Jack Dorsey told Elon Musk that Twitter should work like protocol
- Jack Dorsey told Elon Musk that Twitter should be an “open source protocol funded by a foundation”.
- The idea came up during Musk’s lawsuit against Twitter and its Board of Directors.
- Elon Musk and FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried have released a series of Twitter messages.
Elon Musk troubled attempt to buy Twitter, the company’s former CEO and co-founder, Jack Dorsey, told him that the microblogging platform should be based on a “open source protocol funded by a foundation.”
The idea came up during the legal discovery process for Musk’s ongoing lawsuit with Twitter and its Board of Directors, which is trying to hold the billionaire to his offer to buy the service. One of the pieces of evidence in the case is a collection of text messages that Musk sent and received from Dorsey, FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried, Oracle co-founder Larry Ellison, and investor and podcaster Jason Calcanis, among others.
The archive, which was taken from court documents marked “Exhibit H” and “Exhibit J,” was highlighted by Internal Tech Emails and published by New York Times reporter Kate Conger.
In Twitter v. Musk, all of Elon Musk texts were made public today: https://t.co/9m4yS3apBx
In a text message conversation that happened before Dorsey left Twitter’s board, Musk said that Dorsey’s ideas were “really cool.”
Instead of keeping Twitter under normal corporate control, Dorsey said it should be paid for by a foundation that has no control over the public protocol it is based on.
“A bit like what Signal has done,” Dorsey continued. “It can’t have an advertising model.” Dorsey explained that if it did have an advertising model, the government and advertisers would have a place to try to control and change it. “It will be attacked if it is run by a single group,” he said.
Musk, for his part, seemed open to the idea. Musk said, “I think it’s important to both try to move Twitter in a better direction and try something new that’s decentralised.”
In the messages, the two of them and others talk about the possibility of a future blockchain-based service that focuses on privacy and could replace Twitter.
“Btw Elon,” FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried wrote. “I’d love to talk about Twitter, and I’d like to write a post about how blockchain and Twitter could work together.”
Musk said in one message that he had an idea for a blockchain-based social media system that “does both payments and short text messages/links like Twitter.”
Musk said the idea is for users to pay a small amount to register a message on-chain. This will cut down on most spam and bots.
“There is no throat to choke, so free speech is guaranteed,” he wrote.
Anthony Rose, who is head of engineering at Matter Labs and used to be an engineering manager at SpaceX, was one of the names that Musk was given for the possible project’s leader.
Musk also talked about using Dogecoin, which is his favourite cryptocurrency, on the platform. Musk suggested that you should have to pay 0.1 Doge to post or repost comments. “My Plan B is a blockchain-based version of Twitter where the “tweets” are built into the transaction as comments,” he wrote.
“The idea of blockchain free speech has been around for a long time,” Musk wrote. “The real question is how to put it into action.”
Musk went on to say that the problem with the idea is that a peer-to-peer network can’t meet the bandwidth and latency needs “unless those “peers” are absolutely huge, which would defeat the purpose of a decentralised network.”