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Vedant Chainani
Vedant Chainani

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Decentralized Social Networks

Introduction

There's a decent possibility you'll use social media these days if you want to contact a friend. Connecting online has grown to play a significant role in our daily lives, whether we wish to read the news, talk with family and friends, or share life updates. Decentralized social media, a relatively new phenomena, is starting to establish itself in the market, nevertheless.

Uses of Social Media

Around 2004, Web 2.0 (the dynamic web) largely supplanted Web 1.0 (the static web) (the web as a platform).

The modern internet is known as "Web 2.0," because it prioritizes user-generated content (social media and blogs). A firm, like Google or Facebook, owns a central server where this content and the data it generates are kept.

In this way, the influence and power that businesses have on social networks is immeasurable. The biggest issue levelled at this is the way brand advertising uses the vast amount of data they possess. As a result, we are currently evolving towards Web 3.0, a more intelligent web that will be able to analyze and link a larger quantity of data in a decentralized manner and without middlemen.


What are Decentralized Social Networks

Decentralized Social Networks

Decentralized social networks are blockchain-based platforms that let users post and share content with audiences as well as trade information. These applications are decentralized and immune to censorship and unwarranted controversy since they run on the blockchain.

In contrast to centralized servers owned by companies, decentralized social networks run on servers that are independently run. One illustration of a decentralized social network is Mastodon. It operates similarly to Twitter and is built using open-source technologies. Another illustration is the social blockchain-based cryptocurrency Steem. Data entries can be saved on servers located anywhere in the world thanks to blockchain technology. As the data is accessible to anybody on a network in almost real-time, it promotes transparency.

User control and autonomy are increased by decentralized social networks. A person can create their own social network, choose how it functions, and limit what users can post. The creator of a federated social network can define the guidelines for appropriate behavioral on the platform rather than having content regulated by a business.


The Fediverse

The fediverse, a name for a group of connected servers used for social networking and other activities like blogging and web publishing, is made up of decentralized social networks. A federated network that is independently hosted may communicate with other networks in the fediverse.

Fediverse

One of the main distinctions between decentralized social networks and well-known social media sites like Facebook and Twitter is this. For instance, users of Twitter can only send and receive messages to other Twitter users (as there is no cross-platform alignment, users of Twitter cannot send messages to Facebook users). On the other hand, federated networks enable user interaction across platforms.

Federated social networks can be compared to email as a working example. Consider Google and Yahoo as examples. Email policies are set for users by each business. Users of Yahoo are not subject to restrictions from Google. However, Google users are able to send and receive emails from Yahoo users as well as the other way around. Federated networks operate in a similar way.


Positive aspects of decentralized social networks

Connectivity, community development, and knowledge sharing are all supported by social media. Social media can be used by individuals to advance social and political change, raise awareness of pressing issues, collect money for charitable causes, and advertise their enterprises.


User Control, Free Speech, and Censorship Resistance

Major social media platforms are controlled by corporations, and a select few employees within these corporations determine how these platforms should be used. Users are now concerned about censorship and free expression as a result of this. Last year, Facebook imposed prominent prohibitions on figures from all political camps, including Alex Jones and Louis Farrakhan. Some people think that banning violent, vile, and harmful messages goes against the principles of free speech, but doing so helps protect social media users from malicious online activities.

Free Speech

Users have more control over decentralized social networks. In contrast to centralized social networking systems, federated networks encourage independence without a single authority. Censorship resistance, personal data ownership, and greater control over user-generated content are all advantages. In other words, people are adamant about having ultimate say over their content and are opposed to any form of censorship. This means that no one else, even a company or a site administrator, can edit the content that users write. Nobody has the authority to remove user-generated content.


Data Protection, Privacy, and Security

Data Protection

Decentralized social networks have offered another another solution for data protection and privacy. Users do not need to link their accounts to physical identifiers like email addresses or phone numbers in federated social networks. Furthermore, rather than relying on a single entity to protect user data, these networks frequently use public-key cryptography for account security.


Economic Neutrality

Internet Neutrality

Many people who use decentralized social networks do so because they want to be free of invasive advertising and the risk to their privacy that it poses. Federated networks are looking for new ways to monetize in order to stay afloat. To keep operations operating, they frequently use a sort of digital currency, such as Bitcoin. Steem, for example, compensates its users for creating or curating interesting content, incentivizing content creators to priorities quality. Steem is funded by investors who believe the platform will increase in value over time and become lucrative one day.


Openness to New Applications

One of the most appealing aspects of today's online social networks is their openness to third-party applications, which allows for a constant modification in what a social networking service gives to its users. There is fundamental features for preserving social ties, such as personal information, friend connection, status updates, internal messaging, posting on each other's sites, and event notification. Furthermore, third-party programmes enable additional and unpredictable methods of contacting users, learning about other users' interests, building groups and group identities, and so on.

This openness to extensions has the potential to deliver significant benefits to users. The cost of these advantages is the danger of opening the service to untrustworthy third parties, which extends the privacy concern from the single service provider to all application providers. If some users opt to activate a third-party application in a decentralized environment, their decision should not influence other users or even those directly connected to them. The topic of where to draw this line is open and difficult.


Negative aspects of decentralized social networks

Decentralization does not heal all of humanity's flaws.

