In many ways, blockchain has revolutionised the world. This technology has advanced dramatically in just a few decades and continues to revolutionise many aspects of modern human life.
With over 3 billion users, social media has become an integral part of our lives. People are becoming more dubious of it, though, as they become aware of the weaknesses inherent in modern social media, such as privacy concerns and ad fraud.
Blockchain technology looks to offer the potential to address some of the concerns that individuals have about popular social media platforms. Can it, however, have a substantial impact on how digital networks work and usher in a new era of social media?
In this post, we’ll look at how blockchain can help to solve some of the difficulties that come with traditional social media, as well as some of its flaws.Keep reading to find out if blockchain-based social networks are the next big thing.
A Basic Overview of Blockchain Technology
If you’re tech smart and familiar with blockchain technology, feel free to skip ahead if you’re solely interested in seeing if you’ll be utilising a blockchain-based social platform in 10 years. But, for the uninitiated, we’ll start by introducing blockchain technology because, according on our findings, few people fully understand what it is.
In its most basic form, a blockchain is a series of data blocks linked together. Blockchain technology allows for the secure sharing of digital assets through a peer-to-peer network, with data being stored within the nodes.
Blockchain is a distributed or decentralised ledger technology because data is dispersed across multiple nodes. Because it is a peer-to-peer (P2P) technology, it does not require the intervention of a third party.The information is secure, spread across multiple nodes, and immutable.
As we will see, these characteristics make blockchain a good fit for a variety of domains that have an impact on people’s lives, particularly social media.
Blockchain is a technology that deserves to be followed closely. It is a force to be reckoned with because of the speed with which it is evolving and the extent with which it is altering traditional procedures.
Let’s take a look at how blockchain technology can alter our current perceptions of social media.
The birth of decentralised social networks with blockchain and social media.
Social media has fast evolved from a series of harmless platforms that allow people connect with their loved ones to monstrous tyrants who sell user data and manipulate our thoughts.
This transformation in personality has resulted in a drop in use of one of the most popular social media platforms, Facebook, which is renowned for shady data harvesting and commoditizing its users.
Blockchain has the ability to solve the four primary social media challenges listed below, ushering in a new era of social interaction:
Data Privacy and Security
Who can forget Congress’s 10-hour “chit-chat” on user data security and usage with none other than Facebook’s CEO and Co-Founder Mark Zuckerberg?Despite outrage and criticism, Facebook, the world’s most popular social media network, has never stopped tapping into its users’ data.
Their data collection, on the other hand, is so suspect that they’ve been accused of capturing users’ calls and SMS for years! It’s not just Facebook either. All of the main social media networks, including Instagram and TikTok, are known for collecting data.
Some of the most serious issues about social media are data privacy and security. However, we are unaware of the amount and scope of data to which our social media sites have access from the minute we open an account.
By decentralising social networks, blockchain technology overcomes this problem. As a result, there is no central institution or CEO in blockchain-based social networks who has access to all of their users’ data.
Except for those on the P2P network, each transaction on a blockchain network is encrypted and not accessible by a single entity, enhancing the privacy and security of digital assets and personal information.
Furthermore, blockchain social networks allow users to build accounts without disclosing their identities, reducing the danger of data being identified and used for harmful or non-malicious purposes.
Data integrity is also addressed by blockchain technology. No data can be removed once it is saved in a blockchain, and tampering is extremely difficult.
Even if a hacker modifies the information in one of the blocks, this activity will affect the identification or “hash” of the entire block, compromising the integrity of all following blocks.So, it’s one problem that blockchain can fix, but it doesn’t come without consequences, as we’ll discover later.
Moderation of Unbiased Content
The second main complaint people have about social media networks like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram is that its content filtering is skewed.
Because centralised social media platforms, such as the ones stated above, delegate decision-making responsibility to a small group of people, the decision-making authority is centralised. And these individuals are obligated to filter some types of content due to a code of ethics or political duties.
Social media behemoths have been under scrutiny for some time due to issues with biassed filtering. Under the guise of “bugs” and “technical problems,” they are accused for eliminating explosive content or anything that doesn’t “sit well” with its decision-makers.
