Taking Over Twitter - with a SAFE Twitter Chat App


Reports that twitter is looking for a buyer have caused concern among twitter users, worried at the prospect of of their data, relationships and an invaluable alternative media platform being owned by Google, Facebook or some other wealthy surveillance capitalist outfit, or worse!

This prompted Nathan Schneider to propose to buy twitter and operate it as a cooperative, owned by its users. This is an admirable and preferable alternative, and one which I plan to support, but which to me is both going to be rather difficult to achieve (raising billions in up-front funds and subsequent revenue), and also not the best long term solution (privacy, censorship and sustainability).

So I will support it - though perhaps hoping it can be a stepping-stone to a better, thoroughly decentralised solution where we can avoid the vulnerable and costly server based infrastructure, and its inherent vulnerabilities: the privacy, censorship and funding risks apparent with the existing Twitter Inc. corporation.

I have therefore explained the SAFE twitter alternative to those folk currently organising the twitter buyout. They have understandably asked people not to derail their discussions with such alternatives, which is why I’ve created this topic as a place for us to consider a SAFE Twitter Chat App as an alternative destination for twitter users.

TL’DR Summary

This topic is a place for us to discuss a SAFE Twitter Chat App - something that a twitter co-operative might one day willingly choose to pivot to should Nathan’s plan be successful, or which groups of twitter users might move to should twitter cease to be the thing it is today, either through change of ownership or other changes necessary to sustain its business model and satisfy shareholders, government surveillance etc.

This topic is not intended as a place to get involved with the Buy Twitter Plan - though we may well discuss aspects of the plan, and note its progress here, as I think it has relevance and potential synergy with an alternative SAFE Twitter Chat App.

I have drawn this to the attention of @Seneca, our man from Project Decorum in case it can be a suitable platform to enable such a development.

This is not a proposal from me to develop this App, and if others are already doing so I welcome their projects or their input here. I’m busy with other stuff, but will chip in as a big twitter user and fan, as well as a big fan of SAFEnetwork who would love to see all those twitter users find a better home on SAFEnetwork :slight_smile:

Support This Initiative On Twitter!

Something for any tweeps here to RT:


Well I already know how to make APP ZERO so I guess I’ll just make this too today and save the world! :smiley:


But honestly, making SAFE is always priority #1. Making a twitter clone on it will be so easy for devs, that it will just pop up and put all these problems to rest, permanently.

And not just for twitter, for everything we use

We just need SAFE…

I agree that making a twitter clone is relatively easy. The difficulty is getting mass adoption, and the buy-out provides a route to that.

One way is as a stepping stone: they buy twitter, later see a SAFEtwitter as an alternative, vote to move everyone (and their data) to it.

Another is that creating a mass movement, which ultimately doesn’t get to making a buy-out, they have a large body of users who are motivated to adopt something else, and choose to move en masse over to a SAFEtwitter.

Without a hundred million users, SAFEtwitter will be just another chat app. A good one, but not what twitter is today. It also provides us with another route to mass adoption of SAFE Network. Imagine if we get 10m twitter users joining within a year or something! :slight_smile:

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I think with a lot of these sort of web apps, it will come down to infrastructure costs. If twitter can host messages on safe net, rather than their own boxes, they will potentially save cash.

Twitter is basically just marketing and infrastructure though, as the core software is trivial. On safe net, that boils down to marketing get only. Hmm…


Something for any tweeps here to RT:

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… from the moment there is cheap pub/sub (cheap for the network, that is)

@dirvine mentioned push notifications are coming soon, so that’s a good thing

EDIT: now that i’m looking through the forum, he specifically mentioned twitter followers in a post as a use case for this

There is already Twister, a decentralized, blockchain based Twitter alternative which works for years. It´s pretty neat, but I never used it a lot due the crucial factor, that isn´t tech - as @happybeing pointed out - but mass adoption.



Well done on that Loomio thread!.

Im confused. Are you suggesting Twitter builds on SafeNetwork or we build a competing application and urge Twitter users to convert or maybe its clear and Im thick or???

Btw. just to bring it up since we are talking about Twitter alternatives: this is what I had in mind when I wrote the power party wireframe.

Now that I reread it, I wonder if the SAFE development is at a stage where it would make sense to develop a prototype…


@BIGbtc This post sums up the two main opportunities I see (for an independently developed) SAFE chat app to replace twitter.com:

@Traction suggested a way that twitter Inc might reduce costs by leveraging SAFEnetwork, but that is not what I’m hoping to see.

(my first post).

Even if you create the exact replica of twitter on safenetwork, its not the owners of twitter that make the users to join, people join due to usability, accessibly amongst many others and they will not leave twitter or transfer to safe network version of twitter except there are some other functions of which they need that twitter don’t provide.

