Jack Dorsey warns against attacks on Twitter staff and dedicates $1M a year to Signal
Jack Dorsey, Twitter founder, issued a warning about the state of the social network and its prospects. He stated that it does not meet the standards he had hoped for and that harassment of its staff was dangerous and shortsighted. As he has said before, it’s time for him to move on. He’s funding new efforts in open internet development, starting with $1 million per annum to Signal.
Start in a Twitter thread, but quickly Transitioning to a blog article He wrote, “I don’t want all my content to be edited into 280 char pieces,” — shade he probably never imagined throwing). Dorsey stated that his desire to create a Twitter according his wishes was overtaken by an activist investor in 2020.
He wrote, “I planned my departure at that moment knowing that I wasn’t right for the company.”
He admitted that the principles he had hoped for — resilience to corporate control and user-controlled content without exceptions and algorithmic moderation – are not present in today’s Twitter.
He wrote that despite the insinuations surrounding the so-called Twitter Files that there was no ill intention or hidden agendas, and that everyone acted according the best information available at the time.
The threads were very selective in what they showed and what they left out, while casting Yoel Roth (ex-head of Trust and Safety) as power-mad and agenda-driven. Roth was reportedly subject to harassment that was so severe that he had no choice but to temporarily leave his home. There is not much new in the published material, other than a few convenient scapegoats for imagined abuse.
The files are a matter of personal opinion. I wish they were made available Wikileaks-style with more eyes and interpretations. I also want to see transparency in the future and present actions. All of this is what I hope will happen. There is nothing to hide…only a lot of lessons to be learned. The current attacks on my former colleagues can be dangerous and won’t solve any problems. If you want to take the blame, point it at me and my actions or lack thereof.
Jack, be careful what you wish to get.
The conversations themselves As I wrote last weekThese are a fascinating look at moderation in unprecedented circumstances. It is what one would expect to see behind the scenes of such a process: frank and open discussion about how to interpret a rule or what action they should take. Bias inferences have little to no documentary weight, unless they are supported by a carefully curated presentation.
As for actual solutions, Dorsey works hard at Bluesky (or at least is present), but he mentions Mastodon or Matrix as viable avenues of development.
There will be many more. One of them will be able to become a standard like HTTP and SMTP. This is not about a “decentralized Twitter.” It is a focused, urgent push for a core technology standard that will make social media a part of the internet.
He announced that he will fund Signal (definitely resilient for governments) at $1 million per year. He promised more grants and sought recommendations. It was fortunate that Matt Taibbi accidentally published what appeared to be his personal email in the first Twitter Files thread. Everyone should be able get in touch.
I’m a journalist who specializes in investigative reporting and writing. I have written for the New York Times and other publications.