What is blockchain social media? If you have been following the newest technologies over the last ten years, you may be familiar with the term “blockchain,” the record-keeping mechanism behind the cryptocurrency network.
In a nutshell, Blockchain is a new kind of online networking technology. It isn’t dominated or owned by a single person. Its public electronic ledger stores data and is authenticated by a community of average computer users instead of a central authority.
But what’s so groundbreaking about it? Here are a few reasons to include:
- It’s a decentralized network that cannot be controlled by an entity.
- It is transparent, yet allowing its users to protect their privacy.
- Transactions and information exchanges take place without middlemen or brokers.
- It is highly secure and incorruptible.
Blockchain came to life with the creation of Bitcoin — a decentralized, peer-to-peer digital currency (cryptocurrency). However, the use of blockchain technology is much wider. Today, we use it in a variety of applications. Those include for instance government database banking and most recently, the social media industry, which I’d like to focus on in this article.
The Impact Of Blockchain On Social Media
Social Networks have become a crucial part of our lives. They have transformed the way we communicate and interact with each other. Moreover, social media has created the opportunity to connect and network with other members around the globe in a matter of a few clicks at no extra cost for its users. Despite many advantages, social media doesn’t come without its challenges.
Monopoly by Facebook, Google, Twitter & Co
It isn’t a secret that social media platforms are goldmines of personal data. Currently, a few global organizations that have a monopoly, control the internet. While most users are under the impression of using platforms like Google, Facebook, and Twitter for free, their pockets are getting heavier and heavier.
The social media business model is built upon the idea of providing users a platform where they can distribute content in order to collect and use data to sell targeted ads to its users. According to a recent study conducted by PwC and Redburn, Global Marketing is a $1.7 trillion industry, with social media capturing more than half of its value. As a result, companies like Facebook, Google, Twitter & Co are making billion-dollar profits.
Despite platforms like YouTube, Google, or lately TikTok trying to share part of the profits with their content creators, they on average keep a 45% cut of any ad revenue. Moreover, the actual consumers, you, me, or whoever is consuming content, are getting $0.
Centralized Data Ownership & Storage
Another major drawback of social media is its management and storage of personal data. Most leading social media businesses keep everything that we share or communicate on any social media platform in a database. Whether that’s your Facebook posts, your WhatsApp messages, your emails, the list goes on. That’s simply how their centralized software works. However, it is somehow scary to know that those organizations store and use our personal data.
Blockchain Social Media
As more users become aware of the flipside of centralized social media platforms, let’s have a look at the alternatives and the benefits of decentralized blockchain social media.
Full Data Ownership & Privacy
As mentioned earlier, every interaction on centralized social media, including private messages, is accessible to those in charge of moderating these platforms. This poses a severe threat to users’ privacy. Blockchain Social Media completely changes the technology behind social media apps. One of the main advantages is that it takes the control of data from the platforms and brings it back to the end consumer. This means that the misuse of data similar to the case of Facebook Cambridge Analytics will become impossible.
Primarily, Private and Public keys within the blockchain make this scenario impossible. Blockchain comes with in-design security and privacy protection mechanisms. Those are making sure that content, messages, and funds are reaching its destination without being intercepted by third parties. The user can initiate a transaction. This transaction is then being stored in a data block on the blockchain through the use of a private key. This block is added to the chain only after the majority of other network members have verified it. Consequently, the data is accessible only to the intended recipient and not stored on a centralized server.
Moreover, Blockchain-based social media will improve transparency and security. Blockchain’s immutability will make identity verification easier. It will prevent identity theft as users without proper authorization won’t be able to access the information. It can also address fake content, spambots, and fraudulent ad impressions.
Freedom of Expression
Political parties for instance have increasingly used social media for political gains and curb dissent in the past. Understandably, this is a significant hindrance to the democratic ideals of freedom of speech and expression.
With its decentralized consensus mechanisms, blockchain social media platforms help realize the users’ right to express freely. Meanwhile, as blockchain social media is still in its early stages, a lack of regulations might pose newer threats.
Currently, social media businesses such as Facebook, Google, and YouTube have large teams of moderators. Those work in conjunction with machine learning algorithms to detect and remove violence and other inappropriate content when needed. This can be done through the storage of user data in the cloud and exclusive control over the posted content.
On decentralized social media platforms, centralized moderation isn’t possible. Therefore, it will be up to the community to ensure the network remains free of abusive behavior.
If social media platforms based on blockchain are to match the popularity of the present social media giants, such issues need to be addressed over time.
User Rewards on blockchain social media
Apart from non-monetary benefits, blockchain social media also offers rewards. Most decentralized social networks reward users for posting on their network. Imagine getting part of the revenue money for all the posts, videos, and images you uploaded on your profile. Additionally, they also facilitate user-to-user financial transactions or crowdfunding campaigns using the native cryptocurrency.
Social Media is gaining more users on a daily basis. Meanwhile, many raise concerns over the data and privacy breach those platforms are often associated with.
Blockchain social media, with its decentralized and distributed networks, offers a solution to those issues. It enables users to obtain ownership, privacy, and greater control over their data. Additionally, they have freedom of speech and expression. This gives users the possibility to freely express their thoughts on social media. Most decentralized social media platforms also monetize users for their content.
Despite many advantages, decentralized and uncensored platforms might be vulnerable to criminal and inappropriate activities. That being said, regulations may be necessary to ensure a safe and respectful environment for all social media users. After all, a decentralized social media world, with proper handling, may revolutionize the way we interact online.
What are your thoughts about blockchain social media? Feel free to drop your comments below.
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