A highlight from Featured Story | Some Users May Want an Everything App, but What We Need Is Digital Sovereignty
This episode of Markets Daily is sponsored by Kraken. It's Thursday, August 10th, 2023, and this is Markets Daily from Coindesk. George Kaloudis here again with your featured story. On today's show, we're bringing the Wondercraft AI voice back to read an opinion piece by Jameson Lapp, the CTO and co -founder of CASA. The piece is titled, Some users may want an everything app, but what we need is digital sovereignty. And just a reminder, Coindesk is a news source and does not provide financial advice. I'll catch y 'all on the other side. In late July, Twitter's logo suddenly changed to an X, followed by Elon Musk's official announcement. Twitter is officially no more, and the website used by millions around the world is now called X. According to the platform's CEO, Linda Yaccarino, the rebranding was the next step toward, quote, the future state of unlimited interactivity, end quote, morphing Twitter into, quote, a global marketplace for ideas, goods, services, and opportunities, end quote, or a unified, quote, unquote, everything app. But who asked for this? At a time when our lives are only becoming increasingly digital, why should we hand all of our information to centralized opaque organizations that have a track record of using it unethically? Sure, these services can be profoundly convenient, and many people undoubtedly enjoy having one user friendly application that can manage so much of their digital and real lives. But what's the price? Is convenience worth our freedom? The idea of Twitter as an everything app was seemingly inspired by the popular Chinese platform WeChat, which allows users not only to chat, make calls, and send media, but also to make payments and access a wide range of financial and personal services. As Elon Musk has said, you basically live on WeChat in China. If we can recreate that with Twitter, we'll be a great success. Despite sounding convenient on paper, there's a genuine concern about what happens when you use a single point of access for your entire digital world. If you do anything deemed unacceptable, generally by algorithms designed by people you will never know, you can be cut off in a second, often with little to no recourse. Last October, for example, some WeChat users in China reported that they were banned from the platform entirely, effectively killing their digital self, just for reposting some questionable banners condemning Xi Jinping. More recently, X itself literally hijacked a 16 -year -old account that used the atX handle, replacing its name with atX, followed by a 14 -digit long sequence of numbers without any prior warnings, consent, or compensation. Twitter's rebranding was happening alongside the launch of Meta's new community messaging service called Threads. It joined Meta's other social media offerings, including Facebook and Instagram, and is designed for sharing text updates and joining public conversations in competition with X. Considering Meta's complicated history with customer data, it's unsurprising that many are concerned that Threads is simply a new avenue for information gathering and potential abuse. Many big tech companies like Meta and X have tried to create everything platforms by expanding into new products because being present in users' day -to -day lives is a way to gather untold gigabytes of data on people worldwide. But without owning your account, everything can be unilaterally taken away in an instant, and everything becomes a single point of surveillance and potential failure.