Shard Em, Don’t (Just) Break Em Up: #DecentralizeBigTech Now.
You are reading this in a world dominated by central powers. You might be reading this on Linkedin, Facebook, Twitter, or might have found this article on Google Sites. Or you might not have found this article at all, if one of those major companies have decided that my ideas are wrong-think. The Hunter Biden laptop versus Trump’s tax returns — both were data-leaks; both were pre-election bombshells. While one was immediately censored by Facebook, Twitter, and even Google, the other trended far and wide.
Now we have the fact of Democrat election fraud, a rampant scandal in the 2020 elections, which is currently extremely hard to discuss or even find online.
So why do we allow unelected tech oligarchs to decide what we can and can’t see?
If you’re a pure libertarian, you might be saying here: “They’re private companies, private enterprises. Of course they can choose what can and cannot stay on their platform. They need to be able to, since it’s within their express freedoms to do so.”
I have two counterarguments to this point.
Social media companies and Google’s search arm enjoy the exact benefit you’re talking about, the benefit of being a “platform for user content” simply because they do not editorialize. Editorializing would make them media companies, giving them legally liability for the content they print or censor.
Also, doesn’t libertarianism boil down to a reduction of centralized power? This is usually framed as government power, but what about the quasi-government power of massive multinational entities with revenues exceeding some nations’ GDPs? Shouldn’t we reject them too?
I do understand the libertarian reluctance to have the government break up large companies like Google, Facebook, and Twitter, but I at least hope to qualify my position.
What I am proposing in this essay, however, is not just to #BreakUpBigTech. I’m here to try to help define a roadmap of how future #BigTech should be founded and run. Since, like it or not, #BigTech would also define the future of our individual sovereignty.
In my opinion, the only way to maintain individual liberties is to pivot social media towards decentralization in the next few years.
Due to accusations of political bias and censorship, many Facebook and Twitter users have started to go to other social media that are perceived as more neutral, such as Gab and Parler. These new social media platforms have attempted to move the formers’ functionalities onto a more decentralized model.
From a technical analysis standpoint, the only way to implement social media in a reliable and orderly manner is through a Blockchain-based or Blockchain-derived incentive system.
Unlike centralized systems, decentralized systems usually fail due to a lack of incentives to run nodes. In addition, decentralized systems often have major problems in regulating, determining, and policing community policies.
This is why a Blockchain-based social media platform, such as Steem, Hive, and others, will be the future of our social interactions in the digital world. With the incentive model provided by Blockchain, node owners in a decentralized network can receive real incentives from the network itself, without having centralized distribution control. At the same time, policy regulation can be facilitated via the community, a systems approach making the users the disciplinarian.
That is to say, a properly designed Blockchain network will form a self-stabilizing platform without central control.
I believe that the evolution of computing will lead humans towards one of two alternative paths:
a world with the illusion of freedom, where interactions between parties are controlled by a centralzed, untouchable hegomony; or
a world of true freedom, with independence of individual data and systems in collaboration with each other, where your identity, data, and opinions are your property and your responsibility.
Let’s take the second option.