Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey on Tuesday, said he would fund a team of five members, including architects, engineers, and designers, for developing an open and decentralized standard for social media. And to conduct research aimed at changing the way information circulates on social media to combat online hate, violence, and disinformation.
In a series of tweets, Dorsey said: “the goal for Twitter is ultimately to be subject to this new standard which is open for adoption by other platforms like Facebook and Tiktok.”
Twitter is funding a small independent team of up to five open source architects, engineers, and designers to develop an open and decentralized standard for social media. The goal is for Twitter to ultimately be a client of this standard. ????
— jack ???????????? (@jack) December 11, 2019
“We’re facing completely new challenges, and centralized solutions are struggling to meet,” Dorsey said.
“Centralised enforcement of Global policy to address abuse and misleading information is likely to scale over the long-term by placing too much weight on people,” Dorsey said.
But he argues one technical standard shared across different platforms – which operate as walled gardens – would be a Game changer.
Dorsey argued that social media is rapidly shifting away from its original path of content hosting and removal, and towards recommended algorithms.
“Sadly, these algorithms are typically proprietary, and one can’t choose or build alternatives.” Dorsey wrote
Dorsey said an open standard would allow Twitter to focus on building recommendation algorithms that could promote healthy conversations.
He also said the team would also try to build an open community around the new standard which includes companies and organizations, researchers, and civil society leaders.
“This isn’t going to happen overnight,” Dorsey admitted.
“It will take years to develop a safe, scalable, and usable decentralized standard for social media that paves the path to solve the challenges being faced. Our commitment is to fund this work to that point and beyond.” Dorsey said.