Twitter-backed Bluesky picks tech entrepreneur to lead web research group

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Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey is seen testifying remotely via videoconference during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Facebook and Twitter's content moderation practices, on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., November 17, 2020. REUTERS/Hannah McKay/Pool

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Aug 16 (Reuters) - Bluesky, an organization funded by Twitter Inc (TWTR.N) to build technology aimed at fundamentally changing how social media platforms operate, on Monday announced a leader for the project nearly two years after Twitter chief Jack Dorsey first announced it.

Jay Graber, founder of a social events startup who has also worked as a cryptocurrency developer, will lead Bluesky and is currently focused on hiring and setting up the group as an independent entity outside Twitter, a spokesperson said.

While the Internet was built as a decentralized network, meaning no-one owns it, a large portion of web traffic today is controlled by major search engine and social media companies such as Alphabet's (GOOGL.O) Google and Facebook Inc (FB.O), who each decide the rules of their platforms, such as what type of content is allowed.

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Bluesky is seeking to introduce a new decentralized technology, the idea being that Twitter and others will become clients of Bluesky and rebuild their platforms on top of the standard, Dorsey has said previously.

That will allow collaboration on building content algorithms that better promote "healthy conversation" and reduce the burden on individual companies to fight issues like abuse and hate speech, Dorsey said in March in written testimony to a U.S. House committee.

The project is "complex and unprecedented," Dorsey wrote, and is expected to take years to build.

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Reporting by Sheila Dang in Dallas Editing by David Holmes

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