- Jack Dorsey said Tuesday a decentralized social network allows for more conversations and content.
- Twitter has been working on developing this kind of network since 2019. It’s called Bluesky.
- Dorsey said decentralization can be a way to address some of the problems facing Section 230.
- Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.
Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey on Tuesday explained why the platform and its users would benefit from decentralized social media network systems.
Dorsey was referring to the company’s project, Bluesky, which has been in the works for more than a year.
In a call with investors on Thursday, Dorsey said: “I think the most important thing to focus on in terms of decentralizing social media is that it creates a much larger corpus of conversation.”
Dorsey, who cofounded Twitter in 2006, said platforms that operate without central governance allows people to access a wider public conversation, more content and ranking algorithms that suit people’s needs.
In turn, the company can surface more relevant content to users, he said.
“That will not only help our business, but drive more people into participating in social media in the first place,” Dorsey said.
What is Bluesky?
Twitter formed a team dedicated to building a new decentralized social media system, Bluesky, in 2019.
The project presents a new model for social media platforms and offers an alternative to traditional, centralized platforms, such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
These sites are closed platforms, meaning users on one aren’t able to connect with other users on another. Bluesky will take inspiration from email, whereby users with different email addresses can reach out to each other, regardless of which email server they use.
Instead of being controlled by the company in charge, the network will put the power into the hands of the user. This means Twitter would only be able to control its own app on Bluesky, not other applications.
Ultimately, it would allow people to create more social media sites. The system will take many years to develop, Dorsey said in a tweet in 2019.
The people behind the project
In the initial announcement, Dorsey said that a small independent team of up to five open-source architects, engineers, and designers are working on Bluesky.
People familiar with the matter told TechCrunch in January that up to 50 people from the decentralized tech community are surveying the project and planning proposals for what Bluesky should look like.
The people also said Twitter is hoping to hire a project manager in the coming weeks for an independent team that will start building out Bluesky, which is in the research phase.
Bluesky opens the door for content moderation issues
Over recent years, platforms like Facebook and Twitter have come under intense scrutiny about moderating illegal and harmful content and the spread of misinformation online.
An open network, such as Bluesky, will make content moderation even more difficult because it will take much of the network out of Twitter’s control.
In the call on Thursday, Dorsey said decentralization can be a way to “address some of the problems that is facing Section 230,” an internet law that protects tech companies from being liable for content posted on their sites.
Democrats and Republicans have mostly agreed Section 230 should be updated. Some are even calling for it to be stripped.
In a Senate hearing in October, Dorsey said stripping back Section 230 could “collapse how we communicate on the Internet” and leave “only a small number of giant and well-funded” tech firms, according to Twitter, which shared Dorsey’s comments with Insider at the time.
Twitter didn’t immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.