Jack Dorsey has barely posted on Twitter, the social media platform he helped create, since January. In two of his final tweetsthe billionaire entrepreneur promoted an app for Nostr, a brand new social community.
“#nostr is now formally on the Apple App Store,” he wrote. “and Google Play Store.”
Since then, Mr. Dorsey has posted on Nostr a mean of 59 instances a day — together with messages that take purpose at Twitter and its new proprietor, Elon Musk.
“This is weak,” Mr. Dorsey wrote on Nostr final month of Mr. Musk’s transfer to stop Twitter’s customers from linking to Substack, a e-newsletter platform that began a Twitter competitor.
Mr. Dorsey has additionally began utilizing one other new social community, Bluesky. On Saturday, in response to a Bluesky person’s query about whether or not Mr. Musk was the very best steward for Twitter, Mr. Dorsey replied bluntly, “No.”
“It all went south,” he stated of what Mr. Musk had carried out on Twitter. “But it occurred and all we are able to do now’s construct one thing to keep away from that ever taking place once more.”
Mr. Dorsey, 46, the Bitcoin-loving techie who was for years probably the most outstanding face of Twitter, appeared to fade from public view after Mr. Musk purchased the social media firm final yr for $44 billion. But Mr. Dorsey’s current and ample exercise on Nostr and Bluesky indicators that the nonetheless has rather a lot to say.
Much of what Mr. Dorsey posts about is aligned along with his pursuits in cryptocurrency and open supply expertise, the place code is made public so individuals can tinker and reuse it. But he has additionally brazenly criticized Mr. Musk’s possession of Twitter, turning into the newest in a protracted line of Silicon Valley founders who specific disappointment in those that take over their firms.
Mr. Dorsey can also be placing his cash the place his posts are by backing Twitter’s new rivals. In 2019, whereas Mr. Dorsey was Twitter’s chief govt, he funded Bluesky as a undertaking that may permit all social networks to be decentralized by simply sharing posts and customers. And in December, he donated 14 Bitcoin, price about $250,000 on the time, to the pseudonymous creator of Nostr, who goes by the deal with “fiatjaf.”
“I would not be shocked if he’s withholding his voice from Twitter out of some precept,” Jason Goldman, a member of Twitter’s founding workforce who has additionally served on its board, stated of Mr. Dorsey’s current actions. He added that in his newest feedback, Mr. Dorsey “acknowledges how poorly issues have gone for Twitter underneath Elon Musk.”
Mr. Dorsey and Mr. Musk didn’t reply to requests for remark.
Mr. Dorsey, who helped discovered Twitter in 2006, was the corporate’s chief govt for eight years over two totally different stints. And whereas the social community’s success turned him right into a billionaire, he appeared to develop into disillusioned lately with Twitter’s path.
Among different issues, Mr. Dorsey, who helps free speech, lamented that Twitter had develop into too highly effective as an arbiter of what sort of posts ought to keep on-line and what ought to be pulled down. He additionally blamed Wall Street for turning Twitter away from its major position as a communications platform, pressuring it to make cash and ultimately promote itself to the very best bidder.
In November 2021, Mr. Dorsey, who additionally leads the funds start-up Block (previously often called Square), stepped down as Twitter’s chief govt. He left its board final yr after Mr. Musk bid for the corporate.
Mr. Dorsey has since stated that Twitter ought to have been constructed as a special sort of social community: a decentralized one. Unlike mainstream social platforms, which run non-public code that they management, decentralized social networks make their programs public so customers can probably construct their very own apps and communities. That means, no single entity can impose guidelines on what can or cannot be stated in these networks, and customers can customise their experiences.
“The downside right this moment is that we have now firms who personal each” the expertise and the algorithms that present posts, which “in the end places one individual answerable for what’s accessible and seen, or not,” Mr. Dorsey wrote in a December weblog put up that he shared on Nostr. “This is by definition a single level of failure, irrespective of how nice the individual, and over time will fracture the general public dialog, and should result in extra management by governments and companies around the globe.”
