As social media has become an integral part of our lives, with billions of users across several major centralized networks, a growing interest in decentralized platforms has emerged. In this piece, we’ll cover some of the pros and cons of decentralized social media and highlight some of the projects/platforms you can try today.
The Potential Benefits of Decentralized Social Media:
- Data Privacy: Built on blockchain technology, decentralization of social media gives users more control over their personal information and how it’s used (whether or not data is sold to advertisers, tracked, etc.)
- Free of Censorship: Without centralized control, truly decentralized social media offers the capacity for users to enjoy the freedom to express their opinions without fear of suppression. Although, this double-edged sword can also come with some potential downsides. More on that coming up.
- Transparency: The inherent transparency of blockchain offers an opportunity for more accountability behind posts as platform owners and moderator activity is recorded and visible on the ledger.
The Cons of Decentralized Social Media:
- Technical Problems: Many decentralized networks on not quite as intuitive as popular platforms, providing an obstacle to ease of use and mass adoption at this point in time.
- Limited Users: With limited adoption, user bases on decentralized platforms can also be potentially limited. One of the core benefits of centralized networks is that they provide quick and instant access to vibrant communities.
- Content Quality: Without moderation, inherent problems with regard to reliability, quality, safety, and reputability of content can be more challenging to solve. With no central authority to simply moderate posts, different ways of curating and ensuring quality present unique challenges.
Some Decentralized Social Networks:
Steemit – A blockchain-based blogging and social media platform that incentivizes users to create and curate content with the cryptocurrency Steem.
Damus – Jack Dorsey-backed Damus is a decentralized social network that puts users in control of their data and privacy using blockchain technology and cryptographic tools.
HIVE – A decentralized version of Steemit created after a hard fork, focused on community-driven content creation and reward distribution.
Peepeth – A blockchain-based microblogging platform built on Ethereum, emphasizing privacy and control over user data.
Mirror – A decentralized social network focusing on privacy and user control of data, using cryptographic technologies to protect information.