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What do we need most, to create a decentralized network?

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Let's talk about priorities. What do we need most, to create a decentralized network (in terms of software, tools, architecture, etc.)?

I am going to write a blog post about this, but I would like your input. Here are some ideas:

  • Stand-alone apps (such as WordPress plugins) that allow people to both write for, and read, the content of a decentralized network.
  • Identity standards.
  • Data standards, i.e., standards for the content of social media microposts, images, videos, "likes," etc.
  • Agreement upon what components the data standards should support.
  • Aggregators.
  • Intelligent designs for network architecture.
  • Actual built and demonstrated network architecture.
  • Agreement among CEOs (executives) and developers at work on alternative social media, video, etc., apps.
  • PR/promotion of the idea.

As you can see, this is a complex task. What's the highest priority? What should we fund and develop first? Where should we push people?

By the way, please feel free to start your own topics.

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AirFiero
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(@airfiero)
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I am just a regular Joe with no big voice, but I’ve what I’ve been saying to anyone who will listen is that folks like us need a “parallel society” including banks, online payment systems, web site, social media platforms and so on. A complete top down parallel society. Otherwise, we will be cut off from the ability to live and communicate.

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(@community_man)
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@airfiero I agree with this assessment: The train wreck began when a minority took away the ability for everyday average people right to decide where the money was spent and who it was distributed to got tricked into a centralized system of money creation and distribution, to be followed by a centralized system of taking care of the needs of our communities.  Finally unfortunately, finishing the job of the free distribution of information was never really finished and a prototype made for scientists and researchers (client/server) became the norm and fell into the hands of oligarchs dominating the world today.  

Larry and and other leaders are now finishing the work that began and once the peer to peer platform becomes mainstream these oligarchs and their systems will become irrelevant and redundant.   Nothing can stop the will of the sovereignty of the people by the people for the people and even though the oligarchs keep stealing and using our genius and creativity, they still can not keep up and will not keep up with the coming decentralization of information, money, governance, and prosperity.  

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 ydt
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I think the first things we need to handle is hosting and payment processing.

* hosting modeled on Digital Ocean and eventually AWS 

* DNS purchasing like namecheap/godaddy 

* easy payment like PayPal which should support as man currencies as possible plus crypto 

* code repo like Gitlab/Github

If we had those four things we'd have a great foundation to build on. However, it would also be very expensive 

P.S. I work in web development/devops and would love to help anyway I can with this

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(@seriouscoderone)
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@ydt With a Block Chain technology, we can have distributed "hosting". Everyone can run servers and if it is combined with Crypto they will be compensated.

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(@psxploring)
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I believe starting can done in a balanced channelizing of overall effort in three main directions:

  • People having understanding of distributed architecture can start draft/mulling on few intelligent designs (It will help us in deciding/uncovering other needs like new standards/protocols).
  • Most important one: PR of idea should go on multiple platforms (can and will help in funding and team building part).
  • As the above of two steps start returning some input. Should gather a team of members from all departments of tech (as in frontend and backend) to start on a prototype.
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(@blademccool)
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my vision for this is a standalone html/javascript web page that anyone can copy to their computer. after loading the page a creator would add their private key which is effectively their identity. the page would then go off to a small custom server, or possibly even use something like ipns to locate the 'latest' content id of social media created by the creator. each latest piece of content could include new follows of other creator profiles, as well as a link to previous content. the software running in the browser can spider all the content to bring together your feed of posts from the people you follow and present the timeline to interact with. i wouldnt mind spending the time proving out whether this could work or not, i'm just having some mental blocks right now related to my day job which is draining my developer mojo. excuses excuses i know. i should come back with a prototype and stop wagging my fingers at this keyboard.

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Admin
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@blademccool Yes! Why can't it just be a JavaScript app, maybe just a browser plugin, that you use to connect to a front-end layer to a BitTorrent network?

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Elros
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@admin that’s almost exactly it. What we’re developing is censorship-resistant content distribution protocol over IPFS (not Bittorrent) for p2p with Tor baked into it for privacy/security that’ll be the backend to numerous/various user end facing clients.

