Jamie Dimon says Musk should ‘clean up Twitter’, echoes bot concerns

JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon speaks during the Boston College Chief Executives Club luncheon in Boston, Massachusetts, U.S. November 23, 2021.

Brian Snyder | Reuters

Jamie Dimon seems to be a fan of Elon Musk’s $44 billion Twitter to resume.

“I hope Musk cleans up Twitter,” said the JP Morgan The CEO told CNBC’s Julianna Tatelbaum, adding that he thinks Musk should consider eliminating anonymous accounts from the site.

The remarks are the first from Dimon to speak specifically about the Musk-Twitter deal, which was revived last week after a new offer from the Tesla CEO to buy the social media platform at the $54.20 per share price they originally agreed to in April.

In a CNBC interview at the JPM Techstars conference in London that aired on Tuesday, Dimon echoed Musk’s concerns about the number of spam accounts on Twitter, and said the company should give users more control over its recommendation algorithms.

“Why can’t Twitter know who you are when you board, so they can weed out all these people in the public square who are bots and emails and stuff like that?” said Dimon.

“Why can’t they give you a choice of algorithms? As opposed to one that just gives you jazz,” he added.

Musk has made no secret of his concerns about fake accounts on Twitter. In an April statement announcing his intention to buy the company, Musk talked about “defeating the spam bot and authenticating all real humans.” He said he also wanted to make Twitter’s ranking algorithm open source and promote free speech on the platform.

“Elon is very smart”

Dimon’s comments are met with backstage clashes between the two business leaders.

In November 2021, JPMorgan sued Tesla for $162.2 million for allegedly breaching a 2014 contract relating to stock warrants that Tesla sold to the bank.

The lawsuit centered on a dispute over how the bank upgraded the warrants following Musk’s infamous private tweet in 2018.

Jamie Dimon: Technology is always changing the world

The suit was the subject of a Wall Street Journal report which said Musk and Dimon never got along. According to the Journal, the couple’s efforts to patch things up didn’t work, and JPMorgan has long distanced itself from Tesla and Musk.

On Monday, however, Dimon praised Musk. “In my opinion, Elon is very smart,” he said.

“They are big boys”

JPMorgan was notably absent from the list of banks willing to provide $13 billion in debt financing for Musk’s purchase of Twitter, along with Morgan Stanley, Bank of America and Barclays among the lenders who agreed to raise the funds.

However, a deterioration in credit markets has raised concerns about how Musk’s funding will come together. According to Bloomberg’s calculations, banks could face losses of $500 million or more if they sell the debt now.

“They’re big boys, they can handle it,” Dimon said when asked about funding issues.

Twitter and Musk have been in an endless back and forth over whether to close the deal. Musk worries the company isn’t doing enough to combat manipulation of the platform via bots. Twitter says it’s been honest with Musk in revealing how many of its users are genuine.

In April, Musk and Twitter agreed to have the social media company acquired by the Tesla CEO for $54.20 per share. In July, Musk tried to pull out of the deal, citing red flags around the company’s handling of bots. Twitter then sued Musk in an attempt to force him into the deal.

Twitter and Musk were due to go on trial Oct. 17 in Delaware to resolve the billionaire’s attempt to call off the acquisition unless they reach an agreement first. Musk wanted Twitter to end its litigation against him to finalize the deal. However, Twitter refused to oblige.

Musk was granted a mild reprieve on Thursday, with a Delaware Chancery Court judge ruling he now had until Oct. 28 to complete the deal if he wanted to avoid a trial.