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Jack Dorsey criticizes Bluesky for straying from decentralized ethos

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There’s always one or more reasons behind a company board member’s departure. With Jack Dorsey and Bluesky, it’s all about direction. Speaking with Pirates Wires this week, Bluesky’s inventor said the company is straying from its original decentralized ethos and resembling a conventional social media app, the type of app he intended to avoid at the beginning.

“This is literally repeating all the mistakes we 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 stated.

Dorsey’s initial vision for Bluesky was to create a social media protocol that could overcome the challenges faced by centralized platforms, such as those he encountered at Twitter (now X). He expected that Bluesky would support free speech and not be beholden to the constraints of a publicly traded company dependent on advertising revenue.

However, as Bluesky developed, it began incorporating more traditional corporate elements, including forming a board and seeking venture capital funding. For a person deeply committed to decentralization, it’s a clear departure from his original goals for the project.

“Everything we wanted around decentralization, everything we wanted in terms of an [open-source] protocol, suddenly became a company with VCs and a board. That’s not what I wanted, that’s not what I intended to help create,” Dorsey remarked.

According to him, this shift, combined with a growing emphasis on app development and moderation tools, moved Bluesky away from being a truly decentralized protocol.

Commenting on the public perception of Bluesky as “anti-Twitter,” Dorsey said it was not the foundational intention. Bluesky was meant to be a neutral protocol rather than a direct competitor.

Dorsey also noted the limitations of the advertising-based revenue model for social media platforms, which he believes compromises content policies and platform governance. He suggests alternative revenue streams, such as subscriptions and commerce, could provide a more sustainable and less compromising approach.

Earlier this week, the team behind Bluesky announced that Dorsey was no longer on the board of directors. At the time, neither Dorsey nor Bluesky commented publicly on the departure.

After leaving Bluesky, Dorsey has turned his attention to Nostr, a protocol he considers a more accurate reflection of his decentralized social media aspirations, operating without a central authority or corporate structure.

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