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 leon
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@elros developer here, this sounds a lot like what was tried with eth-tweet

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AirFiero
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@elrost This is fascinating stuff!

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(@blademccool)
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@elros looking forward to trying it out. would ones identity be an rsa pubkey or something like that? is it a dag on top of ipfs? how are you resolving the tip of the social graphs? i couldnt get ipns to work properly in the browser alone when i was playing around with js-ipfs

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(@tinkertwain)
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@admin A backend content sharing network could be built leveraging bittorrent. It can have the following features:

1. Publish content (Text, Image, Video). Which would get published in some sort of distributed index. We need to design a database which can be distributed to millions of users.

2. Subscribe to an author of content using the index. Once you subscribe, you get content from the author and also become a seed for other subscribers for the said author

3. Subscribers would get feed for all the subscribed authors in newswire type feed.

All the above would be open API, so frontends could be developed for various platforms.

To make sure author's content is not tempered with, a mechanism similar to DKIM for email can be implemented wherein each published item is signed and publickey is published.

Hope the above make sense.

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(@cmhensley)
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@tinkertwain This is by and far a brilliant way to allow for freedom with a built in level of protection for the users written word\Works. I wait to see this unfold.

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(@blademccool)
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@admin I have built a proof of concept prototype for the ideas described above. It does work, but it is rudimentary at this stage.

Github: https://github.com/BladeMcCool/IPFS-Social-Graph

Tech demo video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8DjmmvUvuxE

Some issues I ran into with just being a pure JS page are that IPNS updates published via the js-ipfs library in-browser did not seem to be resolvable by other IPFS nodes on the network. It seems that for now, I will need to rely on a small server to publish IPNS info in some form on behalf of clients, either armed with their private keys (dangerous) or by delegating, which has its own issues. Since it was going to need a server for now, I decided to have all the IPFS communication handled by the server for now and just do message signing in the browser, but the RSA key that is used for the signing is generated in the browser.

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@blademccool This aligns with my thoughts as well, focusing on create frontend apps/extensions/local js that the user controls and can pull and push content from multiple protocols (Mastodon/ActivityPub, RSS, etc.) Let the user fetch content from where they want, and developers can then create multiple ways to filter/sort/view the content.

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(@seriouscoderone)
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@blademccool  I think we need to break up Crawlers/Curators of content into their own services. Perhaps opening up a new market for "Social Media Curators" 

It is almost a conflict of interest to be the platform and the curator of the content as well. You should either Provide/Host the data, or Use the data in a service, but not both.

Individuals or companies should be able to design to a Social Media protocol to make ML models (or anything else to curate content) and provide capabilities for users. 

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(@blademccool)
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i really do feel like Matthias Beyer lays it out pretty well with this article:

https://beyermatthias.de/blog/2018/02/25/blueprint-of-a-distributed-social-network-on-ipfs---and-its-problems-2/

I just had some issues with ipns in the browser being able to create and update an entry that another instance in a different browser could resolve. But the actual content, posted and got a cid for via js-ipfs, i was able to load that cid in another browser right away. So resolving the tip of the graph seems like the challenge to me and i am toying with ideas for a tiny server that anyone could run to do that, something that would be easy to spin up on a tiny vps instance with a docker image and super simple config of one approved public key to allow social graph tip updates of the person who owns it and anyone else they feel like adding to the approved list of creators that can update through that server. 

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(@jccbsl)
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A week ago I might have argued with you.  Now, I think you are spot on!

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(@janet-singer)
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Is the idea to create a new social network or to be a meta-level structure on top of all other social networks so people can find and follow as networks emerge/are censored? If the latter, one can bootstrap off the other communities and not worry about getting everyone to select and invest their effort one “Twitter/FB substitute”

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 Tim
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@janet-singer I'm in the camp promoting the latter, FWIW.

