In the months since Elon Musk took over Twitter and started making all kinds of unpopular changes, people have been looking for other places online where they can hang out instead.
Of all the Twitter-like social platforms to emerge as safe havens for the hordes—Mastodon, T2, Post, Notes—the one with the most buzz is Bluesky. It’s popular because ex-Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey is one of the people behind it, but also because sign-ups are invitation-only, and scarcity breeds demand. The cool people and internet insiders are already on Bluesky, and they are reporting that the new social network looks an awful lot like Twitter. Also, it’s actually … fun.
This week, we look at Bluesky’s rise and discuss its growing pains. We also ask if any of these fledgeling social networks can ever hope to captivate us the way Twitter has.
Here’s Kate on why Bluesky is fun. The platform also has a nudes problem. Vittoria Elliott catalogs the current surge in hate speech and propaganda on Twitter. Relatedly, read about how Reddit has dealt with moderation of hate speech and misinformation.
Kate recommends Middlemarch, the novel by George Eliot. Lauren recommends Baby J, John Mulaney’s latest Netflix special. Mike recommends the album Under the Pink by Tori Amos.
Kate Knibbs can be found on Twitter @Knibbs and does not have any Bluesky invites. Neither does Lauren Goode, who is @LaurenGoode on Twitter. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.
How to Listen
You can always listen to this week’s podcast through the audio player on this page, but if you want to subscribe for free to get every episode, here’s how:
If you’re on an iPhone or iPad, open the app called Podcasts, or just tap this link. You can also download an app like Overcast or Pocket Casts, and search for Gadget Lab. If you use Android, you can find us in the Google Podcasts app just by tapping here. We’re on Spotify too. And in case you really need it, here’s the RSS feed.