Social media has become an integral part of our lives, with billions of people worldwide using it every day.
Nowadays, we use social media to do just about anything you can think of. From connecting with friends and family to buying products online, social media has made our lives easier.
However, as useful as it is, social media has its drawbacks. Over the years, various social media companies, such as Meta (formerly Facebook), have come under fire for their lack of privacy protection and transparency. It’s those very same issues that cryptocurrency was designed to combat so today we’re taking a closer look at how crypto could help alleviate some of the biggest problems with modern social media.
Drawbacks of Social Media
First off, the lack of end-to-end encryption on existing social media platforms has been a major point of concern for users worldwide. Simply put, no social media platforms can guarantee complete privacy.
And even the ones that claim to offer end-to-end encryption, such as WhatsApp, still require users to connect to the app using their phone number. This alone compromises an individual’s privacy.
On the other hand, cryptocurrencies are built on a decentralized ownership model. Unlike sending and receiving messages on a social media app, cryptocurrencies are sent and received via a network completely independent of any centralized authority.
Plus, any communication between two parties on a blockchain (as with crypto) is encrypted with public and private keys, meaning that it is completely secure from any third parties.
In this article, we will look at some of the ways crypto can be used to solve the problems currently faced by social media. From the lack of privacy to the spread of fake news and online scams, we’ll explore potential solutions that can be implemented using blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies.
Enabling Complete Privacy Online
Apart from the obvious economic freedoms that come with cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, a decentralized and cryptographically encrypted network can also be used to further enhance the user’s right to privacy.
Decentralized networks work by distributing data across a network of computers rather than storing it in a central location, making it more resistant to cyber-attacks and censorship. In addition, this could solve the problem of data ownership and control as users would have more control over their data and could choose who or what has access to it.
A user’s private data can be encrypted and distributed across a network of computers that make up the social media platform. Just as you can access your cryptocurrencies in your wallet from any device and anywhere in the world as long as you have your private keys, a decentralized social media can keep a user’s private data safe, even if the social media platform experiences an outage.
Examples of social media platforms that already have this decentralized model in place include Steemit, Diaspora, Peepeth, and Sapient, to mention a few.
An End to Censorship
Granted, cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin don’t offer full anonymity. This is because every transaction made on the blockchain is recorded and can be traced back to a certain address. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that your activity is public knowledge.
In fact, by using technologies such as Tor and privacy coins such as Monero or Zcash, users have the ability to remain completely anonymous on the blockchain. The same principles can be applied to a decentralized social media platform. With this model in place, users will have the ability to communicate freely and without fear of censorship from any outside source.
Giant social media companies such as YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and Google have all faced criticism for their opaque censorship policies and lack of transparency regarding user data.
With a single switch, a social media company can easily demonetize user-generated content and even completely ban content creators. A decentralized social media platform built on the principles of blockchain technology, however, could potentially end this type of censorship by ensuring that users have total control over the content they produce on the platform.
Minimizing Fake News and Online Scams
The spread of fake news and online scams is another major issue with social media platforms today. The problem has become so bad that it is now considered one of the top threats to democracy in some countries.
Bad actors across social media can easily spread false and misleading information to manipulate public opinion. Furthermore, online scammers are taking advantage of the sheer amount of users on social media platforms to perpetrate their frauds.
Blockchain technology could potentially help reduce or even eliminate the spread of fake news by providing an immutable and verifiable record of user interactions and data. The use of digital signatures, authenticated user identities, and smart contracts could help ensure that the content being shared on social media platforms is legitimate.
Thanks to work done by the blockchain community over the years, decentralized identities can represent every user online Decentralized identities are self-sovereign, meaning that they are owned and operated by the individual, not a centralized company or jurisdiction.
With a decentralized identity, users have full control over their data and can choose who or what has access to it.
Therefore, if everyone online is issued with a DID, that is hard to copy; it would be easy to track the source of fake news and easily identify scammers.
This would, in turn, minimize the spread of fake news and reduce the prevalence of online scams, making social media a safer place for everyone.
Conclusion: Crypto Could Be a Game-Changer for Social
The blockchain industry is still relatively new, but the technology has already begun to revolutionize the way we interact with each other online.
A decentralized social media platform built on blockchain technology and digital assets such as crypto and NFTs offers a number of advantages, such as privacy, censorship resistance, and trustless transactions, that would make it a great alternative to existing social media platforms.
In addition, the use of blockchain technology could also help reduce the spread of fake news and online scams, making it a safer place for every user to be. The possibilities that this new technology offers are endless, and its potential is only beginning to be realized.
As more developers begin to explore the possibilities of decentralized social media platforms, we may soon see decentralized social media platforms become mainstream.