Earlier this year, the world witnessed some shocking incidents following the controversial US elections held at the end of last year. Donald Trump lost the presidential seat to Joe Bidden in a tight race that saw the former president spark rumors of election fraud and conspiracy by his enemies to get him out of the White house.
Being a vocal and polarizing character, Trump chose to voice his concerns on one of his favorite platforms – Twitter. He had a huge following of close to 90 million followers. Since Twitter is a centralized platform, they sought to control the kind of tweets that would be seen.
Those they felt were inappropriate or likely to cause chaos was deleted. Eventually, they kicked him off the platform rendering him voiceless. This meant Twitter had followed in the footsteps of fellow social media giant Facebook, who was the first to take such drastic measures.
By doing so, these platforms confirmed how much power they held over people in this digital age. What is even scarier is that not only was Trump banned on both platforms, but any pro-Trump promoters on Facebook found their posts deleted without consent. And both platforms added fact-checkers that would deem a post or tweet inappropriate and get it deleted.
In this age of democracy, it meant people didn’t have the freedom to express their opinions as they would like since the likes of Facebook and Twitter controlled what people can see and what they can’t.
Migration to Decentralized Apps
This caused people to move towards blockchain-based platforms that boast censorship resistance features such as Parler, which would be deleted by Apple and Google from the App Store and Play store, respectively further limiting people from sharing their opinions.
What is clear is that big tech has become too powerful and taken the state’s role, according to some Twitter users. By censoring and kicking out whoever they want on their platforms, they get to control the narrative, which is unacceptable. It’s a similar situation, though in a different context to the power tradition financial platforms had over the people for years until cryptocurrencies came around to spoil the party.
Cryptocurrencies took power from these institutions and gave it to the individual who has control over his/her finances. This is the same thing blockchain-based social media apps are doing, and they are getting more popular by the day since people realize the potential benefits.
Rise Of Blockchain-Based Apps
In the wake of the mass censorships that took place at the beginning of the year, many people left Facebook and Twitter and joined decentralized social media platforms such as memo.cash. It’s built on top of the Bitcoin Cash blockchain, and posts made on the app are visible to anyone using the parent blockchain. Interestingly each Memo account is associated with a BCH wallet address. Another popular option running on the BCH network is Membrer.cash. This platform’s model is similar to Reddit.
If you are looking for a YouTube alternative, feel free to try Dtube and Lbry. As for the latter, its creators claim it’s a fully decentralized content sharing and publishing platform that its users completely own.
Another good example is Peepeth which emulates Twitter in some ways and serves as a decentralized microblogging platform.
These platforms operate like their centralized counterparts but allow people to post content in a censorship-resistant and immutable manner. Most of them are built on top of various established blockchains such as Bitcoin Cash, IOTA, EOS, and more.
What is becoming clear is that the number of social media applications that leverage blockchain and decentralization techniques such as IPFS is on the rise, thanks to people realizing they need to get back their freedom. You can speak your mind on such platforms without having to worry about being censored or kicked out of the platform.
Watch this exciting space grow as more platforms come to market.