FTX CEO Bankman-Fried wants to fix social media with blockchain

Bankman-Fried wants to fix social media’s ‘broken model’ through blockchain technology. — AFP

It is well-known that cryptocurrency billionaire and FTX chief executive officer Sam Bankman-Fried wants to give away his entire fortune. Next on his agenda is fixing social media’s "broken model” through blockchain technology.

"What is the moderation policy for all of social media – it’s like three guys? It’s the people who run three companies who choose what does and doesn’t get censored. That’s a broken model,” Bankman-Fried said in an interview with Bloomberg TV.

Much like Tesla CEO Elon Musk, Bankman-Fried thinks censorship is a major issue. Creating a system in which social media platforms could each draw from the same source for underlying data could help solve the problems that plague social media, from basic user experience to freedom of speech, he said.

"It’s a really messy system where there is no interoperability between different platforms,” Bankman-Fried said. "There’s no ability to see a Tweet on Facebook. If you message someone on Facebook, Whatsapp can’t read it and that’s the same company.”

Asked whether he has spoken with Musk, Bankman-Fried said: "I have not directly talked to Elon about this, but I would be excited to.”

Last week, Musk made an unsolicited bid to take Twitter Inc. private at US$54.20 (RM231.43) a share, valuing the company at about US$43bil (RM183.61bil). In turn, Twitter adopted a so-called poison pill defense to shield itself from hostile bids. The shareholder rights plan is exercisable if a party buys 15% of the stock without approval and seeks to ensure anyone taking control of Twitter through open market accumulation pays all shareholders an appropriate premium. Musk has already built a 9% stake in the social media company and been a vocal critic of its policies on free speech.

Under Bankman-Fried’s proposed model, different interfaces can draw from the same data and make decisions independently about censorship. This would also spur competition because it would level the playing field between those platforms with a deep user base and those that are just starting out, he added.

"This would be a really, really interesting, important innovation in social networks,” he said. Bloomberg

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