Photo: David Becker/Getty Images

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey gives himself a "C" grade for taking "responsibility," which was one of the most specific answers he gave during a live Twitter Q&A with journalist Kara Swisher on Tuesday.

Why it matters: Twitter remains an obsession for many journalists and one resident of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., but many users have grown deeply unhappy with the prevalence of harassment and abuse in many conversations, along with the company's seemingly inconsistent enforcement of its own community rules.

Highlights from Dorsey's discussion with Swisher:

  • Twitter's top priorities: "In the past I think we were trying to do too much. We’re better at prioritizing by impact now. Believe the #1 thing we should focus on is someone's physical safety first. ... Doxxing is a good example which threatens physical safety. So does coordinate harassment campaigns."
  • Users leaving Twitter: "I want people to walk away from Twitter feeling like they learned something and feeling empowered to some degree. It depresses me when that’s not the general vibe, and inspires me to figure it out. ... I also don’t feel good about how Twitter tends to incentivize outrage, fast takes, short-term thinking, echo chambers, and fragmented conversation."
  • Suspending President Trump or other newsworthy public figures: "We hold all accounts to the same terms of service. The most controversial aspect of our TOS is the newsworthy/public interest clause, the 'protection' you mention. That doesn't extend to all public figures by default, but does speak to global leaders and seeing how they think. ... I don't believe our service or business is dependent on any one account or person."
  • On 2016 rumors of selling the company: "We ultimately decided we were better off independent. And I'm happy we did. We've made a lot of progress since that point. And we got a lot more focused. Definitely love the idea of opening more to 3rd parties. Not sure what that looks like yet. Twitter is close to a protocol."
  • On not having a No. 2 executive at Twitter: "I think it's better to spread that responsibility across multiple people. It creates less dependencies and the company gets more options around future leadership."

Yes, but: More than anything, Dorsey and Swisher's conversation highlighted how poorly suited Twitter's design is to this type of interaction.

  • More than once, Swisher had to create new threads, and observers' ability to interrupt the conversation made it even harder to follow their back-and-forth.
  • Recode's Kurt Wagner dives deeper into this.

Go deeper

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 6:30 a.m. ET: 30,199,007 — Total deaths: 946,490— Total recoveries: 20,544, 967Map
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 6:30 a.m. ET: 6,675,593 — Total deaths: 197,644 — Total recoveries: 2,540,334 — Total tests: 90,710,730Map
  3. Politics: Former Pence aide says she plans to vote for Joe Biden, accusing Trump of costing lives in his coronavirus response.
  4. Health: Pew: 49% of Americans wouldn't get COVID-19 vaccine if available today Pandemic may cause cancer uptick The risks of moving too fast on a vaccine — COVID-19 racial disparities extend to health coverage losses.
  5. Business: Retail sales return to pre-coronavirus trend.
Mike Allen, author of AM
2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Scoop: Mike Bloomberg's anti-chaos theory

CNN's Anderson Cooper questions Joe Biden last night at a drive-in town hall in Moosic, Pa., outside Scranton. Photo: CNN

Mike Bloomberg's $100 million Florida blitz begins today and will continue "wall to wall" in all 10 TV markets through Election Day, advisers tell me.

Why it matters: Bloomberg thinks that Joe Biden putting away Florida is the most feasible way to head off the national chaos we could have if the outcome of Trump v. Biden remained uncertain long after Election Day.

Biden's hardline Russia reset

Photo Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios. Getty Images photos: Mark Reinstein

When he talks about Russia, Joe Biden has sounded like Ronald Reagan all summer, setting up a potential Day 1 confrontation with Russian President Vladimir Putin if Biden were to win.

Why it matters: Biden has promised a forceful response against Russia for both election interference and alleged bounty payments to target American troops in Afghanistan. But being tougher than President Trump could be the easy part. The risk is overdoing it and making diplomacy impossible.