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Killface
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In terms of the non-technical and more philosophical, there needs to be a user ownership protocol - call it the "Internet Ownership Protocol (IOP)" or "Digital Sovereignty" - where users own their data in the strictest sense. 

I haven't hammered out the details but one of the systemic issues of the internet is the dominant business model of 'collect as much user data now and aggregate and sell later'. It has helped facilitate the rise of the surveillance state 

Maybe I'm wrong but improved micropayment economics suggest the possibility of 3rd party "data brokers" as-a-service where users by default own their data unless they opt-in what data they want collected by these brokers who later aggregate, sort, and sell to larger firms who rely on the ubiquitous ad-based business model that exists today (Google, FB, etc.).

Users receive payment for the sale of their data and if they choose to turn off the spigot, then the mining and payments stop as well.

Think of the early commodities traders but now the commodity is user data.

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@joe-diffy

The data ownership element is an integral missing piece to the future puzzle. It is how these current institutions have been able to amass their power and wealth, I like your analogy of a valve/spigot in this regard. You are on to an interesting premise, as it would be a much different framework if people could broker their data or at least have transparent options in regards to who is receiving the data and metadata from their online transactions. 

Our current systems opt for us giving this valuable information away for free (or I should say, access to their platform), in which they monetize. I wonder what options we could come up with that would give the user more control of their interactions and data, and if they consent to the transfer - what does that look like? Very interesting points.

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(@mukuljainx)
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Agreement on the standard is very important things should start from here only. The tech and architecture should be driven by the standards!

 

A rough idea honestly hasn't given many thoughts but this what I have in my mind, it scattered!

Open-source(tech-wise UI only) forum for discussion without any censorship but light moderation (no abusive posts/comments). This many can easily contribute to it and improve it regularly. Backend (DB, server, and other stuff) must be private and well secured, now I am not very good at the backend part but together with other devs, we can figure it out, best way to use amazon service they will take care of the security part. A dedicated team will be needed for all of it.

Anyone will be able to most but we have to have verify internet celebs as they have a mass audience we can also allow other users to vote for a verified account but there will be spam and we have to handle, there will spam in everything from voting to comments we can only filter it up to certain level only.

The forum/app main page should be dedicated to short articles, why Twitter is famous (one of read less, tweet from anywhere and the reach). There are already many apps which claims to be non-partial out there, does the world need another one? like Gab, the Indian version of Twitter, FB

 

 

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The option to be completely anonymous

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(@hans-van-buitenen)
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Hi,

What level of in-dependency do you aim to reach? I assume you will be using the existing intranet...

So maybe start with a brainstorm team to determine what you actually want, and how censure resistant it should be. What the weak points are of most systems and how to avoid them.

The first thing you need are tech guys who have been working in this field. The biggest challenge is i guess, communication, translating your demands into the right available technology. Usually there's a big gap in language and way of thinking. Only then can you tell if, or what hardware you need.

But why would you need to create a decentralized network, when one already exists?

Check out https://odysee.com/, https://lbry.tv/

And if this somehow does not work for you, or you want to extend it, then, consider copying it. Would not be surprised if it's largely open source.

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I'll admit to not being a domain expert in any of what I'm discussing.

To answer your question, focus on the low level protocols, build proof-of-concept apps that are useful that we can show to people.

More broadly, we need to think more fundamentally, and have some foresight into what the world might look like in 20-30 (or maybe 2-3) years.

It is plausible, even likely, that we are going to experience universal institutional failure. In particular, our trust networks have what amounts to a single point of failure, which is the university system, and that single point of failure has been compromised. The legal system, the medical system, finance, most scientific research, and various engineering fields all rely on the university system to credential their participants. The university system is compromised and is beyond recovery at this point. We should plan for the legal system, the medical system, scientific research, and engineering credentialism to all fail, because they are all dependent on a failed system.

Recent history has shown me that my predictions seem to come true much quicker than I anticipated.

The law as a system fundamentally doesn't make any sense. I could write a whole 1000 word essay about that, but will save that for later. But good riddance to the law. Medicine and engineering are important though.

