Twitter has been in turmoil since Elon Musk took over the company. Understandably, some users are dissatisfied with the abrupt and drastic change in leadership. Many users are right to be concerned that the promised lack of moderation and alleged “censorship” will expose users from vulnerable communities to harassment, bullying, threats, and a slew of other issues.
Twitter alternatives have sprung up predictably in an attempt to attract new users who want to avoid the prospect of a Musk-run and moderated Twittersphere. Mastadon, a flexible open-source social media platform that appears promising but has its own set of drawbacks, is one such existing Twitter alternative. Some entrepreneurial Twitter users have even proposed launching their own social media platform. Jimmy Wales, the founder of Wikipedia, everyone’s favorite college paper primary source, has proposed plans for a competitor to Elon’s bird-site.
A social media platform based on trust
According to a Twitter thread posted this morning, Wales hopes to develop WT.Social into a full-fledged social media platform that does away with the algorithm and will “rank based on trust.” WT.Social bills itself as “the non-toxic social network,” according to its website.
Essentially, rather than relying on an algorithm designed to keep you scrolling indefinitely, WT.Social will prioritize content based on which accounts users trust. “I don’t know if it’ll be perfect, and I’m sure we’ll have to adjust along the way,” Wales says, “but it has to be better than this hellsite, yeah?” A social media platform based solely on trust may have drawbacks, but it may be a step in the right direction. Wales claims that the new trust-based ranking system will be at the heart of a “completely revamped” version of the app that will go live in the near future.
The future will reveal whether WT.Social will triumph over Twitter and become a safe haven for users seeking to avoid Musk’s tutelage. With so many users considering leaving Twitter, it’s only a matter of time before a viable competitor appears to pick up the slack. Whatever that future site is, it will almost certainly have its own set of teething problems.