Poor Moderation

Online Crime

Certainly, some people will use decentralized social media to collaborate on criminal activities. However, people assemble in parks or bars for similar goals, and we don't solve this by prohibiting group face-to-face chats away from government microphones. I have no doubt that, like with other technological advancements, law enforcement will rise to the occasion of decentralized social networks.

In a federated network, no single group can impose its norms on other groups. For example, anyone on Mastodon can run their own social media site without the need for a central authority, which means they (and other users) can post whatever they want without fear of having their post removed. One disadvantage of this system is that hate organizations can create their own social media sites. Individuals can block these groups, but they cannot stop them from using the network.


Security Threats

Threat to Society

These platforms also introduce new security risks. Decentralized networks often allow anybody to join and do not associate accounts with physical identities such as phone numbers. To ensure account security, these systems frequently employ public key cryptography. However, most users find it difficult to manage public keys, and developing software that is both cryptographically secure and easy to use is tough.


Less Participation

Most users do not wish to manage their own web servers or social network nodes. They want to interact with the web via nicer platforms, which will be constrained by the same incentives that drive consolidation today.

A preferable strategy would be to push legislation that improve the environment for decentralized platforms, such as data portability, interoperability, and alternate finance sources to advertising-based ones. For example, if users have greater control over their data, such as the ability to export and reuse material they've made and friends they follow, they'll be more ready to try out new platforms. Although proponents of the decentralized web have excellent intentions, there is no silver bullet technical answer to the issues that lie ahead.


Popular Decentralized social networks

Because of the popularity of tokens (ERC-20/ERC-721) and its large user base, the Ethereum network has become the favored tool for developers constructing decentralized social media. Here are some examples of social networks:

MINDS

Minds is an alt-tech blockchain-based social network. Users can upload movies, blogs, pictures, and create status updates. You can also send messages and have video chats. You can browse and discover articles of interest to you by using trending feeds and hashtags.

Minds Social Network

Along includes features of internet freedom such as free expression, privacy, and self-sovereignty Every day, Minds will reward you with MINDS Tokens (ERC-20) for creating popular content, introducing friends, or providing liquidity. To demonstrate your support and gain special privileges, you can use the tokens to promote your content (1 token Equals 1,000 impressions) or send tips to content creators.


Peepeth

Peepeth is a social network for those who appreciate mindful, responsible participation. It runs on the Ethereum blockchain and uses IPFS to store user data Users can send short messages called "Peeps", which cannot be deleted or modified. You can collect tips or tip anyone on the platform in ether (ETH) without leaving the app.

eepeth Interface

It encourages intelligent content while discourages reactionary and hateful posts. Users, not advertising, hold Peepeth accountable. Because data is preserved on the Ethereum blockchain, it also offers you authority over your online legacy. Blockchain data is decentralized, open, and immutable.

Data is saved to an open, public, and permanent databaseΒ (the Ethereum blockchain). Anyone can make an interface for Peepeth's public data.

Peepeth is spam-resistant because it costs money to write to the blockchain. Don’t worryβ€” Peepeth foots the bill for youβ€” but spammers lose their free-peeping privilege, making spamming a relatively expensive prospect.


Mirror

Built on web3 for web3, Mirror’s robust publishing platform pushes the boundaries of writing onlineβ€”whether it’s the next big white paper or a weekly community update.

Mirror Editor

The writing platform Mirror, which supports web3, promises to be decentralized and user-owned. By just connecting their wallets, users may access Mirror's free reading and writing features. Additionally, users can subscribe to their favourite writers and accumulate writing.

Posts created on Mirror can be issued as collectible non-fungible tokens (NFTs) called Writing NFTs, which are non-fungible tokens that are permanently held on the decentralized storage network Arweave. As collecting occurs on an Ethereum L2, writing NFTs is entirely free for authors to generate, making transactions affordable, quick, and environmentally benign.


Mastodon

An open source, decentralized social network is called Mastodon. Different companies and people run this network of tens of thousands of communities. For a more seamless communication experience, these communicate via brief posts.

Mastodon Updated Website

Mastodon implements federation using a defined, open protocol. It's known as ActivityPub. Any app that supports federation via ActivityPub can communicate with Mastodon in the same way that Mastodon websites communicate with one another.

The fediverse is the moniker given to all websites that may communicate with one another using ActivityPub and the World Wide Web. This contains both Mastodon servers and alternative implementations.


πŸ₯³ Congratulations, you have reached the conclusion of this post. If you want to read more exciting articles about the web3 and blockchain realm, make sure to follow. πŸ‘‡πŸ‘‡


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Have a wonderful day! 🌞



Top comments (3)

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lestergomez profile image
lestergomez • Edited

The possibilities of social networks are very global. After all, they provide many points for growth and development. Also, thanks to this, I can find any question that interests me. I recently had trouble with video in my presentation and found a good explanation here. It's great that thanks to this it is so easy and simple to solve everything.

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envoy_ profile image
Vedant Chainani

Glad that you liked it πŸ₯°

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lorenzomenegon profile image
lorenzomenegon

Hello everyone!
I'm Lorenzo from Desmos Network and I wanted to leave an announcement here open to all developers interested in web3.
With 2023 we at Desmos have started our new Kickstart program, which plans to help/finance new projects built using our protocol (targeted to build platforms with social features) with a cash sum of up to $5000, $25,000 DSM , and technical advice from our in-house team. If anyone is interested, please contact me privately!

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