We need to build technological replacements for these systems. In particular

- The law: develop smart contract technology, and expand its scope. RSA doesn't care about a court order. This needs cognitive effort, as well as prominent proof-of-concept cases. Cryptocurrency is the case model we should look at. But expand the scope to other aspects of enforcing social order. The key idea of cryptocurrency is giving everyone skin in the game. Social order enforcement via distributing skin in the game seems like the correct approach.

- Medicine: need domain experts in chemistry to decentralize knowledge about medicine, so that people don't have to get medicine from doctors. Wrongthinkers should expect to be denied medical care (including surgeries) on the basis of wrongthink. I don't have many specific ideas. This needs cognitive effort from domain experts.

- Finance: I think the cryptocurrency people have made a lot of good progress here. Cryptocurrency as it stands has a fatal flaw, which is it can't survive long-term netsplits (meaning you can't merge divergent blockchains). Some cognitive effort should be placed in tweaking the blockchain concept so that it can survive long-term netsplits, and that it has some mapping with the physical world, so that it can survive power outages.

- Scientific research: This problem seems to be fixing itself. But perhaps some cognitive effort should be placed into creating incentive structures that allow curious and creative people to profit off of doing useful research. Basically we need to solve the public goods paradox.

- Engineering credentialism: Basically we need a replacement for building and bridge inspectors; physical equivalents of checksums. I have no specific ideas here.

The problem with most existing trust systems is either

1. Cycles in a network of trust. This ensures if one node in the cycle is compromised, the entire network is compromised. If the New York Times publishes fake news, it will be repeated in the Washington Post on the grounds that the New York Times published it, and eventually make its way to downstream outlets.

There is a hierarchy of judges in the American court system, who form a check on the political establishment, which controls the judge's ability to be promoted. This means that the hierarchy will select against judges that are willing to rule against the political establishment.

2. People forced to permanently trust a node. If a node becomes sufficiently trustworthy, and through whatever mechanism, people are forced to trust it, it is almost guaranteed to be compromised because of upside/downside asymmetry.

The trust models for the replacement systems must be carefully designed so that they do not contain either of these pathological structures. Ideally a decentralized system should not contain the concept of trust. Supposing it does, a hard constraint is that all trust networks need to be forkable (cryptocurrencies and open-source software have this feature, but courts and companies do not).

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(@celrisen)
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This is no longer theoretical. Have a look at https://www.elastos.org/, and yes, its not an easy read or a project to grasp, but it's essentially complete and absolute decentralisation, to the point of no central servers, data repositories or backdoors even on a theoretical level. It's being used to build a lot of cool stuff at the moment, including, yes, completely decentralised and fully censorship resistant Twitter clone called Feeds. The tech is in its infancy, but it's usable right here. Right now.

TL;DR Elastos, Feeds on Play Store. www.elastos.org decentralised operating system.

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(@blademccool)
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@celrisen is there a standalone version of this Feeds that just works in browser without needing to be an app?

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(@celrisen)
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@blademccool no, you need the Elastos runtime wrapper which will initialize the Carrier P2P network (Tor on steroids), verify your identity (guid) from the blockchain and allow you to read out people's feeds. (What it also does is it opens you to the crypto world of smart contracts and dapps)

To create an own feed, you need to run a service (currently a desktop service), others can connect to via Carrier to read your posts. So this is the convenience/control tradeoff, which is something by the way we need to get used to while trying to decentralise stuff, at least in short term.

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 Tim
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@celrisen www.elastos.org is 404?

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(@celrisen)
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 Tim
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@BladeMcCool, I like your vision. Is IPNS a typo and you mean IPFS like @elros says?

@admin Larry, BitTorrent is p2p. So is IPFS. Are there advantages to BitTorrent over IPFS for large files, e.g. video? We need to get storage right.

Let's say we run with this. How would one delete one's content? I think it's important for people to own their words (and images—still and moving), and I would prefer that nothing be deleted; instead, one should be able to issue a retraction. But I also believe we need to plan for the inevitable scenario comes up: death captured on video. How do we handle taboos like that? Pornography needs to be labeled so that people can filter it out.

