Decentralization Gives a Method out of the Social Media Content material Wars
Thursday brought another politically charged episode of “A Tale of Two Hearings” about moderating online content in the House of Representatives.
Republicans scolded big tech CEOs for taking down too much content, while Democrats complained to them that they hadn’t taken down enough content. While there is little hope of magical legislation that simultaneously corrects and protects all thoughts and opinions on the internet, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey has provided a real solution to many of the criticisms and avoided harmful government regulations: a new generation of decentralized social Media .
Various proposals to regulate these platforms would impair freedom of expression, discourage innovation and give large established companies a clear advantage over emerging or yet to be invented competitors. However, the promise of technological innovations to solve the problems of existing social media platforms is already taking shape. Dorsey testified about Twitter’s investment in a decentralized approach called Bluesky, but similar approaches are already available to consumers in the form of Mastodon, Steem, and many others.
These new apps could compete with or even replace Facebook, Twitter and Parler. Decentralized social media have a different infrastructure without a central server. It works similarly, but not exactly, to the music sharing service Napster used to use. No company controls the website. The users themselves control the moderation of content. Some platforms are likely to use cryptocurrency to promote and reward content. The apps are being decentralized to varying degrees via blockchain technology and there won’t be a way for either the big tech or the big government to deplate them.
This is good news for consumers concerned about the prejudice of a handful of tech companies and users concerned about the harmful effects of government regulation. As long as Congress doesn’t stand in the way of these new technologies by banning strong encryption, regulating cryptocurrencies like a security, or locking in today’s social media giants with regulations that act as barriers to entry, consumers are both left and right I can look forward to the next generation of online platforms that are improving over today’s. The market can offer solutions if politicians can get out of the way.