Since its beginning, the internet has changed the way we talk to each other, share information, and interact with each other. Social media platforms, in particular, have become an important part of our daily lives because they let us stay in touch with friends and family, share our thoughts and experiences, and interact with people all over the world.
But the fact that these platforms are centralized has made people worry about privacy, censorship, and who has control over our data. Decentralized social networks (DSN) offer a way to deal with these problems by giving users more control over their data and a safer and more private way to communicate.
What exactly are decentralised social networks?
A decentralised social network is a platform that lets users connect and talk to each other without relying on a central authority. In centralised social networks, all the data is stored on a single server that is controlled by the platform owner. A DSN, on the other hand, stores, and shares data through a network of nodes, so there is no single point of failure.
How do social networks without a central hub work?
Usually, a DSN runs on a blockchain network, like Ethereum or EOS. A group of computers called nodes keep the network running. It is their job to check and record transactions on the blockchain. Transactions are written down on a public ledger, which makes it almost impossible to change or delete information.
Every user on the network has a unique address that can be used to find them on the platform. When a user makes a post or talks to another user, the transaction is written to the blockchain and stored on all of the nodes in the network. This makes sure that the information is safe and that only the owner of the address can get to it.
Here’s a list of the most important parts of a decentralised social network and an explanation of how it works:
- Data storage
Because Blockchain is both open and encrypted, it gives people back faith in the privacy that social networks provide. Also, the data that users add to blockchain social networks are stored separately on each of the many nodes that make up the network. Because of this, user data, like profile pictures, information, posts, and interactions, are kept in a way that isn’t centralised.
- Smart contracts
Smart contracts are what make decentralised social networks work. Most of the backends of social media networks are defined by their business logic, which is based on their contract codes.
- Ways to reach a consensus
Using a consensus method, like proof-of-stake or proof-of-work, to validate transactions and make sure the network is safe and trustworthy is necessary.
- Token economy
The use of bitcoin is part of a token economy, which is what makes it possible for decentralised social networks to be sold. It is often used as an incentive for people to join social networks and as a reward for those people in the form of tokens for content providers.
- Decentralized Apps
Many of the Web3 social networking sites are either built as decentralised apps (DApps) or help developers build DApps that run on top of them. Some of the extra services and features that these DApps offer are payment processing, network-based transactions, and more.
- Safe and secure user authentication
Users of decentralised social media platforms are recognised and verified by a reliable public-key infrastructure, just like users of the vast majority of Web3 companies.
- Methods of fighting back against censorship
Users of a decentralised social media platform are free to make and share anything on the platform without a moderator getting in the way. There is no centralised third party that can stop them from saying what they want to say or deleting or changing what they say.
By putting all of these things together, the experience of using a social network can be made safer, more open, and more focused on each user’s needs.
Key Features of DSNs
Decentralized social networking sites are a type of online media that run on a decentralised architecture, which is different from most social networks. This makes it so that users have more control over the information they share on the network and gives them more privacy.
Here is a List of Things That Might be True of Decentralised Social Networks:
- Decentralized Infrastructure
The network’s decentralised infrastructure might be the thing that stands out the most. Decentralized social networks (DSN) store user information on a network of nodes that are spread out all over the internet.
This is different from centralised social networks, which store user information on servers that are controlled by a single organisation. Because of this, there is no longer a need for a central authority to control and manage information about users.
- User agency in data management
Users of DSN have full control over their information and can choose who has access to it and how it is used. This is different from centralised social networks, which often sell user information to advertising companies.
Users have more control over their data on decentralised social networks. Users of DSN have more control over their personal information and privacy because they can choose whether or not to share their data.
The content on DSN is made by the community, which means that users have a say in both what the network has to offer and where it will go in the future. Centralized social networks, on the other hand, are often run by a single company, making it harder for users to have a direct impact on how the network develops.
- A way to collect money
In DSN, money is made through a decentralised method, like one based on tokens. There are also other ways to use this model. This means that users can get tokens for making contributions to the system, like publishing content, running nodes, and checking transactions. This makes it easier for users to get involved and contribute to the network, which makes the network better as a whole.
- Resistance to Censorship
The DSN network is resistant to censorship, which means it is hard for other people to take things off of it. This is because the data is stored on a decentralised network of nodes, which makes it impossible for a single organisation to delete content from the network. Because of this, the internet will be more open and less restricted for users.
Since DSN is built on open-source protocols, it is much easier for different networks to connect to each other and share data. Interoperability between networks, which lets users move their information from one network to another, gives consumers more overall freedom and choice. •
Privacy DSN puts a high priority on users’ privacy, giving them more control over their information and who has access to it. Because DSN does not keep user information in one place, it is much harder for third parties to get information about customers without the user’s permission. This is different from social networks that are run by a few people.
- Government that is not based in one place
Decentralized governance is how DSN is run, which means that decisions are made by the community using a method called consensus. With this feature, users can have a direct effect on how the network grows and changes. This makes the network more open and accountable.
