Jack Dorsey’s Decentralized Social Media Utopia Is a Noble but Futile Idea

Jack Dorsey is assembling a team to build a decentralized protocol for social media. His vision is bold and noble but ultimately futile.
jack dorsey
Jack Dorsey is assembling a team to build a decentralized protocol for social media. His vision is bold and noble but ultimately futile. | Credit: AP/Francois Mori
  • Jack Dorsey is assembling an independent team to build an open, decentralized protocol for future social media platforms.
  • Somebody needs to remind him that he can’t control human nature.
  • Give credit where credit is due, but don’t buy into the hype just yet.

Jack Dorsey has long been the black sheep of the tech elite. Where others coalesce and jockey for power, he carves out his own path. Or so it seems. The entrepreneur’s latest bold brash idea involves disrupting the very micro-blogging platform that’s made him rich and famous.

According to a Wednesday morning Twitter thread, Dorsey is assembling a crack team of engineers, architects, and designers (designated @bluesky) which will *drumroll* build an open and decentralized protocol for social media of the future:

Jack Dorsey Decentralized Social Media. Twitter
Jack Dorsey wants to decentralize social media. | Source: Twitter

Twitter has roughly 4,600 employees but Dorsey hopes to achieve this rather ambitious feat with a mere five groundbreaking mortals:

For social media, we’d like this team to either find an existing decentralized standard they can help move forward, or failing that, create one from scratch. That’s the only direction we at Twitter, Inc. will provide.

Yes But Technology Won’t Change Human Nature

Dorsey clearly gets much of his inspiration from Bitcoin, that bellwether decentralized project he continues to passionately promote. What he fails to realize, though, is that no amount of technological innovation will ever change human nature.

Take for example this particular Tweet In Dorsey’s 14-point Tweetstorm:

…existing social media incentives frequently lead to attention being focused on content and conversation that sparks controversy and outrage, rather than conversation which informs and promotes health.

So far it has garnered the most amount of likes. As much as we all love to rage on social media behemoths for their cringe-worthy addiction algorithms, nobody wants to admit that we just flipping love the drama they provide.

Somebody should inform Jack, and a number of his fellow Silicon Valley types, that the next fad, even a decentralized one, won’t change that. Until the majority of eyeballs are willing to consume more ‘wholesome’ topics, don’t expect anything to change.

Google 2019 trends
Drama draws eyeballs | Source: Google Trends

The fact is that drama draws eyeballs. And if Twitter isn’t going to provide an outlet for it, people will simply take their micro-dramas elsewhere.

Give Credit Where Credit Is Due

To be fair, Jack’s decentralized vision is definitely a breath of fresh air in an industry filled with stuffy billionaires. Perhaps that’s why Twitter’s third-quarter earnings stunk. And perhaps he actually cares about the community and not just the bottom line, after all?

Twitter stock
Twitter stock is down almost 30% since listing in 2013. | Source: Yahoo Finance

If his vision ever comes true, I will happy concede defeat. But in the meantime, I’m going to back humanity’s never-ending dramas over Jack Dorsey’s decentralized social media utopia every day of the week.

Gerelyn Terzo edited this article for CCN.com. If you see a breach of our Code of Ethics or find a factual, spelling, or grammar error, please contact us.


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