The recent Facebook outage demonstrated it: we need decentralized social media!
But what happened and what is decentralized social media?
Facebook mess: what happened?
On Monday evening WEST, Facebook had severe issues:
- Facebook and its sister properties WhatsApp and Instagram were down for six hours
- The domain facebook.com was up for sale
- A hacker offered the personal information of 1.5 billion Facebook users on a popular hacker forum
- Facebook has to deal with a whistleblower scandal
Right now, it is not known what precisely caused the outages. Also, we do not know how the personal information was revealed.
Facebook: another day, another scandal!
As this wouldn’t be enough, Facebook also has to deal with a whistleblower scandal!
The whistleblower’s name is Frances Haugen!
She used to work for Facebook for two years but quit in May this year. Haugen was a product market manager at Facebook but became a whistleblower. Now, Ms. Haugen criticizes that Facebook put its own interests first rather than the public’s interest. Besides, the company would mislead investors with public statements that did not match its internal actions. And it would ignore the fact that it would cause worsening body image issues among teenagers.
Haugen claimed in an interview with “60 Minutes”:
And Haugen did not stop here. During her time at Facebook, she got access to internal documents, which she shared with lawmakers, regulators, and the news media.
So, Facebook faces severe problems right now. But it also incentivized people to think about decentralized alternatives to Facebook and Co.! Decentralized social media!
Decentralized social media: the game changer?
First, what is decentralized social media? It is the same as DeFi is for banks. Decentralized social media would offer decentralized alternatives to services that are usually centralized. So, you do not have to register yourself on the platform with your personal data. And nobody can ban you from the platform or sell your data to other companies.
One of the first approaches to offer a decentralized social media platform was Steemit and Voice. However, both did not really succeed. Justin Sun basically destroyed Steemit because of his approach to taking over the network. And Voice still has problems finding a product-market-fit.
So, did decentralized social media failed?
The popular DeFi project AAVE announced this year to launch an Ethereum-based social media platform. The platform will be a decentralized alternative to Twitter. If AAVE’s decentralized social media platform will succeed is yet to see. But the advantages of decentralized social media are pretty obvious:
- Nobody can ban you
- Nobody can steal or sell your personal information as the platforms are decentralized
- If you run a bussiness on Facebook, Twitter & Co nowadays, you are dependent on the companies. They can manipulate algortihms or can delete your account. Your business is dependent on a third party! With decentralized social media, this is not the case!
- Governments or other powers will find it harder to manipulate the masses
The recent Facebook issues demonstrated once again that we need a decentralized alternative to these companies. They gained too much power! And they partially abuse it.
So, let’s see if decentralized alternatives can eat parts of Facebook’s and Co’s market share!