Facebook has killed open-mindedness, undermined the journalistic pursuit of the facts and damaged democracy and inquisitiveness, and promoted form over substance, all in the name of gathering and organizing data so that they could be sold as packages to platform marketers. The centralization of data and content control and the reason why the internet has insidiously fostered it must be dealt with. Many believe that decentralizing ideas and applying trust-minimization principles show glimpses of a way forward.
Blockchain’s Limits and Potential
Blockchain can help with challenges like fake news, rearrangement of the platform’s business model to reward users better and the exploitation of user data. A blockchain-powered centralized model will allow users take control of their data, implement reputation tokens or skin-in-the-game staking mechanisms to encourage greater accountability and honesty in the production and distribution of information as well as to reward content providers based on fair, objective metrics of audience engagement and community priorities.
Note that Blockchain-based models aren’t ready to rescue the social media industry. A decentralized blockchain has to have the on-chain capability to handle the billions of posts and significant amounts of data that a large-scale system would undertake. On its own, Blockchain won’t protect us from the maladies of the state of things.
Tackling The Primary Issue
The first step to follow if we want to tackle this issue will be to use the decentralized trust models that Blockchain uses to make their data aggregation monopolies inessential. Centralization is far more efficient, and economies of scale typically foster monopolies in capitalist states. But if groups of internet users have little need for centralized trust go-betweens, they can begin to extract value via peer-to-peer data exchanges.
This, in turn, paves the way for new businesses to compete for this user enterprise by offering useful services to allow people build fulfilling and meaningful lives online while also retaining control of their data. If we must solve the Facebook issue, we have to create a new online architecture that contends with the problem of human mistrust during this digital age.
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