Power Players

Only 15% of Americans can identify Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey in a photo

Jack Dorsey attends the cocktail party hosted by Chrome Hearts X Jordan Barrett at La Maison Du Caviar in Paris, France.
Victor Boyko | Getty Images Entertainment | Getty Images

Do you know who this man is?

Despite being CEO of one of the most well-known tech companies in the world and having 4.2 million Twitter followers, only 15% of 4,272 adults who answered a Pew Research Center survey about digital knowledge were able to identify Twitter and Square CEO Jack Dorsey from a photo.

The survey question asked people who the "technology leader" photographed was and presented a few multiple-choice options. The selections included high-profile founders such as Elon Musk, co-founder of Telsa, as well as Google co-founder Sergey Brin and Uber co-founder Travis Kalanick.

A whopping 77% of people said they didn't know Dorsey, while 7% guessed incorrectly. This question yielded the most amount of "unsure" responses in the entire survey.

When the data were further broken down, 23% of survey respondents who had a bachelor's degree or higher were able to clock Dorsey in the photo. Age was another factor that influenced their awareness: 20% of those ages 18 to 29 answered correctly, compared to only 7% of people ages 65 and up.

The photo in question was from Dorsey's April 2019 TED Talk. In it, he's wearing a black beanie, and has a long beard.

Dorsey was the only tech leader respondents were asked to identify. But those surveyed also lacked knowledge about other prominent social media platforms. Only 29% of Americans knew that messaging app WhatsApp and Instagram are owned by Facebook, for example.

The rest of the survey contained more general questions about internet use. For example, the survey asked people how "private browsing" works, what "net neutrality" means and what two-factor authentication looks like on a web page.

Younger adults (defined as 18 to 29) answered more questions correctly than those in the 65-plus group, suggesting that they might be more internet literate.

These findings are part of a larger Pew Research Center survey called the American Trends Panel.

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