We opened the year 2021 with a big global controversy regarding former United States president Donald Trump.
The man has sparked endless controversies before. Yet, this time is different, because the whole furor about him now has to do with his social media account.
Twitter has permanently banned Trump’s account@realDonaldTrump as Trump’s tweets were seen as inciting social unrest and violence. Yes, Twitter has banned countless people’s accounts which had violated its content policies. But the account of a former state leader? That’s big.
Okay, let us not single Twitter out in this conversation. Censorship in social media is nothing new. Facebook has banned pages promoting various conspiracy theories especially the anti-vaccine groups, which can potentially pose danger to our critical public health situation during the COVID-19 pandemic.
While one can always argue for banning Trump’s hateful diatribes and blocking out conspiracy groups with potentially harmful ideas social media giants can also use censorship to suppress people for profits.
Facebook has collaborated with authoritarian regimes in Pakistan and Bangladesh to censor contents deemed by the regime to be politically- and socially-charged.
Finally, with its “superpower” status, Facebook is able to bully countries which protest against its pillaging of local media contents. Look at what happens in Australia, where Facebook has blacked out its entire services in response to demands that it pays for the contents it is sourcing from local media outlets.
The arbitrary power of social media giants demonstrated through the double standards they apply in terms of censorship and the way they bully parties which demand that they operate more fairly also the simple fact that they are selling our data to repressive governments is something which should be challenged.
This is where the blockchain-powered decentralization content management strategy can overcome the limitations of content management on today’s existing social media platforms. We will discuss this premise in this article, which will be divided into three parts:
- What is blockchain technology
- The differences between centralized, distributed and decentralized systems
- How blockchain’s decentralized system can transform digital content management
What is blockchain technology?
In plain terms, blockchains make it possible for people to transact between each other directly, without going through trusted intermediaries like banks, governments, credit card companies and — talking about digital content management — social media giants.
It is quite plain to see that these brokers all contribute to making transactions expensive, slow and easily corrupted by the most powerful entities around the globe. Specifically in the realm of digital content management, we have also seen how these social media giants also have the potentials to be corrupt in their operations, while colluding with corrupt institutions (such as repressive governments) in their operations.
Now, due to its semi-decentralized nature, the blockchain technology is highly promising in helping individuals getting back their content management sovereignty. What will happen if you can simply distribute your digital contents without the mediation of these giant tech companies?
What is decentralization and how it can transform digital content management?
According to an article published by AWS, in the decentralized nature of the blockchain system, “resources are owned and shared by network members”. This allows for a more democratic and egalitarian content management procedure, because: “since no one owns the data, everyone owns the data”. Thus, any alterations in the data management process requires group consensus, so unlike the arbitrary mechanisms of the social media giants.
Although the downside of this decentralized system is the higher level of difficulty in content management, but it promises greater freedom on the content creators’ part to manage their contents.
As the blockchain technology gets better, it will be interesting to see how it will transform digital content management for the better, particularly in terms of making it more democratic and egalitarian, all the while guaranteeing the creators’ freedom of speech and liberty.