Social media giants will have to decentralize the internet… now!
Big tech has been in the news a lot in the last decade. Initially, the coverage focused on new possibilities that were built around communication and information sharing and the benefits from them. New technology networks introduced unprecedented tools, which provide everything separately to help the families separated by emigration to overthrow autocratic rule and help restore power to the people.
Next, we heard about the tremendous value that Big Tech was creating, bringing in billions of dollars for founders and workers, as well as pension funds that invested in them. We knew that he was a force for the good people in the world, not least because he did not miss the opportunity to tell us this fact.
The sentiment towards Big Tech changed near the end of 2016, fueled by unexpected results in the United States presidential election. There were no longer Big Tech platforms to promote personality and self-expression; They were increasingly accused of hatred and lies. Overnight, these companies moved from parliaments to parishes, from malpractices of free speech to malicious interests and waving elections by rogue states, making false statements. Individuals who took control of the platforms moved from defenders of freedom compared to dictators. Journalists wrote that Big Tech now had more capital than many governments and more control of speech than any media outlet – without any democratic scrutiny and balance or regulation to curb their worst impulses.
These developments brought out the amount of power currently residing within Big Tech companies, as well as the need to consider how we define speech in the modern world and how it should be enhanced and regulated. In turn, touch on how platforms that determine modern speech should be handled.
From decentralization to streaming
To address this, we must examine how the early Internet achieved so much creativity in its early days. Subsequently, the web was decentralized in its own way, with each website representing its own location, resulting in a vast network of nodes being simultaneously strung together by hyperlinks. Some nodes were larger than others, but none were so large that they would distort the landscape or require specific regulation. The Internet can be seen as a huge garden, with each additional website linked.
As the number of networks and users increased, the demand to organize and make this network more efficient increased. Google capitalized on this by building algorithms discovered on the web and returning results and in the process shut down a new Internet defined by the algorithm. Content was suddenly being recommended and defined by algorithms of music (Spotify), news (Facebook and Twitter) and entertainment (Netflix). garden Has been made A stream, and all of a sudden, we were all getting influenced and guided by the black-box algorithm, of which we knew very little.
It is this new stream model of the Internet that has directed such vitriol towards Big Tech. Big tech companies often decide what content is acceptable to share and whether it is most beneficial to their bottom lines, and should often be promoted. Content control is described as moderation for those who approve of them and censorship by those who disagree. The loudest voices dominate the conversation, often disproportionately in favor of the Big Tech workforce and traditional media – a small group with identifiable partisanship.
Back to decentralized internet
What is the right way to control these huge platforms? Centralizing the power of the founders is very limited, and outsourcing it to California employees and Western media is only slightly better. Instead, we should look back at the decentralized Internet of the past and see how old we can look back with such sadness. Many claim that it is impossible to put this genie back in the box, given the huge economic value it has gained, especially from centralizing digital content and making it more accessible.
Blockchain has enabled the decentralized governance of companies, leading to a form of democratic decision making that is weighted towards people with skin in the game. Individuals purchase governance tokens in a network, such as the decentralized finance product suite Yearn.finance, which provides them with a vote on the governance of that ecosystem, providing independent value and / or dividends. Companies can basically decentralize, like Yearn, or transition to this model over time, such as Defy Lender Away. This model provides returns, aligns strategy with ownership, and removes Principal-agent problem It pervades public and private organizations. Companies can use this to distribute administrative fees to owners as well as to make strategic decisions.
Public discourse on content moderation often draws from legal and philosophical concepts to produce top-down solutions, with a liberal sprinkling of America’s First Amendment. It assumes that very few people know what is best for millions, billions of users. But decentralized governance may prove effective by the rapidly growing DFI industry, which puts power in the hands of users may allow for a bottom-up solution. Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey also Announced His interest in such an approach in late 2019.
Decentralized governance can be achieved by providing tokens to users, as described above, which, in turn, will allow them to vote on the principles of moderation. Even this issue can be taken up – members of minority groups may have greater weight on discrimination on freedom of religion or issues related to religious groups. Power users may have more weight of their votes than casual votes. By relying on the wider community to address the broader issue of moderation, users engage in a social contract that they will be more likely to buy into the principles adopted. With making moderation more efficient, it will probably repair some of the reputational damage done by social media companies, which makes a clear distinction between censorship and moderation.
The largest technology platforms have a user population compared to the largest countries in the world, but none of them have the same democratic scrutiny and balance that we see in governance. Identifying complex pain points, such as censorship and moderation, and finding ways to empower users for these processes give them skin in the game and a flexible policy to help heal Big Tech’s bruised reputation It helps to make a mechanism. It is also in the best interests of companies, because of the injury to the reputation of poor content policies, as opposed to speculation and calls to sabotage Facebook.
The views, opinions and opinions expressed herein are those of the author alone and do not necessarily reflect or represent the views and opinions of the Contechlegraph.
Louis kunde Is a co-founder of Aragon, a platform for DAO to be built and run. Louis started his first open-source project at the age of 12. He came to Bitcoin in 2011, inspired by how crypto can bring freedom. In 2014, at the age of 18, he co-founded the blockchain timestamping startup Stampy. He holds several identities, including Forbes 30 Under 30, MIT TR 35, and Europe’s best under hacker by Hackfwed.