The field of social media on the Internet has witnessed a wide spread since the beginning of the millennium, as many new platforms appeared and many of them disappeared as well, but the result was in the end the domination of some companies and big names over this field significantly, as the term “social communication” is now associated with names Such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and some other platforms, and today the negative consequences of this reality are clear to hundreds of millions of users.
Recent years have witnessed the emergence of a new trend towards what is known as Decentralized Social Networks, which many today hope has an opportunity to become the future of communication platforms, depending on the many features offered by blockchain technology, as it may be able to solve Many of the problems that central platforms suffer from, and in this article we will talk about these platforms with some examples of them, so follow us to learn about them.
What are decentralized social media platforms?
There is no clear definition that can describe all decentralized social media platforms, but in general they are in the form of a communication platform similar to Facebook and Twitter, but without a central authority that manages and controls it, meaning that decisions about how to publish content and deal with data will not be in the hands of some executives within a company. The servers responsible for it will be distributed all over the world and work independently, so that no party will have the full authority to dispose of them as they wish.
In order for decentralized communication platforms to function, blockchain technology must be adopted and take advantage of its many advantages in this field, so that the privacy and security of users’ data can be guaranteed in addition to their right to know how their data is used as well.
In recent years, some of these platforms have begun to achieve a slight spread, with some exceeding the one million monthly active users barrier, and given the many problems and criticisms faced by major communication platforms such as Facebook, there may be an opportunity for decentralized platforms to benefit from this and attract a greater number of users.
How do decentralized communication platforms work?
Starting a Fediverse server decentralized-social-media-platforms
There are many methods that decentralized communication platforms can adopt, but the most popular method today is through what is known as Fediverse, which is a term that combines the words Federation and Universe, meaning space or the federal universe, which is a group of servers and independent networks connected with Some of them at the same time, so that they are suitable for social media activities including blogging, messaging, content publishing and many more as well.
Within the federal universe, different networks can establish communication with each other without the restrictions imposed by the central platforms, so if you use an account for Platform X, you will be able to communicate with another user from Platform Y directly without the need to create an account on it, unlike central platforms such as Facebook and Twitter where The user of each one is forced to create a completely different and independent account from the other.
How these networks work is somewhat similar to e-mail services, where a user of Gmail, for example, can communicate with another user of Yahoo mail or Outlook easily without the need to create new mail on the other platform.
What are the pros and cons of decentralized communication platforms?
Decentralized social media platforms may seem a solution to all the problems that users face in this field, but in reality there are negative aspects in addition to the positives that these platforms are supposed to provide:
Given the many negatives that have become characteristic of many central communication platforms, the mere absence of these negatives within the decentralized platforms using blockchain is sufficient to consider them worthy of experience, as sites such as Facebook, for example, monitor the content that is published with the suppression and deletion of many comments and posts. By mistake, as a result, users were always being banned for days and weeks without a rationale.
During the Corona pandemic, it became clear to many that these platforms are unable to effectively control misleading and wrong information about the pandemic, and that day has become a real problem that may lead to many consequences if it is not dealt with properly, in addition to the many problems related to data leakage. And how companies deal with user information to display targeted ads, Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica scandal, and much more as well.
Decentralized communication platforms with blockchain can give users the right to complete control over their data, and some platforms may be able to work without the need to display ads if the necessary funding is available, of course, and for content creators, they will have more freedom to publish and make profits from their content with the possibility of providing a profit rate Small for users as an incentive for them to use the decentralized platforms as well.
When users are provided with complete freedom to post on decentralized communication platforms without any censorship or power to delete or control their content or even ask them to use their real names, this may in fact lead to many new problems, as these platforms will become the destination of many extremist groups and a platform for spreading hate speech. Given that there is no censorship on them, and although the option to block these groups will be available to any user, the mere presence of this type of content is considered a negative overall.
There are many problems that may arise due to the lack of censorship on the content as well, as criminal and illegal activities of all kinds will begin to adopt decentralized communication platforms to promote their products or businesses.
As for the effectiveness of decentralized social media platforms, they are the focus of some questions as well, as relying on independent and distributed servers all over the world may expose them to many potential problems, which include the network stopping work or losing user data that is supposed to be only a copy one only.
Examples of the decentralized communication platforms available today
Decentralized social-media platforms