TechScape: Can Jack Dorsey’s Bluesky really take over from Twitter?

  • May 16, 2023
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The spinoff app is trying to do what Mastodon couldn’t and take a piece of Elon Musk’s pie. Plus: the race to save 1bn NSFW images on Imgur

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In February, Bluesky released its iOS app. The social network began as a spinoff within Twitter to build a fully “decentralised” protocol, something that could replicate the Twitter experience without placing the company itself at the centre of impossible decisions around content moderation.

Musk added on Friday that he looked forward to working with Yaccarino on transforming Twitter into X, the “everything app” along the lines of China’s multi-faceted WeChat.

Musk did not name Yaccarino in the initial post, but on Friday, NBCUniversal, the entertainment conglomerate behind the NBC TV network and the Universal film studio, announced that Yaccarino had left the business without revealing her onward destination. Musk’s confirmation came soon afterwards.

She interviewed Musk on stage at an advertising conference in Miami last month, in which she told the Tesla CEO that some advertisers “have a challenge with your points of view”, to which Musk replied that some of his tweets should be taken with a “grain of salt”. Yaccarino also said in the interview: “If freedom of speech, as he says, is the bedrock of this country, I’m not sure there’s anyone in this room who could disagree with that.”

In April, Yaccarino tweeted a clip from an interview between Musk and the comedian Bill Maher on the HBO show Real Time With Bill Maher, in which she tagged Musk with an “on fire” emoji. In the clip, Musk is asked by Maher about the “woke mind virus”, prompting Musk to state that the world needed to be “cautious” about anything that is “anti-meritocratic” and “results in the suppression of free speech”.

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