Decentralisation cannot help us with all our problems. Decentralising the web will not fix the Facebook incident. But it might be used as one of many tools to give us a future where we are more I control of our data. And let’s take a look at how a decentralised social media might look like.
How social media functions
Today when you interact with social media they have the right to those if your data that is on their server. That is why we get incidents like the Cambridge Analytica scandal on Facebook, but it is also how they can remain free for the users. They have turned the user into their product.
When the user becomes the product, you also remove the incentive to deliver a good experience for the user and end up focusing on the big companies that put money into your company. And I have tried running Facebook ads for some of the companies I am consulting when they need to highlights that they accept cryptocurrencies. From what I have learned much about what Facebook knows about us as a user and i must say it is frightening how specific you can target advertainment on Facebook.
What can blockchain do for us
Decentralisation of social media will give the user a higher grade of control if the system is designed correctly. A functioning site to look at is steemit her you can get paid for what you upload, but a few tweaks here and there and you will have a platform where you control who has access. But one flaw in the system and we will have a new Cambridge Analytica scandal on our hand.
The possibility of decentralising is that you can make money out of your social media habits because you are not worth much to one company but if you look at the bigger sales picture you might be worth a small fortune if you sell your social media browsing to a lot of companies. And on the other hand, you will be able to withhold selling and keep your data yours. But it is not solved only by decentralising social media you also need a team behind interested in guarding your privacy. Until then we are at the mercy of corporations like Facebook.
Currently, we see 4 promising platforms for decentralised social media first up is
Synereo seems to be an up-and-coming platform with dedicated devs and has been several years in the making. Synereo uses its very own AMP coin that can be used to pump up the visibility of posts created by its users. Synereo also offers a platform for applications to be developed, distributed, and then used by its members. I believe this is similar to Steemians that create apps such as catchawhale.com and steemd.com. However, Synereo’s application platform integrates user-created apps all under one roof. AMP has been floating around .16 per coin which is pretty promising.
There has been some controversy around Synereo’s crowdsale of AMPs, and some are not happy about the setting of an ICO:
There have been rumours that Steemit ripped of Synereo’s idea of a decentralised social media platform, but that is speculation, more or less.
You can sign up for Synereo’s newsletter and get involved in bounties and what not here:
MaskNetwork has been launched very recently and still has a small user-base. An exciting idea behind Mask is that everything you do on the network requires a small MaskCoin fee. For example, when you upvote a post, you pay a small amount of your coin to do so. These coins go into an undistributed pile. Also, there will also be no more than 21 million coins in existence.
Apparently, MaskNetwork had a pretty severe glitch where people lost their coin. These users feel they were ripped off, but it is hard to tell what happened. You can read more about it here:
There are also bugs o’ many on the GUI; dead links, broken URLs, some links even loop back into the login page. There are also some strange functionality issues that I cannot quite figure out yet, like finding a directory of posts or users.
MaskCoin is not currently being traded on the significant market sites. Therefore all of your coins lies in the hands of their network.
Yours.network is planning to give Steemit (and every other DSM) a run for its money by using Bitcoin for its coinbase. Some heavy hitter devs (one being Ray X. Charles, former Reddit dev) are leading the project which could give this platform the dominating edge over all others, including Synereo. Skipping altcoin altogether by using the one-and-only Bitcoin can be a DSM game changer.
You can sign up directly for Yours.Network and be included in the early preview:
An interesting article with some juicy quotes from Yours.Network dev Ray X. Charles:
Akasha Project. Advanced Knowledge Architecture for Social Human Advocacy, aka Akasha, is an Ethereum based DSM that is built on the foundation of being a censorship-resistant platform. Beta is supposed to launch in Q3 or Q4. It has the usual mechanics of a DSM but they have a new-age holistic type theology that I am assuming is the direction they want to take the project. You have to check out the website to catch my drift:
There is not a whole lot of information on this project which is probably a good thing; keeping a low key approach before launching may stave off some sharp criticism as the other platforms have been exposed to.
We can conclude that decentralisation is her to stay and what networks will make it big is for the future to know and us to find out. Hopefully, it will bring along a more prominent power to the user over what is shared with big corporations