Yesterday was kind of a big deal for distributed applications, I’m just not sure if the rest of the world immediately realized that. A “prankster” employee on his last day at Twitter shutdown Donald Trump’s social media account on the platform. Regardless of whether or not you think that shutdown should have been made permanent – imagine that this “prank” headline had been Tweeted rather than the account being disabled:
POTUS Account Tweets: America Declares War on North Korea
Much more serious? Do you suddenly see why having such powerful centralized social media platforms is really, really, dangerous? In an instant, the world can go into panic mode because of a tweet. Billion-dollar markets move with a tweet all of the time – crypto, looking at you. Apparently, even election results can be swayed by the power of these social media platforms. They need to be secure.
This is a problem that should not be downplayed – international security is at stake. Of course, you can imagine Twitter scrambling to bolster security from here on out. The fact remains, that no one outside of the company can ever be sure just how secure the platform is… until it’s too late.
Like all things proprietary and closed-source, the best anyone can ever do is “take their word for it”. Companies have no incentives to be less-than-truthful when it comes to the inner workings of their products… right? /s
Imagine a Twitter clone that ran on a blockchain, implemented with smart contracts (a distributed app – DAPP). Suddenly, everyone would be able to audit exactly how the system worked. Anyone wondering about security, could investigate it for themselves. The individual, not a corporation, would be empowered.
DAPPs empower individuals, not corporations.
Security protocols aside, the bigger issue is this: if a social media giant has an agenda (or is paid to have one), then it can further that agenda with its platform. Decentralize that platform, and suddenly all agendas have the same opportunities to be furthered. Egalitarianism with a side of easily audit-able security. Win-win.
No need to stop there, a dapp clone would have even more benefits… identities would be more secure – no simple database hack could hijack an online persona. There would be no desperate-for-profit corporation willing to sell users’ private data. Censorship could be programmed into an impossibility.
Social media platforms are powerful modern tools – pervasive, but grossly closed-source and centralized. They should be audit-able and improvable by the very people that give those platforms value – the users of the platform.
It all sounds great, doesn’t it? But such a thing might be years away… NO.
Let me introduce you to Leeroy.io – a dapp Twitter clone implemented with Ethereum that is actively being developed – but works, right now.
Just one catch: you can only be empowered if you’re willing to get involved.