Social media is such a big part of our modern society that one might start to wonder what will come next for this billion dollar industry. We all know about social media giants such as Facebook, WeChat, YouTube who manage to connect billions of people on a daily basis.
However, over the past couple of years, more and more scandals started to outline various big problems with modern social media. Some of the biggest problems include the centralization of data, lack of privacy, copyright infringement, human rights violation, data mining, and all sorts of data sharing “depravity.”
The simple thought that the information remains stored on various social media giants’ servers (regardless of the user deleting the entire account), is enough to bring shivers down every privacy- and security-savvy user.
Can blockchain decentralize social media?
There are some out there that believe that it is the technology that stands at the base of Bitcoin (and so many other cryptocurrencies), the blockchain, that will cleanse the world of social media of most of its pressing problems.
If you know even a little about blockchains, in general, then you probably know that they are exceptionally well-designed to decentralize data. With the help of blockchains, data is stored on the public, and immutable ledgers commonly referred to as blockchains. What’s more, all user data is encrypted and anonymized.
Blockchains have proven their worth and are still disrupting multiple industries. However, it’s this decentralization that brings a new approach to most of what needs changing in today’s social media, namely data privacy, advertising, content moderation, and possibly even international payments.
Below, we will list some of the most obvious reasons why social media users will end up loving decentralization.
Blockchains allow users to fully control their data
Grand-scale scandals and data breaches of late such as Facebook-Cambridge Analytica only show that privacy is becoming somewhat of a unicorn in today’s online world. The short version of the story is that Cambridge Analytica used data provided by Facebook (that of 87 million Facebook users, to be more precise). The collected data was eventually used as a tool to help Donald Trump’s presidential campaign at the time.
Not only that, but the large majority of the data on the Internet is actually centralized, meaning most of us aren’t really in full control of it. To make matters worse, most social media giants have already proved on multiple occasions that they can’t really keep this data safe from attackers. This is where the blockchain comes into play.
Thanks to the unique nature of blockchains, building decentralized systems will bring a lot of benefits for the social media industry and all its users. For starters, blockchains offer decentralization which means no company or organization can control the data anymore. Since it’s also encrypted, no one besides you can read the data, and all the records on the blockchains are immutable, meaning that data cannot be altered or changed.
Blockchains will allow for fairer compensation for high-quality content
It’s easy to think that the whole internet is just a bundle of reused data. The real value of social media platforms is, of course, their content. It might come as a shock for some, but the truth is that billions of users are currently creating content, but very few are actually profiting from it. A simple look at how YouTube rewards users creating really unique and interesting content should be enough to convince you of this fact.
With the help of blockchains and their inherent decentralization, the value of the content can be brought back to those who deserve it. In short, blockchains can eventually force social media platforms to reward or incentivize users that bring in high-quality content. The best example of this model is a platform called Steemit. Even though it’s not perfect, and even though you can’t become a millionaire, it shows that the concept works in real life.
Blockchains will provide better content management
You definitely heard about the new-age phenomenon called “fake news.” The main reason this type of content is available is that content moderation on almost all platforms is highly centralized.
With blockchains, we move towards an era where community moderation will be the norm when it comes to dictating what content should or shouldn’t be shown.
Blockchains will enable fair payments for data access
It’s understandable why some users are more concerned about their privacy than others. And, it’s also understandable that having full control over one’s privacy should be a basic human right.
There are those that might be inclined to give up on this control over their online privacy, but this should be done only with their consent and only if there are efficient compensatory models set in place. In short, users should at least be compensated financially for their data.
New-age platforms such as Howdoo make a strong case for this specific type of getting compensated for private data. In short, the future blockchain-based social media platforms will inevitably let users cash in for gaining access to their data.
Taking everything into account, decentralizing social media using blockchain technology is still very much a dream that’s yet to come true. However, all the ethic and practical principles make a very strong case for it. Decentralization using blockchain technology will bring users a very high control over their data, financial compensations, and even unique tools for content moderation.