Decentralized Social Media and The Fragmentation of Control

The architecture of a social network doesn’t just affect a bunch of invisible server-whirrings and documentation jargon. It’s directly responsible for how the network’s users interact โ€” what they’re allowed to say, what they’re likely to see, and who controls these factors.

A good example to start my examination into centralized/decentralized social networks is Twitter.

The name โ€œTwitterโ€ and the platformโ€™s relentless bird imagery isnโ€™t an arbitrary choice โ€” it actually makes a lot of sense with regard to how the network works.

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Starlings, for example, flock in groups of 10,000 or more, unified and communicating as a network. Birds learn to sing by listening and imitating, which often means that groups of co-existing birds learn the same patterns, inflections, and memes.…   [continue reading]