Two thinkers I follow and respect, @jonhaidt and @profgalloway, are now advocating the need of some kind of ID for users of online social media. It’s an idea I always found intuitively repellent, and I fear the negative consequences that would have — but their arguments in favour are making me doubt.

@tripu It looks like these thinkers don't know about decentralized IDs such as Bright ID ( or Proof Of Humanity (

If anyone wants to live in a centralized authoritarian dystopia they can move to China today, no need to wait!



But those projects are extremely niche and haven’t been tested with a significant no. of users for long enough yet, right?

Re China: it doesn’t have to be either/or. Can’t we imagine using IDs in social networks without the West devolving into “a centralized authoritarian dystopia”? We didn’t have a centralized authoritarian dystopia before social networks with plenty of ID everywhere, and we don’t have one now — it’s not clear that introducing IDs online now would inevitably lead to a centralized authoritarian dystopia. I say at least let’s be open to the idea.

@tripu Of course decentralized unique IDs are a new thing, but they should be given strong consideration before throwing us into the panopticon of Big Brother.

I strongly oppose more state control because it's not just the likelihood of a dystopian future, but that multiplied by the harm it would cause. Not worth the risk.

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