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    Is Bluesky Dorsey's response to Twitter's shortcomings?

    TheMorningCrypto Desk
    TheMorningCrypto Desk
    Published on November 7, 2022 2:51 PM

    Updated on January 9, 2023 12:50 PM

    There is good news for anyone looking for a Twitter substitute as Jack Dorsey is beta-testing a new "open and decentralized social network"- Bluesky Social.
    Is Bluesky Dorsey's response to Twitter's shortcomings?
    Source: Unsplash

    On October 27, Elon Musk finished taking over Twitter and seized the worldwide spotlight while holding a sink in his hand. The whole cryptocurrency and technology industries buzzed over the $44 billion deal.

    There is good news for anyone looking for a Twitter substitute. A news report claims that Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey is beta-testing a new social networking platform. A new "open and decentralized social network," Bluesky Social, purportedly seeks to regain user data.

    Jack Dorsey plans an alternative social media platform

    The platform intends to provide an open standard protocol for social media platforms to enable communication between various social media networks.

    In response to Twitter's shortcomings, Bluesky was created and made public when social media platforms were being charged with stealing data, spreading false information, and interfering in elections. 

    As a result, Jack Dorsey has been developing what he terms the "authenticated transfer protocol," or AT Protocol, for the past three years.

    Dorsey's software can completely alter how personal data and advertising money are economically managed.

    Bluesky was created and funded by its parent company, Twitter. A "small independent team" of up to five software experts to build it.

    Notably, Twitter does not hold a majority stake in BlueSky. It reportedly received $13 million in funding from Twitter as of April this year, with no conditions or commitments except to keep the research going.

    'Decentralizing' social media with an open protocol

    Social media platforms like Twitter and Instagram are centralized commercial services run and owned by one particular business, which ultimately has the final say in everything that occurs on them.

    These social networks are based on a more complex set of technical regulations, such as HTTP and TCP/IP, which are available for anybody to use or create products. 

    Bluesky's task is to develop a new "decentralized" social media protocol that would enable many businesses and people to build their applications on top of the same underlying networks and data.

    Suppose you would prefer something else to the automated recommendations on YouTube. In that case, Bluesky imagines you could go to another app that allows you to access the same videos with a different recommendation system—or none at all.

    Mike Masnick, a seasoned tech journalist, Jack cites as a significant inspiration, claims that this would not only create a new ecosystem of third-party filtering and recommendation systems but also lessen the pressure to be the world's speech police.

    "We can experiment with a million various content moderation algorithms on the same general corpus of content to discover which ones perform best," Mike wrote in 2019.

    "Twitter shouldn't have been a company"

    The idea of "allowing users to move their data between social networks and to choose algorithms to filter content for them" echoes a proposal by Mr Dorsey that Twitter establishes a "marketplace" where users may buy and install third-party algorithms.

    In a private text message to Mr Musk in March, Mr Dorsey said, "Twitter originated as a protocol. It shouldn't have been a company. That was the fundamental fault."

    Is BlueSky important to Elon Musk?

    Bluesky has lost its most incredible supporters within Twitter with the resignation of Jack and his successor Parag Agrawal. In light of this, how much does Elon Musk care about the project?

    Mr Musk appeared open during their secret text exchange. He told Ex twitter CEO that the notion was "exciting." "We should talk more. I want to assist if I can. Both are trying to improve Twitter, and starting something new with decentralized operations is worthwhile, in my opinion."

    Related: Jack Dorsey unveils AT Protocol: a decentralized answer to Twitter

    Could Twitter ever be rivalled by Bluesky?

    Not a direct competitor to Twitter, Bluesky is a spinoff developed and sponsored by its parent firm to integrate its technology eventually. 

    Jack Dorsey has also stated that he "really, wholeheartedly" believes in Mr Musk's vision for Twitter.

    It is still being determined if Elon Musk, the wealthiest man on Earth and the CEO of both Tesla and SpaceX, is genuinely interested in Bluesky's idea of corporate freedom, especially given that he now holds the purse strings.

    Another variation, "Lens," created on the Ethereum network via the Aave protocol, was positioned as a Twitter rival. However, the web that will house this application still needs to be discovered in the case of the Bluesky initiative.

    Additionally, Musk has shown an interest in opening up Twitter, hinting that he may make its algorithms public and joking with his brother Kimbal about creating a social network based on blockchains (the decentralized technology behind cryptocurrency).