On Red Dress Day in Canada, a similar issue arose when Instagram, citing technical difficulties, erased posts intended to raise awareness about Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls.
Blockchain technology reduces censorship bias and advocates for freedom of speech and expression by decentralising social platforms. By putting the power of content creation, consumption, and moderation back in the hands of consumers, blockchain-backed social media eliminates third-party, influential moderators and their pet algorithms from the picture.
Silenced activists, radical voices, and even political forerunners flock to these platforms because of the freedom of expression and absence of censorship.
Minds is a blockchain-based social platform that promotes free speech and places restrictions on censorship. This is why it drew the attention of over 100,000 Vietnamese activists fleeing government-led cybersecurity crackdowns and the threat of being silenced.
Users’ Reward Programs
Because of the ad income generated in exchange for user information, social media sites have become wealthy. For example, between 2020 and 2021, Facebook’s revenue increased dramatically.
However, a growing number of people are lifting their voices and asking that social media giants share the cash they receive in return for user data with the users whose data they steal, frequently without their knowledge.
Blockchain-based social networks, on the other hand, can offer users incentives while ensuring data security. When users produce high-quality content, they are frequently compensated with tokens or platform-specific currencies.
Minds is an example of a platform that pays its members in tokens, which they can then use to promote their posts and attract a larger audience.
Furthermore, these decentralised systems give users more options for crowdfunding campaigns because they can collect tokens or cryptocurrencies directly from other users via the platform.
Advertising is being revolutionised.
Advertisers lose billions of dollars due to ad fraud. And what about the con artists? By faking video reviews, they can earn up to $5 million per day.
Are you considering a job change? Reconsider your position.
Three of the most common concerns in digital advertising are fraud, lack of transparency, and user trust. However, as blockchain technology evolves and expands into social media advertising, the odds of ad fraud are decreasing, so you should continue with your existing position.
Digital advertisers may more properly manage KPIs and ad impressions with blockchain-based social networks, guaranteeing that they are paying for real human-generated outcomes rather than bot-induced results.
Furthermore, as previously stated, blockchain technology provides superior data security and privacy benefits. As a result, users no longer have to worry about advertising corporations buying their data in order to target them with relevant ads.
Furthermore, with platform-native currencies, these networks provide advertisers with new and safer ways to capture user data. A marketing firm, for example, may compensate users in exchange for their data.
As a result, the user receives something in exchange for their effort, and advertisers and marketers get direct access to information.The use of blockchain technology to decentralise social platforms also removes friction from advertising channels.
Based on the aforementioned criteria, we may conclude that decentralised, blockchain-based social platforms have a bright future in the social media sector. Obviously not. Who draws a conclusion without first reading the opposing viewpoint? We’re not like that!
The Other Side of the Blockchain-Based Social Media Story
There are two sides to every coin: good and bad. Decentralized social media has its own set of drawbacks, including:
Bullying and hate speech
Due to the lack of centralised content monitoring, blockchain-based social platforms cannot ensure that racist, sexist, or religiously harmful content will not be published.
Any information that is stored on the blockchain is permanent. It is not editable or deleteable. As a result, if a racist makes a culturally insensitive message on social media, individuals of colour on his network will not be offended. Even yet, the data that is created remains there indefinitely.
Furthermore, because users or platform owners are unable to delete user data on demand, it is non-compliant with the European Union GDPR, which requires data deletion on demand.
To make matters worse, because blockchain social sites do not always link back to the original user, tracking and punishing violators would be extremely hard.
Scalability and storage
In comparison to Facebook’s billions of users, blockchain social networks like Minds have only about 2.5 million subscribers.
However, if these peer-to-peer social networks become mainstream, blockchain nodes may not be able to scale and manage the influx of data that will result from widespread usage of these platforms.
Centralized social platforms, for example, make it simple to access the user database, which aids marketing and advertising efforts. This may not be so simple with blockchain-based social networking.
So, what’s the final word? Is the next wave of social media upon us?
We’re on the verge of a blockchain-driven social media revolution. However, before the decentralisation of social media can take place at scale, upsetting the power of centralised social giants with love-hate relationships and become the next big thing, numerous breakthroughs and technologies must be developed.