Alternative Social Media Platform Minds now allows users to store their content permanently on the Arweave platform, ensuring that no one can delete it once posted.
Attentive users can post their content on the “permanent web” without payment or additional settings. In a few minutes, the content can be displayed in Arweave block explorer and is expected to remain there forever – or at least as long as Arweave exists, Minds chief Bill Ottman told Cointelegraph.
This marks the first major integration of blockchain – or “block weave” in Arweave’s terminology – into the company’s content infrastructure. While Minds has an Ethereum-based token used to reward and pay for the company’s services, the social media platform itself is completely dependent on traditional web servers.
To unlock the new feature, Ottman posted a photo and quote from George Orwell that reads: “The past has been erased, the erasure has been forgotten, the lie has become the truth.”
The idea of storing content permanently is not new in the cryptocurrency field. Systems like Hive automatically store all messages on the blockchain, but Ottman believes this is not ideal. “It’s about giving users electives,” he said.
Not everyone may want a magazine on social media forever. European privacy regulations go so far as to create a “right to be forgotten” through electronic platforms, allowing users to remove all traces of past activities if they choose.
“I do not think [continuous storage] is necessary for any message. It is extremely important to post something continuously, and you should not say anything you want to regret. […] I think you want to give people both options. ”
Using blockchain to store content also provides the benefit of a more flexible infrastructure. “If [Amazon] S3 goes down, we can use it as a backup,” he added.
However, the most obvious use case for this feature is censorship resistance. Content that cannot be removed or changed once posted should be extremely difficult to track.
This can be seen as a double-edged sword. Major social media platforms are currently being investigated for doing too much moderation of the content and doing little, depending on the critics’ personal views.
“You have to ask yourself which 1984 scenario do you want? Do you want a scenario where all information can be burned to the ground […] or do you want more content to be permanent? ”
Osman strongly believes that information cannot be drowned out. He said: “If in ten years we have intermediaries banning arbitrary shit, you can attack us.”
But it can not be enough to trust the founders of a company on their word. Twitter leaders became known as the Free Speech Party’s “Free Speech Wing” in 2012, but Twitter boss Jack Dorsey distanced himself from the comments a few years later.
Ottman believes that storing immutable data will become more and more common. It’s just an inevitable advance in technology. He said conditions have become more consistent and transparent. Ottman noted that it was perhaps surprising that Dorsey herself shared this view.
Storing data in an immutable ledger can remove many, but not all, controls that allow for oversight. As Osman said, the Arweave contract requires some degree of content change before deciding whether or not to include it. Furthermore, information can still be hidden by the social media interface, which can limit access to it.