What I would add to @BladeMcCool's vision is this: a Web of Trust (WoT) that one can join. Members of the WoT are able to tag content. At the risk of alienating forum members on the first day, I'll throw out my peeves: violence (one cannot un-see a beheading, for example, and I intend to keep my memory clean of such images), pornography (I know @admin has been a long-standing enemy of child pornography), NSFW (not all NSFW is porn), lies, and bulls—t (e.g. a vague claim of election fraud that lacks evidence that can stand up in court). I want to completely filter out violence and porn, and I want to be warned about NSFW, lies, and BS, including metadata that tells me which WoT members have labeled it as such. A little more about BS. Consider Twitter's Bulls—tQuantum account, a humorous service that cuts through it and makes one think critically, IMHO.

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(@blademccool)
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@tim 🙂 well what I'm thinking of would be on top of IPFS yup, but part of IPFS is a thing called IPNS which is a name resolution service. with an IPNS entry under ones control theoretically one could update it to point at a different piece of content whenever desired, and that mechanism could be used to point to the tip of a social graph for a given identity. But I had trouble getting the IPNS to work properly just using the web browser compatible javascript implementation of IPFS when I was playing around with it about a year ago, so I was thinking of other server based solutions to support the code in the browser for the purpose of being able to get the latest content CID shared by an identity.

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(@blademccool)
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@tim regarding deleting content, moderating/tagging content etc, this is certainly a concern. As it stands with the base concept I'm thinking of, to delete something permanently wouldn't really be possible because followers will mirror posts as they come in, but issuing a retraction should be straightforward and then the client would be able to flag the retracted message accordingly and remove its local copy, hide it or whatever is desired. But there would not be a way to enforce clients actually delete anything

moderation is a tricky point but i like the idea of being able to subscribe to different services for that purpose. the web of trust flagging system sounds interesting. i had also thought of paid deny-list services that could be used to screen things out as well.

also the thought of having content hosted on multiple backends is intriguing, the message format could allow one to specify that the data can be found via ipfs, torrent, and other browser-accessible means.

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 Tim
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Ran out of time editing my previous post. So here is my second draft.

@BladeMcCool, I like your vision. Is IPNS a typo and you mean IPFS like @elros says?

@admin Larry, BitTorrent is p2p. So is IPFS. Are there advantages to BitTorrent over IPFS for large files, e.g. video? We need to get storage right.

Let's say we run with this. How would one delete one's content? I think it's important for people to own their words (and images—still and moving), and I would prefer that nothing be deleted; instead, one should be able to issue a retraction. But I also believe we need to plan for the inevitable scenario comes up: death captured on video. How do we handle taboos like that? Pornography needs to be labeled so that people can filter it out.

What I would add to @BladeMcCool's vision is this: a Web of Trust (WoT) that one can join. Members of the WoT are able to tag content. Members can belong to as many WoTs as they wish. I might have a WoT for my vocation, a WoT for my avocation, a WoT for friends, etc. I would want a WoT of content vetted by the news source of my choice. I personally would rely on the judgment of World News Group, for one. I would want to read what the Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The British Broadcasting Corporation, and National Public Radio (only four examples off the top of my head) have vetted because, well, like it or not, they're influential.

At the risk of alienating forum members on the first day, I'll throw out my peeves that I would use WoT tags for: violence (one cannot un-see a beheading, for example, and I intend to keep my memory clean of such images), pornography (I know @admin has been a long-standing enemy of child pornography), NSFW (not all NSFW is porn), lies, and bulls—t (e.g. a vague claim of election fraud that lacks evidence that can stand up in court). I want to completely filter out violence and porn, and I want to be warned about NSFW, lies, and BS, including metadata that tells me which WoT members have labeled it as such. A little more about BS. Consider Twitter's Bulls—tQuantum account, a humorous service that cuts through it and makes one think critically, IMHO.

