Beyond the hope, fear, and loathing wrapped in the enigma of Elon Musk’s Twitter, there are some hints of possible blue skies and sunlight, whatever your politics. A new architecture document from the Bluesky project that Jack Dorsey funded points to an important strategy for how that might be achieved — whether by Twitter, or by others. Here are some quick notes on the key idea and why it matters.
It’s not possible to have a usable social network without moderation. Decentralizing components of existing social networks is about creating a balance that gives users the right to speech, and services the right to provide or deny reach.
Our model is that speech and reach should be two separate layers, built to work with each other. The “speech” layer should remain neutral, distributing authority and designed to ensure everyone has a voice. The “reach” layer lives on top, built for flexibility and designed to scale.
That document is written for the technically inclined, so some important highlights and my brief comments on why this matters are on my blog.
The broader view of what this means for social media and society are the subject of the series I am doing with Chris Riley in Tech Policy Press. But this Bluesky document provide a nice explanation of some basic ideas, and demonstrates progress toward making such systems a reality.
The hope is that Twitter applies such ideas — and that others do.
Many other items that advocate similar strategies can be found on my blog.