Danish Kapoor
Danish Kapoor

Jack Dorsey: Bluesky repeats all the mistakes I made on Twitter

Former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey recently left the management of the “decentralized” social media platform Bluesky, of which he was one of the founders, and deleted his account on the platform. Speaking to Mike Solana from Founders Fund, Dorsey shed light on the separation decision and directed many criticisms at Bluesky.

In his interview, Dorsey suggested that Bluesky was literally repeating all the mistakes he made while running Twitter. While the overall interview was a bit long and rambling, Dorsey's complaints essentially focus on two issues.

Dorsey apparently never intended for Bluesky to be an independent company with its own board of directors, shares and other vestiges of a corporate entity. Bluesky left Twitter in 2022. However, Dorsey wanted Twitter to be the first customer to take advantage of Bluesky's open source protocol.

Another thing Dorsey complained about is that Blueksy has some sort of content moderation feature and occasionally bans users for things like using racial slurs in their usernames.

Dorsey said: “People started to see Bluesky as a place to escape away from Twitter. This is something that isn't Twitter, and that's why it's great. And Bluesky saw this exodus emerge from Twitter, and it was a very, very widespread crowd. But slowly they started asking Jay and the team to use inspection tools and move people away. And unfortunately they continued to do so. This was the second time I thought no. “This is literally a repeat of all the mistakes we've made as a company.”

Dorsey also confirmed that he is financially backing Nostr, another Twitter-like decentralized service popular with some crypto enthusiasts and run by an anonymous founder, saying: “I know it's early days and Nostr is weird and hard to use, but it's censorship friendly.” “If you truly believe in counter-resistance and freedom of expression, you must use the technologies that truly make this possible and defend your rights.”

Most of these statements are not surprising. Those who have followed Dorsey's public statements over the past few years have seen him repeatedly say that Twitter's “original sin” was being a company beholden to advertisers and other corporate interests. That's why he supported Elon Musk's takeover of the company. It's no coincidence that Dorsey still has nearly $1 billion of his personal fortune invested in the company now known as X. It's also clear that Twitter makes many of its most important moderation decisions reluctantly.

It's no surprise that Dorsey's comments didn't go down well with Bluesky. Bluesky's protocol engineer, Paul Frazee, said Twitter was supposed to be the “first customer” of AT Protocol but “Elon straight up killed it” after taking over the company. “The entire company was frozen because of the protracted acquisition, and when Elon took over the deal quickly ended,” Frazee said. “This was never going to happen. Also: unmoderated areas are a ridiculous idea. We created a common network for managed areas to exist. Even if someone wanted to make an unmoderated ATProto implementation I guess they could? Good luck to app stores, regulators, and users, I guess.”

Jack Dorsey was careful not to criticize Elon Musk directly

While Jack Dorsey was careful not to criticize Musk directly, he was slightly less enthusiastic when he said Musk would be the one to “expand the light of consciousness” by taking over Twitter. While fighting government demands to remove the accounts, Musk chose “the other way” and generally complied with it, Dorsey said. “Elon will fight the way he fights, and I appreciate that, but he's definitely someone who can compromise,” Dorsey said.

Danish Kapoor