Big social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, etc hold their users captive through the high cost for users to migrate elsewhere ie. all they have to give up by leaving friends and family behind, finding a new alternative platform, losing follower counts, often losing sponsorships, etc. This is why Facebook for example cut off their messenger interconnectivity with XMPP years ago because then any Facebook user could leave, and stay in contact with friends and family on Facebook.
As the article points out there are also some downsides to decentralisation like maybe losing the ability for one network to do mass mobilisation for good.
Personally I've also held the belief that we need more interoperability rather than just breaking up a big tech company. We do already have protocols such as ActivityPub, XMPP, etc that are in use connecting completely different social networks together.
Break the walls down and let Big Tech compete more equally and openly with everyone. This will also give the smaller social media networks a chance to compete for attention.
Late in 2019, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey floated "Project Blue Sky," a plan for an interoperable, federated, standardized Twitter that would let users (or toolsmiths who work on behalf of users) gain more control over their participation in the Twitter system. This was an exciting moment for us, a...