Blockchain, Social Media, and Freedom of Expression

Many of us have learned to self-moderate our online chats, watching what we say, post, and do blockchain. Our tweets, posts, and comments cut across borders, cultures, and languages. Many people are wondering who has the last say over what we can publish online now that social media mishaps are in the headlines all the time.

As a result, censorship in online communities has become a contentious issue, with both pro- and anti-censorship parties arguing passionately.

As proponents of decentralized technology, the worldwide blockchain community can help create this narrative. We investigate whether blockchain can actually transform online communications, as well as the implications of unrestricted freedom of speech on decentralized networks.

Censorship and big tech

Historically, major social media sites have reviewed and removed comments that violate their terms of service. Comments that directly harm or attempt to harm other members of a platform’s community will be removed.

What happens, though, when a social media platform removes content in order to push a different agenda?

We’ve seen social media corporations utilize their censorship powers to intervene in political debates and other topics that are normally protected by free speech legislation. Should public social media platforms be censored, especially when these online communities have so much power and influence around the world?

“Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube wield significant, if not unparalleled, ability to impact how public events are interpreted; to censor, erase, or vanish information; and to control what people see or do not see,” according to a White House Executive Order issued in May 2020.

While the increased use of social media has heightened this debate in the United States, it is a global issue.

Can blockchain help to preserve freedom of expression?

Blockchain technology is not subject to the same centralized control as traditional social media platforms because of its decentralized structure. Decentralized social media and content platforms, on the other hand, promise to give users more control over their data.

Mastodon, a blockchain-based platform, for example, allows users to operate their own personal server with their own hardware and domain name. These servers are controlled by the user, who establishes the rules and guidelines for discussion.

To provide a rewarding feature, some decentralized systems use blockchain-based currency. Users on Steemit, for example, can be awarded with STEEM tokens, which have secondary market value, by other users for creating popular content or submitting intelligent comments.

Users can pay content providers to write articles that serve the wider community’s interests, similar to how ‘likes’ operate on other platforms, but with a monetary incentive and no centralized authority.

Decentralized communications: Serious Considerations

To achieve a truly egalitarian society that respects human liberty, libertarianism often argues that we must accept the good with the bad.

Many net neutrality proponents say that unwanted internet material is a sad consequence of safeguarding our rights to freedom of speech, even if some individuals choose to misuse it.

Regardless, decentralized societies require inclusive social media networks to thrive. Unmoderated online communities often evolve into places where most web users don’t want to go, and it isn’t easy to have a completely free online platform without certain users feeling ostracized or targeted.

This raises some challenging ethical issues. If material on a social networking platform becomes harmful or disparaging to an individual or group of individuals, they can opt-out or start their own inclusive online community.

Others might advocate for the complete elimination of the more problematic online communities and censorship of contentious individuals, claiming that they represent a risk of inflicting harm and asking platform owners to delete linked accounts and material on users’ behalf — in other words, active censorship. This can lead to overzealous moderation in online communities.

There may be a better approach through blockchain — a distributed and community-led moderation process that does not rely on censorship from a centralized curator holding unlimited authority but on meticulous moderation via a democratic process enabled by each and every user via decentralized technology. A community might therefore pick its own course and enable decent actors to participate.

In principle, decentralized social media systems may return control to users by letting them govern and regulate their own online communities and choose what information they create and consume based on community consensus rather than centralized approval.

How do you feel about social media, blockchain, and censorship? Is a decentralized system better? What about the risks of distributing false information? Inversely, a decentralized platform can allow more voices to be heard, allowing major media channels to not always dominate the narrative.

DISCLAIMER: The Information on this website is provided as general market commentary and does not constitute investment advice. We encourage you to do your own research before investing.

