An inside look at the moral and technical considerations of crypto social media

2 months ago 192

Following Vitalik Buterin’s call for much societal exertion usage cases connected Ethereum earlier this summer, aggregate crypto companies voiced intentions to physique decentralized versions of mainstream societal networks similar Twitter. However, to make and presumption crypto-centered societal platforms arsenic simply decentralized versions of Twitter is shortsighted. The motivation and method implications of creating genuinely decentralized societal networks that abide by Web 3.0 principles widen acold beyond what the thought of “decentralized Twitter” presently encompasses. 

Beyond specified decentralization, determination are 4 cardinal themes cardinal to the thought of crypto societal development: backstage connection and censorship resistance, moderation, decentralized governance, and unafraid and decentralized money.

Private connection and censorship resistance

Privacy is simply a quality right, yet this close is becoming progressively violated by centralized Big Tech companies who are financially incentivized to collect, store and monetize the information of their users. In Facebook’s Q2 net study earlier this year, it was reported the institution had generated $28.6 cardinal successful advertizing gross alone. As the adage goes, “If you’re not paying for the product, you are the product,” and it’s clip to redesign the incentives astatine play successful existing societal networks. Currently, platforms are motivated to cod backstage accusation from users to get paid by advertisers. With the privateness and encryption of crypto societal networks, this paradigm is challenged since identifiable idiosyncratic accusation is not astir arsenic accessible — if astatine each — to advertisers.

At the halfway of immoderate crypto societal web should beryllium the quality to freely pass and organize, divested from centralized, firm oversight. In caller years, concerns implicit online censorship person mounted, a notable illustration being erstwhile Discord banned the r/WallStreetBets server amid the GameStop abbreviated squeeze, reportedly owed to concerns astir hateful contented being posted successful the community. Unlike centralized Web 2.0 platforms, specified arsenic Discord, decentralized societal networks region choke points for censorship. If cipher controls the web servers, past not 1 azygous idiosyncratic oregon entity tin power and censor content. While this combats censorship, it besides presents a unsocial challenge: moderation.

Related: Social media giants indispensable decentralize the internet... Now!


The thought of moderation poses a catch-22 to crypto societal communities. On 1 hand, crypto social’s Web 3.0 values are astir creating democratized applications escaped from censorship and prying oversight. On the different hand, communities should beryllium capable to support themselves from spam attacks and malicious actors. Balancing moderation with the request for privacy, decentralization and censorship absorption is simply a analyzable information without a clear-cut solution.

The bottommost enactment is that communities — not a third-party — should person power implicit the contented that is contiguous successful their spaces. Types of engagement alteration from assemblage to community, arsenic does the classification of “good” versus “bad” content. How bully accusation is shared and however atrocious accusation is curated yet defines the worth of the assemblage itself, and it is important to attack moderation successful a mode that cannot beryllium hijacked oregon manipulated.

One way guardant to forestall spam is for communities to instrumentality chat features utilizing token-based permissions. With this method, holding circumstantial tokens tin assistance members entree to posting, viewing and/or administrative permissions successful a fixed community. To sphere the integrity of the tokens, astute contracts tin beryllium implemented to power the transferability and permissions of each recently minted token. This decentralized strategy ensures that moderation is conducted successful a mode that does not let for the subjectivity of a standalone idiosyncratic to power curation.

Decentralized governance

The occupation with Web 2.0 societal networks is that centralization inherently bars communities from becoming self-governed and self-regulated. The occurrence of a societal web should mean the occurrence of the societal web arsenic a full — not the occurrence of a azygous laminitis astatine the disbursal of the societal network. This is the occupation with the existing bid of centralized societal networks: The decisions of a standalone idiosyncratic oregon entity power the network’s improvement and fate.

One mode to code this flaw and found decentralized governance is done the usage of assemblage money. By holding governance tokens, idiosyncratic assemblage members are fixed the powerfulness to ballot connected decisions that signifier the community’s future. The corporate quality of this democratized voting strategy has the powerfulness to safeguard the assemblage from falling unfortunate to the whims of firm bureaucracy. With decentralized governance, users are fixed a dependable to effect change.

Related: Crypto societal governance volition pb to online freedom

Secure and decentralized money

Decentralization, alone, cannot guarantee the longevity and self-sustainability of crypto societal networks. The integration of token-based incentives offers a unsocial avenue for users to uphold and navigate societal web communities. By issuing tokens to users, idiosyncratic users go similar shareholders of the platform, providing an inducement to enactment successful and lend to the network’s growth.

When each idiosyncratic maintains a equilibrium of tokens, they are past capable to transact connected their presumption successful a peer-to-peer manner, successful essence contributing to the network’s system autonomously. The usage cases for these tokens are endless — from voting connected proposals to crowdfunding an inaugural to sending encrypted messages — and connection enactment for the community’s semipermanent growth.

With decentralized societal networks gaining involvement and momentum, these 4 cardinal themes show that determination are acold much considerations astatine involvement erstwhile designing caller societal networks than simply the thought of decentralization. What we request are much purpose-driven platforms that champion the intelligence and fiscal sovereignty of users — not surface-level buzzwords. Despite grey areas successful however to attain this goal, the quality of decentralized societal networking is that the assemblage has the accidental to signifier what the aboriginal of societal networking looks like.

This nonfiction does not incorporate concern proposal oregon recommendations. Every concern and trading determination involves risk, and readers should behaviour their ain probe erstwhile making a decision.

The views, thoughts and opinions expressed present are the author’s unsocial and bash not needfully bespeak oregon correspond the views and opinions of Cointelegraph.

Corey Petty started his blockchain-focused probe astir 2012 arsenic a idiosyncratic hobby portion doing his PhD candidacy astatine Texas Tech University successful Computational Chemical Physics. He past went connected to co-found The Bitcoin Podcast Network and inactive serves arsenic a big connected the flagship, The Bitcoin Podcast and a much method show, Hashing It Out. Corey near academia and entered the information science/blockchain information manufacture for a fewer years attempting to hole vulnerabilities successful ICS/SCADA networks earlier uncovering his acceptable arsenic the caput of information astatine wherever helium remains today.

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