Jack Dorsey Takes Aim at Elon Musk and Twitter on New Platform

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 mentioned of what Mr. Musk had achieved on Twitter. “But it occurred and all we will do now could be construct one thing to keep away from that ever taking place once more.”

Mr. Dorsey, 46, the Bitcoin-loving techie who was for years essentially the most outstanding face of Twitter, appeared to fade from public view after Mr. Musk purchased the social media firm final 12 months for $44 billion. But Mr. Dorsey’s latest and considerable exercise on Nostr and Bluesky indicators that he 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 overtly criticized Mr. Musk’s possession of Twitter, changing into the most recent in an extended line of Silicon Valley founders who specific disappointment in those that take over their corporations.

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 government, he funded Bluesky as a mission that may permit all social networks to be decentralized by simply sharing posts and customers. And in December, he donated 14 Bitcoin, value about $250,000 at 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 crew who has additionally served on its board, mentioned of Mr. Dorsey’s latest actions. He added that in his newest feedback, Mr. Dorsey “acknowledges how poorly issues have gone for Twitter underneath Elon Musk.”

Credit…through Bluesky

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 government for eight years over two completely different stints. And whereas the social community’s success turned him right into a billionaire, he appeared to turn out to be disillusioned in recent times with Twitter’s route.

Among different issues, Mr. Dorsey, who helps free speech, lamented that Twitter had turn out to be 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 main position as a communications platform, pressuring it to make cash and finally promote itself to the very best bidder.

In November 2021, Mr. Dorsey, who additionally leads the funds start-up Block (previously often known as Square), stepped down as Twitter’s chief government. He left its board final 12 months after Mr. Musk bid for the corporate.

Mr. Dorsey has since mentioned that Twitter ought to have been constructed as a special sort of social community: a decentralized one. Unlike mainstream social platforms, which run personal code that they management, decentralized social networks make their techniques public so customers can probably construct their very own apps and communities. That method, no single entity can impose guidelines on what can or cannot be mentioned in these networks, and customers can customise their experiences.

“The drawback as we speak is that we now have corporations who personal each” the expertise and the algorithms that present posts, which “in the end places one particular person accountable for what’s accessible and seen, or not,” Mr. Dorsey wrote in a December weblog publish that he shared on Nostr. “This is by definition a single level of failure, irrespective of how nice the particular person, and over time will fracture the general public dialog, and might result in extra management by governments and firms around the globe.”

Mike Masnick, the editor of the weblog TechDirt and a tech coverage knowledgeable, mentioned decentralized networks “permit for lots extra experimentation and makes an attempt to do issues otherwise.” But he cautioned that additionally they face challenges in complying with content material moderation legal guidelines, just like the Digital Services Act in Europe or US copyright legislation.

Mr. Dorsey has been all in favour of decentralized social platforms since at least 2019, when he started working on Bluesky, and has a longstanding curiosity in Bitcoin, a preferred 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 referred to as “zaps.”

Fiatjaf, Nostr’s creator, mentioned in an e mail that Mr. Dorsey’s help “has been a recreation changer, however a lot much less when it comes to funding than within the quantity of consciousness and enthusiasm he has generated about Nostr.” He added, “We’re hoping the funding half will begin enjoying an even bigger position finally.”

Bluesky, which declined to remark, mentioned in a weblog publish 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 12 months, Mr. Dorsey endorsed the hassle.

“In precept, I do not consider anybody ought to personal or run Twitter,” Mr. Dorsey wrote on Twitter at the time. “Solving for the issue of it being an organization nevertheless, 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 lots of Mr. Dorsey’s handpicked executives. Mr. Musk has since laid off about 75 p.c of Twitter’s work power, refused to pay hire for a few of its workplaces and made sweeping and generally contradictory modifications to its content material moderation insurance policies.

As Mr. Dorsey has posted on Nostr and then 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 may go away the platform in the event that they wished. He additionally scoffed at Mr. Musk’s transfer to cost Twitter’s customers $8 a month for a examine mark, an emblem that when denoted a verified id 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 in regards to the sale of Twitter and the modifications the corporate has undergone in latest months. He mentioned decentralized social networks have been the very best protection towards 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, mentioned the feedback don’t take into consideration 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 government chairman or CEO for over a decade,” Mr. Goldman mentioned of Mr. Dorsey.

On Sunday, Mr. Dorsey returned to posting on Nostr, the place he has 134,000 followers. He mentioned he regretted taking Twitter public and making it an organization within the first place.

Credit…through Nostr

He additionally left his criticisms of Mr. Musk by praising the Twitter proprietor’s efforts to make the location much less dependent on model promoting, which makes up the majority of the corporate’s income. And he inspired Mr. Musk to contemplate making Twitter extra open, utilizing decentralized expertise or “open protocol.”

“I perceive the urgency and hasty strikes,” Mr. Dorsey wrote. “I hope he realizes finally that basing it on an open protocol like this solves most of the issues and permits a reasonably unbelievable enterprise. We shall see.”

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