I didn’t really want to switch from Twitter to Bluesky. First, Twitter has been core to what I do as a historian. Without Twitter and other internet stuff, I am just an unknown historian with a book on the timber industry that got me tenure. That would have been fine, yes of course. But both Out of Sight and A History of America in Ten Strikes directly came out of stuff I wrote here and then publicized on Twitter. And of course there’s also my identity as the historian who just doesn’t care if you don’t like the political commentary or not because it’s coming. Once you get attacked by the NRA and other right-wingers, you either cower in hiding forever or just really stop caring. It was obviously the latter for me and other attempts to attack me haven’t changed that.
I also don’t necessarily think Musk is more evil than other techbro capitalists. I mean, have you followed the lives of Jack Dorsey and Peter Thiel and Sam Bankman-Fried and Mark Zuckerberg and so many others? They are all absolute scumbags.
Still, Musk’s open anti-Semitism really was a step too far. I mean, we are entering crazy land here. Moreover, it was costing me followers on Twitter. Those numbers were declining significantly because the exact people who have moved to Bluesky are the kind of people who do what I do–historians basically. I still need Twitter for labor stuff because that’s where the reporters are. And also, Bluesky doesn’t have a chat function. But I’d rather grow something new on Bluesky than wind the clock up with Twitter, where lots of people also still have accounts but are never on there. It’s becoming like Facebook–a place for the olds who are fearful of other technologies.
So I made the move to Bluesky yesterday. It was great too. Instantly went from zero to 1,600 followers in just a few hours because the online historian community is so great and supporting.
Anyway, follow me over there if you want my social media commentary. At least it’s not the hellsite. Or not yet anyway.