After Vitalik Buterin asked for more use cases of social apps on Ethereum this summer, several crypto companies announced their intention to create decentralized versions of conventional social networks like Twitter. However, the creation and consideration of cryptocurrency-centric social platforms as decentralized versions of Twitter is a short-term period. The ethical and technical implications of creating truly decentralized social networks that follow the principles of Web 3.0 go far beyond what is now encompassed by the idea of “decentralized Twitter”.
In addition to abstract decentralization, the idea of social development of digital currencies is based on four main themes: private communication and anti-censorship, moderation, decentralized governance, and safe and decentralized money.
Private communication and censorship resistance
Privacy is a human right, but this right is increasingly violated by large, centralized tech companies that have a financial stake in collecting, storing and monetizing user data. Facebook’s second-quarter income statement earlier this year reported that the company’s ad revenue alone totaled $ 28.6 billion. As the saying goes, “If you don’t pay for a product, you are a product,” and it’s time to change the incentives that exist on existing social media. Platforms are currently encouraged to collect personal information from users in order to receive money from advertisers. Given the privacy and encryption of encrypted social media, this paradigm is challenged as personal information is virtually inaccessible – if any – to advertisers.
The core of any crypto-social network must be the ability to communicate and organize freely, and to get rid of centralized corporate control. Concerns about online censorship have intensified in recent years, a prime example of this being that Discord blocked r / WallStreetBets in the middle of a short video on GameStop over concerns about hateful content posted on the community. Unlike centralized Web 2.0 platforms like Discord, decentralized social networks remove cache points. If no one controls the network servers, no one person or device can control and censor the content. In fighting this censorship, he also presents a unique challenge: moderation.
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The concept of moderation poses a problem for cryptocurrencies. On the other hand, the value of the crypto-social networks Web 3.0 lies in creating democratic applications free from intrusive censorship and censorship. On the other hand, communities need to be able to protect themselves from spam attacks and intruders. Balancing moderation with the need for privacy, decentralization, and censorship resistance is a difficult assessment with no clear solution.
The main thing is that society, and not third parties, control the content of their territories. The types of interactions vary from community to community, as does the rating of “good” and “bad” content. How good information is conveyed and how bad information is ultimately organized determines the value of society itself, and it is important to approach moderation in a way that cannot be understood or manipulated.
One way to prevent spam is for communities to implement chat functionality using token-based permissions. With this method, storing certain tokens can grant contributors access to post, view, and / or administrative permissions in a specific community. To maintain the integrity of tokens, smart contracts can be implemented to manage the portability and permissions of each recently used token. This decentralized system ensures that moderation is performed in a way that an independent person cannot control the organization.
The problem with social networking Web 2.0 is that centralization inherently inhibits self-government and self-regulation of communities. The success of a social network should mean the success of the social network as a whole, not the success of one founder at the expense of the social network. This is the problem of the current system of centralized social networks: the decisions of an individual or an independent organization that control the development and fate of the network.
One way to address this imbalance and establish decentralized governance is to leverage community funds. By maintaining signs of control, community members gain the right to vote for decisions that shape the future of society. The collective nature of this democratic voting system can protect society from the vagaries of the corporate bureaucracy.