Mike Masnick, the editor of the weblog TechDirt and a tech coverage skilled, stated decentralized networks “permit for lots extra experimentation and makes an attempt to do issues otherwise.” But he cautioned that in addition they face challenges in complying with content material moderation legal guidelines, just like the Digital Services Act in Europe or US copyright regulation.
Mr. Dorsey has been enthusiastic about decentralized social platforms since no less than 2019, when he started engaged on Bluesky, and has a longstanding curiosity in Bitcoin, a well-liked cryptocurrency. He joined Nostr — the acronym stands for “notes and different stuff transmitted by relays” — in December. Nostr additionally lets customers ship one another small cryptocurrency funds, that are known as “zaps.”
Fiatjaf, Nostr’s creator, stated in an e-mail that Mr. Dorsey’s help “has been a sport changer, however a lot much less by way of funding than within the quantity of consciousness and enthusiasm he has generated about Nostr.” He added, “We’re hoping the funding half will begin taking part in a much bigger position ultimately.”
Bluesky, which declined to remark, stated in a weblog put up that Mr. Dorsey stays on its board. (Twitter severed its relationship with Bluesky after Mr. Musk took over.)
Mr. Dorsey and Mr. Musk has lengthy had an up-and-down relationship. When mr. Musk bid for Twitter final yr, Mr. Dorsey endorsed the hassle.
“In precept, I do not consider anybody ought to personal or run Twitter,” Mr. Dorsey wrote on Twitter on the time. “Solving for the issue of it being an organization nonetheless, Elon is the singular answer I belief. I belief his mission to increase the sunshine of consciousness.”
But after mr. Musk purchased Twitter in October, he instantly fired a lot of Mr. Dorsey’s handpicked executives. Mr. Musk has since laid off about 75 % of Twitter’s work pressure, refused to pay lease for a few of its places of work and made sweeping and typically contradictory adjustments to its content material moderation insurance policies.
As Mr. Dorsey has posted on Nostr after which Bluesky, his critiques about Mr. Musk and Twitter have piled up.
In some posts, Mr. Dorsey has chided Twitter for its repeated service disruptions. Last month, he implied on Nostr that Twitter’s customers might depart the platform in the event that they needed. He additionally scoffed at Mr. Musk’s transfer to cost Twitter’s customers $8 a month for a examine mark, a logo that when denoted a verified identification on the platform.
But Mr. Dorsey’s sharpest appraisal of Mr. Musk’s management came visiting the weekend on Bluesky, the place Mr. Dorsey has greater than 11,000 followers. (He has greater than six million followers on Twitter.)
On Saturday, Mr. Dorsey responded to a number of Bluesky customers who requested him concerning the sale of Twitter and the adjustments the corporate has undergone in current months. He stated decentralized social networks have been the very best protection in opposition to company raiders and added that Mr. Musk “ought to have walked away” from shopping for Twitter.
Mr. Goldman, who was among the many Bluesky customers who questioned Mr. Dorsey over the weekend, stated the feedback don’t bear in mind how Mr. Dorsey led Twitter for years and can also be liable for the place the corporate ended up.
“He blames the inevitability of market forces, regardless of main the corporate as both govt chairman or CEO for over a decade,” Mr. Goldman stated of Mr. Dorsey.
On Sunday, Mr. Dorsey returned to posting on Nostr, the place he has 134,000 followers. He stated he regretted taking Twitter public and making it an organization within the first place.
He additionally left his criticisms of Mr. Musk by praising the Twitter proprietor’s efforts to make the location much less depending on model promoting, which makes up the majority of the corporate’s income. And he inspired Mr. Musk to think about making Twitter extra open, utilizing decentralized expertise or “open protocol.”
“I perceive the urgency and hasty strikes,” Mr. Dorsey wrote. “I hope he realizes ultimately that basing it on an open protocol like this solves most of the issues and allows a fairly unbelievable enterprise. We shall see.”