swamp of despair

The context of the messages is not completely clear, as Dorsey appears to have shared that Facebook had verified an account that claimed to be Elon Musk. The account apparently was promoting crypto - something spam accounts have done extensively on other social media platforms.

That's when Dorsey referred to Facebook as "the swamp of despair", to which Musk replied with a "Haha". However, it is not the only time, Dorsey has been critical of Facebook. Last year, when the company was rebranding itself to Meta, Dorsey tweeted the dictionary definition of the term meta and agreed with a tweet that said that Meta's plans would lead to a "dystopian corporate dictatorship".

Dorsey had a few run-ins with Facebook when Mark Zuckerberg offered to buy out the micro-blogging site for $500 million in 2008 when it was barely two years old and was also offered a seat at Facebook later that year. In return, he poked fun at the social media giant when a hacker nuked the company's DNS records and put up the domain name,, for sale last year.

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Dorsey's fallout with social media

Dorsey may not be pleased with Facebook and what it does, but his ire is directed at social media platforms in general. In 2008, he left the post of CEO of Twitter, only to return seven years later, and then stepped down again in 2021.

When Musk offered to take the company private, Dorsey wrote to him in a text that Twitter should have "never been a company," and doing so was the original sin.

Dorsey has been moving away from social media for a while and focused on his payments company, Square. He is also interested in blockchain technology and wants to explore its use in social media to remove centralized corporate control.

Dorsey was deposed last month as Twitter tried to force Musk to stick to his original offer to buy Twitter, without which the company stock could take a heavy beating in the coming days.

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