Twitter is trying to build a new decentralized social media service that could transform its business — or present new kinds of headaches
An ambitious project was announced by the CEO of Twitter, Jack Dorsey, on Wednesday. Named “Bluesky,” the initiative aims to transform how Twitter operates and present a new model for social media services, as well as implementing policies around harmful content and moderation. Dorsey stated that Twitter is funding a small team to develop a decentralized standard for social media. Bluesky will be heavily influenced by email, an open protocol that users can implement to build their own email service capable of facilitating communication with other users. Currently, every major social media service is a closed platform, which means users on one site are unable to communicate with users on another.
Dorsey stated that Twitter will be rearchitected on top of the new protocol, which may take years to develop. If successful, Bluesky will be an unprecedented demonstration of the viability of a decentralized social media. Social media companies have been attacked by users over illegal and harmful content, the spread of false information and propaganda, and moderation failures. The challenges the architects of Bluesky face are extensive, including the fact that content moderation will be even harder to implement. An open protocol will remove much of the network out of Twitter’s reach, a design choice that may attract scrutiny from lawmakers and critics.