American entrepreneur Frank McCourt will invest up to 100 million dollars in, among other things, the development of an alternative internet protocol against the ‘stranglehold’ of social media platforms on users’ data. His initiative is called ‘Project Liberty’.
The investment will create a more balanced internet and a new open-source protocol, free social networks from the stranglehold of companies that own them, protect privacy, encourage innovation, and take ownership of their data to give back to the users’, it sounds.
The American entrepreneur will thus invest 25 million dollars in developing a new computer protocol, which ‘will belong to the users’. The new infrastructure should be operational by the fall and allow users to take back control of their personal information, currently held on existing platforms, McCourt said.
The new protocol should be called Decentralized Social Networking Protocol (DSNP). DSNP uses public blockchain technology that gives people control over their own data. The other $75 million is earmarked for creating an international institute in partnership with the American University of Georgetown and Sciences-Po in France. That institute should promote research into developing technologies for the general good, it says in a press release.
“Like many others, I have seen with increasing dismay how the technology intended to provide universal access to opportunity and bring us together has become a primary reason for extreme polarization, division and inequality,” McCourt said. “Today’s social media platforms are increasingly controlling our data, fueling divisions, invading our privacy and threatening our democracies.”
McCourt is a 67-year-old American businessman. Since 2016, he has owned the French football team Olympique de Marseille. He made his fortune building a real estate empire in his native Boston. He also owns the Dodgers baseball club in Los Angeles.