Join CoinCu Telegram to keep track of news: https://t.me/coincunews

Follow CoinCu Youtube Channel | Follow CoinCu Facebook page

Annie

CoinCu News

Blockchain, Social Media, and Freedom of Expression

Many of us have learned to self-moderate our online chats, watching what we say, post, and do blockchain. Our tweets, posts, and comments cut across borders, cultures, and languages. Many people are wondering who has the last say over what we can publish online now that social media mishaps are in the headlines all the time.

As a result, censorship in online communities has become a contentious issue, with both pro- and anti-censorship parties arguing passionately.

As proponents of decentralized technology, the worldwide blockchain community can help create this narrative. We investigate whether blockchain can actually transform online communications, as well as the implications of unrestricted freedom of speech on decentralized networks.

Censorship and big tech

Historically, major social media sites have reviewed and removed comments that violate their terms of service. Comments that directly harm or attempt to harm other members of a platform’s community will be removed.

What happens, though, when a social media platform removes content in order to push a different agenda?

We’ve seen social media corporations utilize their censorship powers to intervene in political debates and other topics that are normally protected by free speech legislation. Should public social media platforms be censored, especially when these online communities have so much power and influence around the world?

“Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube wield significant, if not unparalleled, ability to impact how public events are interpreted; to censor, erase, or vanish information; and to control what people see or do not see,” according to a White House Executive Order issued in May 2020.

While the increased use of social media has heightened this debate in the United States, it is a global issue.

Can blockchain help to preserve freedom of expression?

Blockchain technology is not subject to the same centralized control as traditional social media platforms because of its decentralized structure. Decentralized social media and content platforms, on the other hand, promise to give users more control over their data.

Mastodon, a blockchain-based platform, for example, allows users to operate their own personal server with their own hardware and domain name. These servers are controlled by the user, who establishes the rules and guidelines for discussion.

To provide a rewarding feature, some decentralized systems use blockchain-based currency. Users on Steemit, for example, can be awarded with STEEM tokens, which have secondary market value, by other users for creating popular content or submitting intelligent comments.

Users can pay content providers to write articles that serve the wider community’s interests, similar to how ‘likes’ operate on other platforms, but with a monetary incentive and no centralized authority.

Decentralized communications: Serious Considerations

To achieve a truly egalitarian society that respects human liberty, libertarianism often argues that we must accept the good with the bad.

Many net neutrality proponents say that unwanted internet material is a sad consequence of safeguarding our rights to freedom of speech, even if some individuals choose to misuse it.

Regardless, decentralized societies require inclusive social media networks to thrive. Unmoderated online communities often evolve into places where most web users don’t want to go, and it isn’t easy to have a completely free online platform without certain users feeling ostracized or targeted.

This raises some challenging ethical issues. If material on a social networking platform becomes harmful or disparaging to an individual or group of individuals, they can opt-out or start their own inclusive online community.

Others might advocate for the complete elimination of the more problematic online communities and censorship of contentious individuals, claiming that they represent a risk of inflicting harm and asking platform owners to delete linked accounts and material on users’ behalf — in other words, active censorship. This can lead to overzealous moderation in online communities.

There may be a better approach through blockchain — a distributed and community-led moderation process that does not rely on censorship from a centralized curator holding unlimited authority but on meticulous moderation via a democratic process enabled by each and every user via decentralized technology. A community might therefore pick its own course and enable decent actors to participate.

In principle, decentralized social media systems may return control to users by letting them govern and regulate their own online communities and choose what information they create and consume based on community consensus rather than centralized approval.

How do you feel about social media, blockchain, and censorship? Is a decentralized system better? What about the risks of distributing false information? Inversely, a decentralized platform can allow more voices to be heard, allowing major media channels to not always dominate the narrative.

DISCLAIMER: The Information on this website is provided as general market commentary and does not constitute investment advice. We encourage you to do your own research before investing.

Join CoinCu Telegram to keep track of news: https://t.me/coincunews

Follow CoinCu Youtube Channel | Follow CoinCu Facebook page

Annie

CoinCu News

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