To the extent I have a preference for any form of social media, I prefer decentralization and ownership of one’s own content. With that being said, I think that there are inherent flaws in the structure of the popular centralized big tech social media. It is for this reason that I am wary of the tendency of open source decentralized alternatives to replicate everything about the centralized platforms except for ads and centralization. My most detailed piece on the issue was my critique of Fediverse clones (also see my similar post on Substack Notes). I came across an incisive comment by Hacker News user klabb3 which effectively describes my feelings on the matter (the commenter is discussing why Bluesky, another Twitter alternative, is unappealing):
The format was always fomo- and hot-take oriented to me, so I stayed away. I don’t understand why people are desperate to remake that particular product.klabb3 (see original)
I generally share the commenter’s concerns about hot take culture. My greater, overarching concern is that Twitter (or X) incentivizes bad content. Note that this critique is not particular to Twitter’s new CEO — I did and still do think that Mr. Elon Musk’s purchase of Twitter is a good thing in the aggregate. But the reasons I think that have nothing to do with making Twitter good. This is impossible. The concept of a Twitter alternative should be something other than Twitter minus a few bad parts. We need not “remake that particular product,” we should instead replace it with something better.