Jack Dorsey Resigns From Bluesky Board, Calls X ‘Freedom Technology’

Jack Dorsey has departed the Bluesky platform he helped create, and in a surprising u-turn has endorsed Twitter (since relabelled X) that is now owned by Elon Musk.

Bloomberg reported that Dorsey suddenly quit the board of directors at Twitter clone Bluesky, after he had deleted his Bluesky account last September.

And to top it off, Dorsey now seems to be encouraging users to remain on Twitter, and he called X ‘freedom technology’. Dorsey it should be remembered was Twitter’s co-founder and was the former CEO on two separate occasions.

Block chief executive Jack Dorsey. Image credit: Block

Dorsey and Bluesky

The Bluesky decentralised social network began life back in December 2019 when then Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey had first tweeted the Bluesky initiative.

The Bluesky initiative began as an internal Twitter team tasked with developing an open source infrastructure on which the entire platform could move to. It had operated independently of Twitter, despite being funded by Twitter, and by 2022 Bluesky was spun off as an independent team.

After stepping down as Twitter CEO in November 2021, and then leaving Twitter altogether in May 2022, Dorsey helped the development of Bluesky.

Bluesky had launched a private beta of the iOS app in February 2023, with an Android app in April 2023.

It opened the apps to public downloads in February this year.

Bluesky is based on the open source Authenticated Transfer (AT) protocol, which is similar to ActivityPub, the decentralised protocol that powers Mastodon.

Bluesky was formally incorporated in late 2021 as a public benefit LLC, with Dorsey on its board of directors.

But now Bloomberg and other media outlets have reported Dorsey’s departure from Bluesky, and there doesn’t seem to any explanation for his sudden departure.

Bluesky in a post however thanked Dorsey for his efforts, and said it is now searching for a replacement board member.

“We sincerely thank Jack for his help funding and initiating the bluesky project,” it posted. “Today, Bluesky is thriving as an open source social network running on atproto, the decentralized protocol we have built.”

“With Jack’s departure, we are searching for a new board member for the Bluesky public benefit company who shares our commitment to building a social network that puts people in control of their experience,” it added. “More to come!”

Freedom technology

Jack Dorsey then made a rare post on X (now called X), to tout his new philanthropic grants to open internet protocols, which he described as “freedom technology.” He also seemed to endorse X as a “freedom technology”.

Dorsey also reduced down the list of people he follows on X to just three: Elon Musk, Edward Snowden and Stella Assange, wife of the imprisoned WikiLeaks publisher.

According to Bloomberg, this development suggests an apparent warming of relations between Dorsey and Elon Musk, which would be a remarkable development if true.

In April 2022 once Musk’s $44bn acquisition offer for Twitter had been confirmed, Dorsey had actually endorsed Elon Musk, saying his solution was the one he trusted, and that Musk’s goal was the “right one” and the platform was now on the “right path”.

But just before and then after Musk’s chaotic and controversial takeover of Twitter in late October 2022, Dorsey began to hint at some concerns.

In August 2022 Dorsey had expressed his regret that the micro blogging platform had become a corporate entity.

In December 2022 Dorsey admitted Twitter still had significant problems under Musk’s ownership.

Then in May 2023 Dorsey publicly backtracked on his earlier endorsement of Elon Musk as the right choice to lead Twitter.

When Dorsey was asked on BlueSky whether he believed Musk has been the best possible steward of Twitter, Dorsey said flatly: “No.”

Dorsey then added that Musk “should have walked away” from acquiring Twitter for $44 billion, and faulted Twitter’s board in hindsight for trying to compel Musk to follow through with the deal despite Musk’s attempts to back out of the purchase.

“It all went south,” Dorsey had posted on Bluesky. “But it happened and all we can do now is build something to avoid that ever happening again.”

It came amid numerous exchanges between the two men, after Dorsey had publicly questioned some of Musk’s decision-making.

Since leaving Twitter, Dorsey’s focus has been at his other company, the payments outfit Block, where his attention is split between its conventional fintech arm Square and the bitcoin-focused wing the company is now named after.

Tom Jowitt

Tom Jowitt is a leading British tech freelancer and long standing contributor to Silicon UK. He is also a bit of a Lord of the Rings nut...

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