Twitter Announces New Lead for its bluesky Social Media Decentralization Project

Twitter has announced a new lead for its decentralization-focused bluesky initiative, which, according to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, will see the project ‘move much faster’ from now on.

The new lead for the project will be Jay Graber, the founder of event planning app Happening, who’s also heavily involved in the cryptocurrency community.  

Graber has already mapped her broad vision for a decentralized social ecosystem, and is now aiming to start hiring new staff for the project, with a more clarified path forward for the effort.

But what exactly is bluesky, I hear you ask?

Interesting question, with no specific answer as such. At least not yet.

Originally announced back in 2019, Twitter describes bluesky as a project aimed at developing an ‘open and decentralized standard for social media’.

As per the bluesky website:

We’re focusing on re-building the social web by connecting disconnected silos and returning control of the social experience to users. Our mission is to develop and drive the adoption of technologies for open and decentralized public conversation.

Clear as mud, right?

Decentralization is a key focus of the cryptocurrency movement, which essentially aims to take the power away from big banks and government regulators, ad put it back in the hands of the people, by providing each person with a means to manage their own – in the case of crypto – money and financial transactions. 

From a social media perspective, Twitter sees bluesky as a means to re-distribute power back to users, and away from the few big tech players, in the form of more control over how algorithms and engagement systems are developed.

At the launch of the project, Dorsey outlined three key focus areas for the project:

  • To facilitate enhanced efforts to address abuse and misleading information
  • To enable users and the broader community to have more input into platform algorithms
  • To improve conversational health by giving people more input into platform rules

How, exactly, these efforts will be achieved is still unclear, but the idea is that by utilizing the same principles as Bitcoin and other cryptocurrency projects, social platforms could be built on community input, with each individual able to contribute to the broader process.

So, as you can see, if you don’t really know what bluesky is, you’re not alone, as no one really knows, for sure, what exactly the project will end up becoming just yet. But Twitter is confident that Graber is the right person to lead the way, with a clear vision that aligns with these aims.

That could have a major impact on how social platforms are developed in future, or it could end up amounting to nothing, with the details potentially too complex and too decentralized to work in a unified way. But Twitter’s investing in the project to find out – and it’s interesting idea, which is worth examining. The concern is that, over time, we’ve become too reliant on too few, who control the fate of the world through boardroom meetings, far from people’s lived experience. 

Maybe, through initiatives like this, the balance of power can be restored, providing more means for people to have a bigger say in the things that impact their lives. 

Maybe. Inherent power structures have always existed, or formed based on learned behavior. But maybe there is a way to change this thinking, and re-structure such elements.

We’ll have to wait and see what the bluesky team develops. 

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