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OPLIN 4Cast #678: Will decentralizing Twitter solve its problems?

Posted in Twitter

A few weeks ago, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey tweeted that his company would fund an outside research team, called Bluesky, to develop an “open and decentralized standard for social media.” What does that mean, exactly? The best analogy might be email: in Gmail, for example, you aren’t limited to only sending email to other Gmail users; but because of the “Simple Mail Transport Protocol,” email works regardless of your client, and companies like Superhuman can build enhancements on top of email. So what if you didn’t need a Twitter account to tweet?

  • Jack Dorsey Wants to Help You Create Your Own Twitter [Wired] “The CEO tweeted that he’s hiring a team to develop open source standards for decentralized social networks. His hope: It will spawn better ways to combat hate and harassment.”
  • Hey @Jack Dorsey, decentralizing Twitter won’t solve hate speech problems [Digital Trends] “The whole purpose of a decentralized platform is for users to be solely in control of their data, what they post, and what they see. They’re not in control of other people’s data, or what they see or interact with. If someone posts something illegal, how will law enforcement respond?”
  • Can Twitter Ever Be Decentralized? [Slate] “A range of services for decentralized social media already link together in the Fediverse—a collection of interoperable social networks that use open standards and protocols to talk to one another. But instead of integrating with current solutions, Dorsey wants to spend years developing a new standard.”
  • Twitter wants to decentralize, but decentralized social network creators don’t trust it [The Verge] “If Twitter wants to create their own protocol instead of using what’s already out there, then it’s a naked power move to get control over an area that they’ve traditionally ignored.”

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