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(@shiroe)
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One thing I think is going to be important is a balance between anonymity and accountability. Inasmuch as we should be able to say what we want online, if we do post things online, we need to be accountable for them. This includes libel, slander, threats of violence (especially if they can be used as evidence of premeditation), etc. However, we also need to ensure people can have privacy. I think blockchain has a lot of potential in this area as a way to tie users to their profiles without having to publically reveal their identities... unless legally necessary.

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DeliberateZero
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@shiroe Negative. "Anonymous as long as the Powers That Be allow you to be" is worthless as the foundation for a project like this. It's not acceptable to have security cameras inside changing rooms, even if you promise you won't look at the footage unless { X or Y or Z} happens.

Privacy doesn't come from an incorruptible person that we trust to uphold the principles. The only way to guarantee anything is to remove anyone's ability to make decisions like that. "I promise I won't do X" is weaker than "I couldn't do X even if I wanted to".

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(@shiroe)
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If "the powers that be" are actually the Rule of Law and not the Rule of Twitter, then the only time that power need be invoked is when the LAW is broken, not when someone says something that AWS decides shouldn't be said. A proper indictment would have to prove that before even having access to the poster's identity.

You know, kind of like during an actual public protest.

I see online, social media, and information sharing on the Internet as the public square, being appropriated by "private companies" who are abusing their ownership of monopoly-dependent business models. For me, this is about freedom of assembly as much as freedom of speech. What just happened between AWS and Parler is an example of what I'm saying.

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(@dkrishnakumar)
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Yes I agree with this. People cannot hide behind anonimity and post all kinds of nonsense.  People are allowed to have opinions but free to express them, but the rest of them need to know that they are actually people.  Trends are easily manufactured by money.  Abuses are hurled at the drop of the hat. No one can have more than 1 personal account and it has to be verified. This will automatically enforce sanity in discourse. 

Blockchain offers the best interms of tamper proof identity storage and connected messages.

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(@celrisen)
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Posted by: @dkrishnakumar

Blockchain offers the best interms of tamper proof identity storage and connected messages.

Web 3.0 is what we call it in the Blockchain community. It's time to take back control from those who misuse it. 

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(@darenwelsh)
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Maybe this is obvious, but Parlor and any other competing/opposing tech will be analyzed for exploits. Not the same as security, but I think a good thing about a decentralized approach like blockchain is that transactions (posts, replied, etc) can be independently verified via multiple sources/nodes.

I'll also echo previous posts about how critically this effort requires a solution that is independent of any hosting source. Nodes must be able to host and interconnect in as many ways as possible, so the system is not at the risk/mercy of connectivity providers.

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(@dannotestein)
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We have been working for several years on a decentralized social media platform called Hive. It operates on a peer-to-peer network and uses a blockchain to store the text data and the URL hash links to other forms of data (images/video). Users create accounts that are tied to cryptographic keys that allow them to control their account information.

The data can be accessed via a number of different web interfaces, here's a few:

I have to go now, but I'll leave more info later about how it works, and some of the plans for the future.

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(@marcabisaleh)
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@dannotestein I have been a hive user for years now. No solution is perfect but this by FAR the best one I have found. And I searched a lot.

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(@seriouscoderone)
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@marcabisaleh What are the issues you have seen with Hive?

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(@marcabisaleh)
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@seriouscoderone I have written a long reply just below, with a lot more information on hive. I'll write a recap of the biggest issues I have seen: 

-inability to store images and videos (it is text only). This is mitigated by posting URLs to IPFS databases for example. 

-No privacy. It is extremely complicated to implement. Accounts on hive are pseudonymous, so if you are capable of remaining anonymous on the internet, it is possible to use Hive anonymously. But this is too hard for most users. 

