Workshop Proceedings of the 18th International AAAI Conference on Web and Social Media

Workshop: ICWSM 2024 Data Challenge: Research Data in a Post-API, Decentralized, and Walled Garden Web

DOI: 10.36190/2024.74

Published: 2024-06-01
How Decentralization Affects User Agency on Social Platforms
Aditya Surve, Aneesh Shamraj, Swapneel Mehta

Mainstream social media platforms function as "walled garden" ecosystems that restrict user agency, control, and data portability. They have demonstrated a lack of transparency that contributes to a multitude of online harms. Our research investigates how decentralization might present promise as an alternative model to walled garden platforms. Specifically, we describe the user-driven content moderation as an expression of agency on Bluesky, a decentralized social platform. We examine the impact of providing users with more granular control over their online experiences, including what they post, who can see it, and whose content they are exposed to. We describe the patterns identified in user-driven content moderation and suggest directions for further research.