Jack Dorsey regrets helping create the centralized Internet

Big Picture: Social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook have changed the way we present and search for information on the Internet. Of course, not everyone is happy with how things turned out – even those who played a key role in how we got here.

Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey recalled the glory days of the early Internet in a recent tweet, calling platforms like Usenet, IRC, the Internet, and even email (with PGP) amazing. “The centralization of discovery and identification in corporations has really hurt the Internet,” Dorsey added.

He even admitted that he was partly to blame and regrets it.

Dorsey co-founded Twitter in 2006 and became its first CEO just as Myspace was nearing its peak in popularity and Facebook was poised to surpass it. He left the post in 2008 but returned for a second term in 2015 before stepping down again in 2021.

Dorsey’s admission of regret is atypical, but since he is no longer associated with Twitter, he is free to speak his mind openly.

There can be arguments on both sides about which version of the Internet – past or present – is “better”. Proponents of the early Internet will point to its decentralized nature and the sense of wonder it evoked. Sometimes it really seemed that anything was possible.

Today’s Internet has penetrated almost all spheres of modern society. It is much more accessible and powerful than the Internet of yesteryear, and light years faster. This permanent, instant gratification has had some unforeseen consequences (such as privacy concerns), but has also improved the quality of life for many millions of people.

Image credit Alexander Shatov

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