‘I’m partly to blame’ for the state of the internet

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

Dorsey, who announced plans to leave Twitter in November, recently tweeted who feels guilty about the role the company has played in creating a centralized internet, where a small handful of companies and platforms claim a oversized proportion of users and their data. With 217 million daily users, Twitter certainly qualifies as one of those platforms, along with other tech giants like Meta, Alphabet, and Amazon.

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

The sad admission comes amid Dorsey’s attempts to extricate himself from Twitter: He stepped down as the company’s chief executive last year and will step down from its board of directors next month.

In his tweet, Dorsey referenced some elements nostalgic for the early days of the Internet, including the public online bulletin board and discussion network Usenet, the text-based chat platform Internet Relay Chat (IRC), and electronic mail. encrypted with Pretty Good Privacy (PGP). Software program.

Dorsey called such features “amazing” and lamented that “centralizing discovery and identity in corporations really hurt the Internet.” Twitter is an 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.

Similarly, Alphabet-owned Google captures more than 90% of the online search market, according to stat counter. Investigation of electronic marketer shows that roughly 64% of all digital ad spend goes to Amazon, Facebook, and Google.

Dorsey has said before that he regretted not having a plan for how Twitter’s growth could affect the way people use the Internet and share information online. The company was founded, in part, as a way to “decentralize” online information sources by allowing a broader range of people to connect and share posts. dorsey pointed in 2019.

A year later, Dorsey told the New York Times that the lack of foresight of Twitter’s founders, including himself, meant they were unprepared for the effects of seemingly small decisions, such as including “like” counters on tweets, which he said incentivized “the most obscene or controversial”.

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

The release of Twitter’s algorithms could have a side effect that Dorsey would like: People could create their own versions of Twitter and communicate across all of them, potentially fostering a less centralized Internet. That result may even be the main goal for Dorsey, who launched a team on Twitter. called blue sky in 2019 to investigate long-term decentralized standards for social networks.

Bluesky’s leader was none other than Parag Agrawal, who was then the CTO of Twitter and is now the company’s CEO. And with Musk now included in Bluesky’s leadership, according to ReutersDorsey’s vision of decentralized social media is unlikely to wane once he leaves Twitter’s board, which could help ease some of those regrets about the Internet landscape he helped create.

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