“I am partly responsible” for the state of the Internet

Jack Dorsey says he regrets the social media giant he co-founded.

Dorsey, who announced his plans to leave Twitter in November, recently chirp He feels guilty about the role the company played in creating a centralized internet, with a handful of companies and platforms claiming a huge proportion of users and their data. With 217 million daily users, Twitter is definitely one of these platforms, along with other tech giants like Meta, Alphabet, and Amazon.

“I realize I’m partly to blame, and sorry for that,” Dorsey wrote in his April 2 tweet.

The unfortunate admission comes amid Dorsey’s attempts to extricate himself from Twitter: He resigned as CEO of the company last year, and will leave its board of directors next month.

In his tweet, Dorsey referenced some nostalgic elements from the early days of the internet, including a public online bulletin board and discussion network Usenet, a text chat platform, Internet Relay Chat (IRC) and email encrypted with Pretty Good Privacy (PGP) software. .

Dorsey called these kinds of features “amazing” and lamented that “the center of discovery and identity in companies has really hurt the internet.” Twitter is one example of the centralization of the Internet: it is a popular source of information and news, at least in part because hundreds of millions of users already have accounts.

Likewise, Alphabet-owned Google accounts for more than 90% of the online search market, according to StatCounter. Research from eMarketer shows that approximately 64% of all digital ad spend goes to Amazon, Facebook and Google.

Dorsey has previously said he regrets the lack of a plan for how Twitter’s growth will affect the way people use the Internet and share information online. The company was founded, in part, as a way to “decentralize” online sources of information by allowing a larger group of people to connect and share posts, Note Dorsey in 2019.

A year later, Dorsey told the New York Times that a lack of insight by the founders of Twitter, including himself, meant they weren’t prepared for the effects of seemingly small decisions — such as including “like” counters on tweets, which he said motivate the “coolest” Tweets or controversial.”

Dorsey, who ran Twitter from 2006 to 2008 and again from 2015 to 2021, also argued that the platform should be more transparent about how tweets are displayed and promoted by publishing their algorithms. Such a move could gain popularity within the company: Last month, billionaire and new Twitter board member Elon Musk tweeted that Twitter’s algorithms should be “open source.”

Deploying Twitter algorithms may have a side effect that Dorsey might like: people will be able to create their own versions of Twitter, and communicate across it all, which could encourage a less centralized internet. It is even possible that this finding is the primary goal of Dorsey, who launched a team at Twitter called Bluesky in 2019 to research long-term decentralization standards for social media.

Bluesky’s leader was none other than Parag Agrawal, who was then Twitter’s chief technology officer and is now the company’s CEO. And with Musk now listed in Bluesky’s direction, according to Reuters, Dorsey’s vision for decentralized social media is unlikely to wane once he leaves Twitter’s board — which could help mitigate some of their regrets about the internet landscape he helped create.

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