HomeTechnologyFighting back: Web3 as the ultimate catalyst for censorship resistance

Fighting back: Web3 as the ultimate catalyst for censorship resistance

|


Couldn’t attend Transform 2022? View all summit sessions in our on-demand library now! See here.


If you don’t pay attention to mainstream news, you fully understand that the internet is under attack. Net neutrality is being threatened by internet service providers (ISPs), governments are cracking down on online content, and social media platforms are censoring users more than ever before.

This growing attitude of censorship has led many to believe that the internet is not the free and open platform it once was. And while this is true to some extent, there is still a corner of the internet relatively untouched by censorship: decentralized webor Web3.

But where did the need to censor dissenting voices on the Internet come from? What are the conditions that allow such a thing? In this article, we will do a complete case study.

China and tolerant censorship

One of the most famous examples internet censorship The Great Firewall of China is a system of filters and blocks used by the Chinese government to control what its citizens can see online. While the Great Firewall is often talked about in hushed tones, it’s important to remember that it’s not all-encompassing.

Event

MetaBeat 2022

MetaBeat will bring together thought leaders in San Francisco, CA on October 4 to provide guidance on how metaverse technology will transform the way entire industries communicate and do business.

Register here

The Great Firewall of China is not absolute; is conductive. It doesn’t block everything, but selectively blocks in a way that is designed to be partially permeable to allow some data to flow in and out.

The Chinese government does not block every website or information it disagrees with. Instead, it uses a strategy that can be called “tolerant censorship”. This concept has been analyzed in depth by Ronald Deibert, director of the University of Toronto’s Civic Lab.

In other words, China’s Great Firewall is not trying to completely isolate its citizens from the rest of the world. Instead, it allows a certain amount of information to flow in and out while driving the overall story.

The Chinese government has been able to get away with this form of censorship because it controls all of the country’s major internet infrastructure. This gives them a significant advantage over other countries when it comes to censoring online content.

But this advantage is starting to disappear. As more and more people around the world gain access to the internet, the need for censorship-resistant platforms that cannot be controlled by any government is becoming increasingly apparent.

The Suppression of Silicon Valley and Great America

First, it is in no way an expression of political leanings. Below is a technical analysis of how social media companies in the US censor their users.

It’s no secret that social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter have been increasingly censoring content in recent years. This trend only accelerated in the run-up to the 2020 presidential election, when both Facebook and Twitter introduced new policies against so-called “misinformation.”

These new policies, while well-intentioned, have had a chilling effect on free speech online. In particular, they censored a lot of political content that was left out of the mainstream story.

Of course, there is a valid argument that dangerous narratives are best left out of the general public. However, it is important to remember that social media platforms are not just any other publisher. They are unique in that they have almost universal coverage. This gives them incredible power to shape the public debate.

While Silicon Valley may claim to use this power for good, it’s important to note that many of these companies are clearly politically biased. In particular, Facebook and Twitter have been accused of censoring conservative voices on their platforms.

How would the Web3 model be different?

The centralization vs. centralization argument for Web3 has been made countless times before – so let’s get into the details. We’ll take a look at the architecture of Web3 and how it can prevent censorship from an implementation perspective.

The policies of private companies are often hidden from public view, making it difficult to hold them accountable. However, the decentralized nature of Web3 will make it much harder to hide censorship.

For example, let’s say Facebook decides to censor a certain post. In the current system, this decision would be made by a small group of people behind closed doors. However, in a decentralized system, this decision must be made by consensus among all stakeholders.

DAO and Web3 management

Governance in Web3 is still a developing field, but there are several proposed models that would make censorship more difficult. For example, “decentralized autonomous organization” (DAO) is a type of organization that is run by code, not people.

The DAO code will be designed to reflect the will of the community. This will make it more difficult for any individual or group to censor content without the consent of the wider public.

There are a number of other proposed models for Web3 governance, but DAO is one of the most promising models. These are still early days, but such decentralized governance structures could make censorship more difficult, if not impossible.

Can Web3 withstand government intervention?

Of course, the main question you might ask is: Can Web3 survive government intervention?

It is difficult to answer this question because it is difficult to predict the future. However, it’s important to note that many of the same technologies that would be used to create censorship-resistant platforms are also used to create privacy and security tools.

One of the hallmarks of a free society is the ability to communicate freely without fear of censorship. It is clear that we are living in an era of increasing censorship.

One way governments intervene is by requiring platforms to remove certain types of content. For example, the Chinese government requires all social media platforms to censor content deemed “sensitive.”

The good news is that so far Web3 applications have been largely immune to such intrusions. For example, Ethereum has been used to build a range censorship-resistant applicationssuch as decentralized exchanges and privacy-focused messaging apps.

This suggests that Web3 applications are highly likely to survive government intervention.

The bottom line in Web3 and censorship resistance

The growing trend of censorship by social media companies is troubling and has a chilling effect on free speech online. However, the decentralization of the internet provided by Web3 offers a way to combat this trend.

Using blockchain technology, distributed ledger systems, and cryptographic techniques will make it much harder for censors to modify or delete content. In addition, the use of these technologies will make it difficult for censors to block access to specific pieces of content.

Internet decentralization is not a panacea, but it offers a way to combat the growing trend of censorship by social media companies. And that’s why Web3 is the ultimate catalyst for censorship resistance.

Into next article: Silicon Valley is recognized as a center of innovation and technology entrepreneurship, but this of course leads to a problematic geographic imbalance. We’ll look at how Web3 companies are building outside of traditional tech hubs and what this means for the future of the industry.

Daniel Saito is the CEO and co-founder of StrongNode.

DataDecisionMakers

Welcome to the VentureBeat community!

DataDecisionMakers is a place where experts, including data technicians, can share data ideas and innovations.

If you want to read about cutting-edge ideas and cutting-edge data, best practices, and the future of data and information technology, join us at DataDecisionMakers.

You can even think contributes to the article own!

Read more from DataDecisionMakers



Source link