-the governance inherently depends on Hive holders. Larry Sanger raised that point on twitter, talking about whales (large coin holders) dominating the protocol. This is mitigated through forking. Before becoming Hive, Hive was called Steem. It was attacked when a large stakeholder used his majority stake to censor posts. The community simply forked away from Steem, which has become a dead centralized chain. The stake is now extremely well distributed on hive, with the largest whale only having a 3% influence on the network. This of course can change in time, but every attack on the network is expensive, and we can always fork. I highly recommend this article if interested in how to survive attacks: https://decrypt.co/38050/steem-steemit-tron-justin-sun-cryptocurrency-war

-Early development. Tokenization has to be enabled for communities, and the whole UX can be better. This will happen in time.

Hive is complicated and can be better understood when using it. https://www.hive.io

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(@marcabisaleh)
Joined: 2 years ago

New Member
Posts: 3

Here is a tweet thread I posted in attempt to correct some misconceptions about Hive. @dannotestein is the expert, and I am just a user of Hive, but while we wait for further posts from him, this might serve as a good start: 

1/ I understand your point of view, but you are missing some things! I will try to answer your points, and provide an objective overview. Hive is definitely not the perfect solution, but it should be given more credit as it is not victim to some of the points you mentioned.

2/I'll start with concessions. Hive can't store images or videos in a decentralized way, but simply text because it's cheaper. For videos, and images, the solution would be to use something like IPFS or bitTorent and then add links in hive posts.

3/Hive is not private, but pseudonymous. If a user is capable of remaining anonymous over the internet, he is capable of using hive without sharing his identity. Obviously, this is too hard for most people.

4/Now to the positives. Hive is definitely not a website/platform. The best way to think of it is as a layer 1 protocol that enables decentralized text storage. On top of that are second layers (or sidechains). Currently, the most successful second layer is Hivemind.

5/Hivemind is a sidechain that tries to decentralize social media. It is currently accessible from multiple frontends: such as ecency.com, hive.blog, and peakd.com. Ecency and hive.blog are open-source.

6/Both hive's implementation (hived) and the sidechain (hivemind) run on multiple nodes, in a typical blockchain fashion. The number of nodes is still low, but it is early days 🙂
Hivemind also allows the creation of communities.

7/Communities have their own governance. The vision is to have tokenized communities. In each community the leader/founder/owner can curate and moderate the content. If he censors too much, users can start their own communities and move. Think of subreddits, decentralized.

8/Communities already exist, but the tokenization is still in development. Each community will have its own whales dominating, but this problem is solved by the ability to create competing communities. In the end the users are king, and a whale must not drive users away.

9/As for the governance of the protocol itself (hive layer 1), it is also stake based and can be dominated by whales. In fact, Hive did have this problem when it was called Steem. I highly recommend this read: https://decrypt.co/38050/steem-steemit-tron-justin-sun-cryptocurrency-war

10/The article shows the power of forking. There is always a possibility of the network being overtaken by a huge stake, but the result is simply a dead centralized chain dominated by the attacker, while the whole world shifts to the new decentralized chain. Steem --> hive --> ?

11/Attacking the protocol requires a lot of money, as the attacker needs to become a whale and/or convince other whales to censor with him. As soon as the attack succeeds, the community forks away. The chain can be attacked infinitely, but each time attackers wastes money.

12/Once we have that security, any kind of layer 2 sidechain can be built on top. Right now hivemind is the only option, but with communities it allows every community to have the censorship, governance, and stake distribution it desires. @FinanceLeo is an example of a community.

13/@FinanceLeo have their own token and different whales than hive. Since the technology for tokenization is not developed yet for communities, their token is currently semi-centralized (transactions posted on hive). They are developing their own layer 2, in order to decentralize completely.

14/ I am simply a hive user with limited dev skills. There are lots of much better people to explain than me, here are some of them: @blocktradesus @FAarrestad @ausbitbank @therealwolf42 and many, many more whose twitter handle I don't know. You can find everyone on hive.

15/I will also write a post on your new blog with the same info I used in that thread. I hope this gets you more interested and that you can contribute to improving hive. I truly believe it is one of our best shots at decentralizing social media and freedom of speech.

