Twitter’s Decentralized Future

It has been a little over a year since Twitter announced its “bluesky” decentralization initiative, so Lucas Matney of TechCrunch thought it would be a good time to check in on how it’s going:

A widely adopted, decentralized protocol is an opportunity for social networks to “pass the buck” on moderation responsibilities to a broader network, one person involved with the early stages of bluesky suggests, allowing individual applications on the protocol to decide which accounts and networks its users are blocked from accessing.

Social platforms like Parler or Gab could theoretically rebuild their networks on bluesky, benefitting from its stability and the network effects of an open protocol. Researchers involved are also clear that such a system would also provide a meaningful measure against government censorship and protect the speech of marginalized groups across the globe.

The internet itself is comprised of a series of decentralized protocols. While I don’t want to minimize the worries of those involved with the oddly-lowercased bluesky effort, a universal protocol for short messages seems more in-line with the internet I remember before a handful of big American platforms corralled the worldwide market for communication. One could see it as “passing the buck”, but it is equally valid to see this as reducing singular influence and control.