In-depth understanding of the ethical and technical considerations of encrypted social media

Follow Vitalik Buterin’s Call for more social application use cases Earlier this summer, on Ethereum, multiple crypto companies expressed their intention to build a decentralized version of mainstream social networks, such as Twitter. However, it is short-sighted to treat the creation and treatment of an encryption-centric social platform as just a decentralized version of Twitter.The moral and technical implications of creating a truly decentralized social network Web 3.0 principles It goes far beyond the current concept of “decentralized Twitter”.

In addition to decentralization, the concept of encrypted society development has four core themes: private communication and censorship resistance, moderation, decentralized governance, and secure and decentralized currencies.

Private correspondence and censorship boycott

Privacy is a human right, but this right is increasingly being violated by large, centralized technology companies that are financially motivated to collect, store, and profit from user data.In Facebook’s second quarter earnings report earlier this year, it was Report The company’s advertising revenue alone reached 28.6 billion U.S. dollars. As the proverb says, “If you don’t pay for the product, then you are the product”, now is the time to redesign the incentives that are working in existing social networks. Currently, platforms have an incentive to collect private information from users in order to get paid from advertisers. With the privacy and encryption of encrypted social networks, this paradigm is challenged because identifiable personal information is almost inaccessible by advertisers (if any).

The core of any encrypted social network should be the ability to communicate and organize freely, free from centralized corporate supervision. In recent years, people’s concerns about online censorship have increased. A notable example is Discord. prohibit r/WallStreetBets server In the brief squeeze of GameStop, Reportedly because of concerns about publishing hateful content in the community. Unlike centralized Web 2.0 platforms such as Discord, decentralized social networks eliminate the bottleneck of censorship. If no one controls the web server, then no one person or entity can control and censor the content. Although this struggles with censorship, it also presents a unique challenge: moderation.

related: Social media giants must decentralize the Internet…now!


The idea of ​​moderation puts forward the 22nd rule for the encrypted social community. On the one hand, the Web 3.0 values ​​of encrypted social are about creating democratized applications that are free from censorship and snooping supervision. On the other hand, the community should be able to protect itself from spam attacks and malicious actors. The need to balance moderation with privacy, decentralization, and censorship resistance is a complex consideration, and there is no clear solution.

The bottom line is that communities—not third parties—should control what exists in their space. The type of participation varies from community to community, as does the classification of “good” and “bad” content. How to share good information and how to plan bad information ultimately defines the value of the community itself, and it is very important to conduct audits in a way that cannot be hijacked or manipulated.

One way to prevent spam is to allow the community to use token-based permissions to implement chat features. Using this method, holding a specific token can grant members access to publish, view, and/or manage permissions in a given community. In order to maintain the integrity of the tokens, smart contracts can be implemented to control the transferability and permissions of each newly minted token. This decentralized system ensures that audits are conducted in a manner that does not allow independent individuals to subjectively control the curation.

Decentralized governance

The problem with Web 2.0 social networks is that centralization essentially hinders community autonomy and self-regulation. The success of the social network should mean the success of the entire social network-not the success of a single founder at the expense of the social network. This is a problem with the existing order of centralized social networks: the decisions of independent individuals or entities control the evolution and destiny of the network.

One way to solve this shortcoming and establish decentralized governance is to use community funds. By holding governance tokens, individual community members have the right to vote on decisions that will shape the future of the community. The collective nature of this democratized voting system has the power to protect communities from becoming victims of the whimsy of corporate bureaucracy. Through decentralized governance, users can gain a voice that affects change.

related: Crypto social governance will lead to online freedom

Safe and decentralized funding

Decentralization alone cannot ensure the longevity and self-sustainability of encrypted social networks. The integration of token-based incentives provides a unique way for users to maintain and navigate social network communities. By issuing tokens to users, individual users become shareholders of the platform, providing motivation to participate and promote network growth.

When each user maintains a token balance, they can conduct transactions on their terms in a peer-to-peer manner, essentially making contributions to the network economy autonomously. The use cases for these tokens are endless—from voting on proposals to crowdfunding initiatives to sending encrypted messages—and provide support for the long-term development of the community.

With the growing interest and momentum of decentralized social networks, these four key themes show that when designing a new social network, there are not only decentralized ideas, but more considerations. What we need are more purpose-oriented platforms that support the intellectual and financial sovereignty of users—not superficial buzzwords. Although there are gray areas on how to achieve this goal, the beauty of decentralized social networks is that communities have the opportunity to shape the future of social networks.

This article does not contain investment advice or recommendations. Every investment and trading action involves risks, and readers should research on their own when making a decision.

The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed here are only those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect or represent the views and opinions of Cointelegraph.

Corey Petty Around 2012, he started his blockchain-focused research as a personal hobby, and at the same time studied for a PhD in computational chemistry physics at Texas Tech University.Then he continued to discover together Bitcoin Podcast Network And still serve as the host of the flagship store, Bitcoin podcast And more technical performances, Hash itCorey left academia and entered the data science/blockchain security industry for a few years, trying to fix vulnerabilities in the ICS/SCADA network, and then found a suitable position for the security leader he is staying at today.