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Posts: 1
(@tkdcat)
New Member
Joined: 2 years ago

Decentralizing the application and infrastructure is doable but can be complicated. The real trick will be decentralizing the DNS. ICANN is now a private company. You need to register a domain name with a registar to be found on the internet. At some point, ICANN and the registar will simply deny allocating a public IP address for the application. This will make all these other points moot. If we are going to decentralize we need to find a way around the private company that controls the Internet's IP address allocations.

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Posts: 2
(@proteusmirabilis)
New Member
Joined: 2 years ago

For several years, my colleagues and I have been researching and developing a peer-to-peer system designed to replace HTTP as the primary protocol for the Internet.

More recently, several (entirely separate) projects sprung have emerged from the ether with similar motivations, namely:

  • Secure Scuttlebutt
  • DAT
  • IPFS

In a free and open Internet, any of these protocols can be used to facilitate secure, decentralized storage and network communication. However, in the context of a well-funded and hostile adversary hell-bent on censoring communications, each of these technologies have serious weaknesses when it comes to:

  • User Anonymity
  • Peer Discovery
  • Network Filtering
  • Data Dissemination

Without going into too much detail, our research led us to conclude that the design of Secure Scuttlebutt (SSB) is closest to meeting our objectives, with modifications to address the weaknesses above by adding:

Discovery

  • Proximity-based (Bluetooth, WIFI)
  • Broadcast-based (UDP, Multicast)
  • DNS-based
  • IP-based

Encryption

  • User identities
  • Feed identities
  • Connection encryption
  • Payload encryption 

Dissemination

  • Opportunistic gossip-about-gossip

Persistence

  • Mutual reciprocity
  • Proof-of-Storage

Deception

  • HTTP/TLS overlay protocol
  • Firewall hole-punching

Our work to date has been nascent, and we have not yet opened the project to others outside of our core team. Now, given recent events, it seems we were foolish not to create an open development community at the outset. The hour is late.

With that in mind, I’d like to strongly suggest that SSB is a shortcut to where we would all like to be  technologically, and encourage those who are technically minded among us to join the development of SSB directly.

We intend to merge our progress with and join SSB in the near future. I expect our work will be more than welcomed, but in any event the license of SSB is broadly permissive (MIT), and therefore we needn't worry about our ability to pursue our ends separately if necesssary in the long term. 

 

Yours,

Proteus Mirabilis 

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Posts: 2
(@narby)
New Member
Joined: 2 years ago

After reading some posts, it is apparent a few groups of developers have done some stuff.

That’s great. But.

In the end, the weak link with any set of code intended for wide use is the marketing. Getting the system/standard into wide distribution. I assume there may never be a large monetization capacity here, so getting the system into wide distribution will be difficult to organize. 

The subject of this thread, “What do we need most to create a decentralized network”, I believe the top priority is a plan to get this spread across the world. Indeed, the value of a “social network” is in getting a sufficient number of people involved, and in enabling the network to self-organize into smaller sets of individuals that have common interests, and maybe more important, no preexisting hatred to divide them.

In observing how the large socials operate, it is apparent they have some very highly developed software designed to hook up individuals, and tamp down fist fights. This sort of thing might be impossible to develop in a decentralized network, but may be possible by designing the network architecture as a standard and allowing any number of secondary software organizations to write code to use the system.

That paradigm will allow the “smart” element of building a strong and distributed social to be at the end points. The user interface level of the system. And those user interface elements should be easily replaceable, just as I can use any number of different web browsers to access the same sets of URLs.

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Killface
(@killface)
Joined: 2 years ago

New Member
Posts: 2

@narby This is a good point that needs more attention. This may sound obvious - it's not and is often overlooked - but the first step to marketing the network depends on ease-of-use. The end-service must to be so easy to adopt that my grandmother could do it in 3 steps. If it's too complicated, the service becomes another niche hobbyist domain. Simplify. Brevity is better. Remove friction or loose.

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Posts: 5
(@darenwelsh)
Active Member
Joined: 2 years ago

I haven't read the article or discussion but figured it might be relevant:

https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=25731419

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