[Part 1]Decentralize Social Media – The Future of Online Social Networking
Social Media networks play a massive role in our daily communications and interactions. However, centralized control of these platforms has created many problems: data breaches, server outages, de-platforming, censorship, and privacy violations are some of the trade-offs social media often make. Decentralized social networks can fix many of the problems of traditional social networking platforms and improve users’ overall experience.
Decentralized social networks are blockchain-based platforms that allow users to exchange information as well as publish and distribute content to audiences. Because these applications run on the blockchain, they are capable of being decentralized and resistant to censorship and undue control.
Many decentralized social networks exist as alternatives to established social media services, such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Medium, Ticktok. But blockchain-powered social networks have a number of features that put them ahead of traditional social platforms.
How do decentralized social media work?
Decentralized social networks are a class of decentralized applications (dapps)—applications powered by smart contracts deployed on the blockchain. The contract code serves as the backend for these apps and defines their business logic.
Traditional social media platforms rely on databases to store user information, program code, and other forms of data. But this creates single points of failure and introduces significant risk. For instance, Facebook’s servers infamously went offline for hours last year, cutting off users from the platform.
Decentralized social networks exist on a peer-to-peer network comprising thousands of nodes around the globe. Even if some nodes fail, the network will run uninterrupted, making applications resistant to failures and outages.
Using decentralized storage systems like the InterPlanetary File System (IPFS), social networks built on Ethereum can protect user information from exploitation and malicious use. No one will sell your personal information to advertisers, and neither will hackers be able to steal your confidential details.
Many blockchain-based social platforms have native tokens that power monetization in absence of advertising revenue. Users can buy these tokens to access certain features, complete in-app purchases, or tip their favorite content creators.
Benefits of decentralized social media
- Decentralized social networks are censorship-resistant and open to everyone. This means users cannot be banned, deplatformed, or restricted arbitrarily.
- Decentralized social networks are built on open-source ideals and make source code for applications available for public inspection. By eliminating the implementation of opaque algorithms common in traditional social media, blockchain-based social networks can align the interests of users and platform creators.
- Decentralized social networks eliminate the “middle-man.” Content creators have direct ownership over their content, and they engage directly with followers, fans, buyers, and other parties, with nothing but a smart contract in between.
- As apps running on the Ethereum network, which is sustained by a global, peer-to-peer network of nodes, decentralized social networks are less susceptible to server downtime and outages.
- Decentralized social platforms offer an improved monetization framework for content creators via non-fungible tokens (NFTs) NFTs, in-app crypto payments, and more.
- Decentralized social networks afford users a high level of privacy and anonymity. For instance, an individual can sign in to an Ethereum-based social network using an ENS profile or wallet—without having to share personally identifiable information (PII), such as names, email addresses, etc.
- Decentralized social networks rely on decentralized storage, not centralized databases, which are considerably better for safeguarding user data.
Disadvantages of Decentralized Social Media
It is indisputable that decentralized social networking platforms offer a number of interesting advantages. But there are also risks associated with this type of technology, the first being that malicious actors can take advantage of its structure for personal gain.
While the idea of creating multiple decentralized networks sounds pretty cool, there’s always the possibility that hateful, illegal content spreads quickly through malicious communities. Since you can post anything on your own network, it’s very easy for groups of malicious users to spread the content publicly.
Although many decentralized social networks have a set of ethical standards, users can still find ways to take advantage of new or smaller networks that do not have strict regulations.
In addition, there is a possibility that users with a common goal will try to manipulate the management system to their liking, meaning that the platform itself will no longer be fair.
The combination of Social Networks and Blockchain has given rise to many new and highly likely projects that will bring opportunities for new users. I am thinking whether there will be a day when the traditional portals will stop working, or they will choose a new option that is to switch from centralized to decentralized, web 2 to web 3, web 4 ,…
Similar to Facebook that changed its name to Meta to “catch up” with trending, Twitter allows sending Bitcoins to creators (simply saying tips in BTC – indirectly accepting Crypto), or Telegram launches TON, helping people users to launch their own Blockchain and countless other upgrades in the world.
If you have any questions, comments, suggestions, or ideas about the project, please email [email protected].
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