decentralization

Jack Dorsey Shares an Update on Decentralized Social Media Protocols

What would a decentralized social media protocol look like?
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Francis Scialabba

· less than 3 min read

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Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey has taken an interest in creating a decentralized standard for social media, nicknamed Bluesky and first announced in December 2019.

@jack gave an update on Twitter’s earnings call Tuesday: “You can imagine an app-store-like view of ranking algorithms that give people ultimate flexibility” in terms of what they see, how content is sorted, etc...

Let’s unpack: Say Twitter builds a decentralized social media protocol. Just like email or the internet, no one entity controls this new, non-proprietary standard. Anyone can build client services, such as interfaces, filters, and ranking algorithms, on top of the protocol. End users take their pick.

Terms of service, content moderation, and other policy decisions would depend on what service you’ve signed up for.

  • The 4chan and family-friendly options, for example, would offer quite different user experiences.
  • Decentralization would also distribute difficult enforcement decisions from one central platform to many.

Big picture: Bluesky is still in the early research phase. But as everything from finance to art sales gets decentralized, if Bluesky turns into anything, it will be worth following.

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