Privacy and anonymity is a crucial reason for them to switch over to safe network base twitter however majority of the users don’t give a dam, making your own version of twitter within the safe network to be attractive only to few people who care. except you further provide other features which can’t be implemented or haven been implemented on the currently existing twitter.

so for safe network apps to gain popularity as those not on safe network, we need to implement features not already available, solutions (like those already establish by safe network core) of which we will use as point of advert, not only in the aspect of security but also in productivity to the audience.

just a suggestion and its probably full of errors and this is just my first post and personal opinion on this. have no idea if i’m doing the right thing or not lol.



You’re taking part in the conversation, so you are definitely doing the right thing!

I think you’re right that it’s very hard to quickly ‘replace’ something like twitter. The privacy and security angle doesn’t matter to everybody, but it certainly matters to a lot of people and their numbers swell with every day and every new hack.

I think it is more likely that SAFE becomes the cool, unique, new thing that draws people in with it’s own gravity. SAFEnetwork itself will be the draw (general network utility, coin utility, dark markets, lots of controversial media coverage etc). The community that spawns will need/want their own social media solutions (ty Harmen).

I think SAFE will have huge draw for just about everyone (implications of privacy and security are what will interest people, even if they don’t realise they care about digital freedom now, they will when they see what practical things it can do for them ;)).

People will flock from clearnet imo. It’s exactly as you say, they will come because it offers them things they can’t get anywhere else. Once they are using SAFE it will be quite natural to use social media on there. The bigger safe gets the less reason there will be to use clearnet at all… since SAFE is better in every way most will only use the legacynet where there are services they can’t get on SAFEnet. I think a mirror of twitter on SAFE would still end up with more users than clearnet eventually, but it will be the unique draws of SAFE that allows that rather than unique features on SAFEtwitter imo.

As I understand it Decorum will have a lot of unique and interesting features that could well give it its own draw, but I think a lot of users will end up using it and other SAFE social media solutions regardless. I would rather not use the legacynet at all if possible. I’m not techy, or obsessed with privacy etc. I’d just rather feel safer and be able to download movies safely, communicate privately, save my important info cheaply and safely etc.

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Anonymity and privacy may not be high on the list for many, but validating identity is a pretty big thing. Twitter has taken to validating people and companies as authentic for this very reason.

With safe net, this should be much better. The publisher can be identified cryptographically, with their account self authorised by providing whatever evidence confirms it.


I agree there are different reasons why people might, and might not, adopt a SAFEnetwork twitter.

The point of this topic is to look into one particular opportunity created by the groundswell of opposition to twitter being bought out.

This is I think worth looking into, even if not the only reason people might like a SAFE twitter. So let’s consider what is happening now in this respect - the response of twitter users to a take over - including but not necessarily limited to the campground to turn twitter into a user owned cooperative.

Let’s see what opportunities this presents, such as working with the campaign, or being ready to provide an alternative option if it proves too difficult to raise enough funds to buy twitter from its shareholders.


Since it’s too soon to provide any alternatives I guess the best we can do is contribute to the dialogue and continue singing the praises of what will be…

I suppose if this issue continues to be fashionable and relevant to twitter when SAFE is viable then it would have helped to get the conversation going earlier. It might be hard to maintain excitement and keep a conversation going for 6 months+ though.

Did you get any response from the campaign when you messaged them?

Are you suggesting we organise to get dozens of us tweeting and retweeting messages that help draw attention to the SAFE alternative?

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I’m suggesting we do things to foster the conversation and to see if there are practical steps we (e.g Project Decorum, or anyone else interested on similar social apps) can do to be ready with an alternative twitter app asap.

I’m pretty sure there are people working on such projects already, and it’s fine if they want to stay focused on their project rather than show their hand or be diverted by this conversation. I’m trying to make it clear that this is an open proposal, and not something I intend to do more than encourage and help out with in small ways.

I’ve said the same to the BuyTwitter folk. Nathan is on board with the idea but doesn’t want it to distract from the buyout plan, which I agree it shouldn’t. So I’ll be supportive of his endeavor too.

If anyone wants to see the status of those discussions (which were very brief) see the loomio link in the OP. So far that’s the full extent of them and I don’t expect to do more than keep in touch for the time being. Others are welcome to go ahead with anything they feel is constructive, but don’t look to me to lead this, I’m just pointing out the opportunity.

And if anyone wants to take a lead and make progress, for example to develop an App and position it ready to provide the alternative to a buyout at some point, be my guest, I will support you.

6 posts were split to a new topic: Most people simply don’t think (less care!) about privacy, security, robust data storage

Salesforce Won’t Pursue Bid for Twitter
Lack of buyer interest means social-media company will have to forge ahead on its own, for now

developer here, doing .net for the day job. have been following the project and partook in the last funding round. am very interested in how this would work. I know that SAFE is basically a distributed key-value store, but how do you then do querying on top of that to make all the usual twitter search functionality etc. work?

would also be interested to contribute, if there is any dev effort start up in this direction.