It was ‘repeating all mistakes’ Twitter made

Jack Dorsey revealed that he resigned from the board of his social networking startup Bluesky this past weekend because the company was “literally repeating all the mistakes [Twitter] made as a company.”

In an interview with tech-focused media firm Pirate Wires, Dorsey explained how he founded Bluesky in 2019 using funding from then-Twitter with the intention to have an open-source protocol, meaning anyone can view its code and suggest changes to the system, similar to how blockchains operate.

“I think the internet needs a decentralized protocol for social media,” Dorsey said.

The 47-year-old tech mogul — who’s also the CEO of payment processing giant Square — had envisioned that Twitter could be an open-source software that wasn’t controlled by any single person or entity.

Twitter founder Jack Dorsey is no longer on Bluesky’s board. He revealed in an interview with Pirate Wires that it’s because his latest social media venture is “literally repeating all the mistakes [Twitter] made as a company.” AFP via Getty Images

Ultimately, that didn’t work out and Dorsey sold the social media company to Elon Musk in October 2022 for $44 billion. Now known as X, Musk has plans to transform the platform into “the everything app,” most recently introducing an app “identical” to YouTube’s TV offering for smart televisions.

Over at Bluesky, “little by little, they [the users] started asking Jay [Graber, the CEO] and the team for moderation tools, and to kick people off. And unfortunately they followed through with it,” Dorsey told Pirate Wires.

“That was the second moment I thought, uh, nope,” Dorsey added. “This is literally repeating all the mistakes we [Twitter] made as a company. This is not a protocol that’s truly decentralized. It’s another app. It’s another app that’s just kind of following in Twitter’s footsteps, but for a different part of the population.”

Dorsey revealed in a post on X on May 4 that he had stepped away from Bluesky’s board when responding to a question about whether he was on the board of Bluesky with a simple “no.”

He went on to share a cryptic message about the necessity of open protocols, writing: “Don’t depend on corporations to grant you rights. Defend them yourself using freedom technology. (you’re on one)”.

The X post suggested that Dorsey is mending his relationship with Musk after claiming last year that the billionaire Tesla chief hadn’t proven himself to be the best possible owner of the social media site.

Elon Musk purchased Twitter from Dorsey in October 2022 for $44 million and has since been transforming it into X, “the everything app,” similar to China’s WeChat. AFP via Getty Images

When talking about the acquisition with Pirate Wires, Dorsey said that Musk bought Twitter “at the wrong time in the market, obviously, but the choice was, I’m just going to suffer that cost to maintain these policies that I want.”

“And that means the advertisers have left, predominantly, and the business model is going to struggle,” Dorsey added, though he applauded the way Musk has kept X a private corporation that’s “no longer a public company with a profit incentive based on an advertising model that can be wildly swayed by the whims of advertisers moving their budget elsewhere if they don’t like what you’re doing.”

“So Elon made a choice, and I think it’s the right choice,” Dorsey said, per Pirate Wires.

Musk is now just one of three people Dorsey follows on X — which touts roughly 550 million monthly active users.

The other two accounts belong to Edward Snowden, the American computer contractor who fled to Russia after leaking highly classified information, and Stella Assange, wife of the imprisoned WikiLeaks publisher facing criminal charges over espionage.

Dorsey wanted Bluesky to be an open-source platform, meaning anyone can view its code and suggest changes to the system, similar to how blockchains operate. However, board members wanted to add moderation tools, he said. NurPhoto via Getty Images

Bluesky, meanwhile, has only recently rolled out for Android users after debuting for iOS users in February 2023. It reportedly touts 5.6 million monthly active users as of this year.

Many users have said Bluesky is similar to a pared-down copy of Twitter.

One big difference, however, is that the app’s developers aim to give users “algorithmic choice,” which would allow them to choose how content is fed onto their screens, instead of a one-fits-all algorithm controlled by the app developers.

Bluesky is just one of several alternatives to Twitter that began popping up after Musk purchased the social media giant and began making changes to both the site and the company.

While it made a splash in its early days, when its beta version was available via invite-only, it has since been largely overshadowed by the launch of Meta’s Threads as the most viable X alternative.

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