Benefits of Social Networks Without a Central Hub
- Confidentiality and safety
One of the best things about decentralised social networks is that they make privacy and safety better. Unlike centralised platforms, where user data is controlled by a single entity, a DSN lets users control their data and decide who has access to it. This makes it less likely that data will be stolen and keeps users safe from cyber threats.
- Resistance to Censorship
Censorship resistance is another feature of decentralised social networks. This means that users can say what they think and share content without fear of censorship or interference. This is because there is no central authority in charge of the network. Without a central authority, it would be impossible for one group to control or censor the content on the platform.
- Who owns the data?
In a decentralised social network, the users’ data belongs to them, not to the person who owns the platform. This means that users have full control over their personal information and can decide whether or not to share it. This also makes it less likely that platform owners will use and abuse data in bad ways.
- No one person is in charge
The lack of a central authority is another benefit of DSNs. Instead of being run by one person or group, the platform is run by its users, who have a say in how it grows and what it does in the future. This makes sure that the platform works in the best interests of its users and is open and accountable.
Problems for a Decentalized Social Network
Decentralized social networks (DSN) are a type of social media that run on a decentralised infrastructure. This gives users more control over their data and privacy. Even though DSN has a lot of benefits, there are still some problems that need to be fixed. In this article, we’ll talk about some of the most important problems that decentralised social networks have to deal with.
Scalability is one of the most important problems that decentralised social networks have to deal with. Decentralized systems need to process and store a lot of data on multiple nodes. This makes it hard to handle the large number of users and data that social networks generate. This can make performance slow, latency high, and costs go up for users.
Different blockchain protocols are often used to build decentralised social networks. This makes it hard for users to switch from one network to another. This makes it hard for users to move their data from one platform to another. It also makes it harder for decentralised social networks to grow and be used by more people.
- Lack of Reasons
For decentralised social networks to work, users have to contribute data, host nodes, and verify transactions. But users aren’t always given a reason to join, which makes them less likely to do so and lowers the quality of the network as a whole. Decentralized social networks need to find ways to give users a reason to join and encourage them to do so.
The fact that DSN is hard to understand is one of its biggest problems. For people to use decentralised systems well, they need to know a certain amount of technical information. This makes it hard for the average person to join the network. This could slow down the growth and use of DSN.
- Lacks Interoperability
DSN is often built on different blockchain protocols, which makes switching from one network to another hard for users. This lack of interoperability between networks can make it harder for users to move around and lower the value of DSN as a whole.
- Few Users
DSN is still in its early stages of development, and centralised social networks like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are more popular than DSN. In terms of features, functionality, and user experience, this makes it hard for DSN to compete with centralised social networks.
- Not enough incentives
DSN depends on users to provide data, host nodes, and verify transactions. But users aren’t always given a reason to join, which makes them less likely to do so and lowers the quality of the network as a whole.
- Regulatory Uncertainty
DSN works in an area where the rules aren’t clear, and many countries haven’t made clear rules for decentralised systems yet. This lack of clarity can make users and developers feel uncertain, which can slow down the growth and development of DSN.
DSN is better than traditional centralised social networks in a number of ways, such as giving users more control over their data and privacy. DSN, on the other hand, has its own set of problems, such as its complexity, problems with scalability, lack of interoperability, limited user adoption, lack of incentives for participation, and unclear rules.
Even with these problems, DSN has a chance to be a major player in the social media world, as long as these problems are fixed.
The Difference between Traditional Networks and Decentralised Networks
In the past few years, both decentralised social networks (DSN) and traditional social networks (TSN) have become popular ways to use social media. Users can connect and share information on both types of networks, but they are different in important ways, such as their infrastructure, how they handle data, and how private they are. In this article, we’ll look at the differences between DSN and TSN.
DSN runs on a decentralised infrastructure where data is stored on multiple nodes and transactions are checked by consensus mechanisms. TSN, on the other hand, has a centralised infrastructure where data is stored on a single server or group of servers, and transactions are verified by the company that runs the network.
- Data Management
In DSN, users have more control over their data because they are not dependent on a single entity to store and manage their information. The company that runs TSN stores and manages the information about its users. The company can use this information for many things, including targeted advertising.
DSN was made with privacy in mind from the start. User data is encrypted and spread across multiple nodes, making it hard for third parties to get to. On the other hand, TSN has been criticised for not being private because companies often collect and use users’ information for advertising.
DSN is often made with open-source technology, which lets ownership be more democratic and spread out. On the other hand, TSN is owned by a single company or group of companies, which often have a lot of control over the network and its users.
DSN often gives users rewards for hosting nodes, validating transactions, and giving data. This makes it more likely for them to join the network. Since TSN is owned by a single company or group of companies, it does not offer these kinds of perks.
Popular Decentralized Social networks
The following are examples of well-known decentralised social networks:
- Mastodon is an alternative to traditional commercial social networks that is community-driven, open-source, and decentralised.
- Minds is a social network that is powered by blockchain technology that compensates its members for content creation and curation.
- Steemit is a social network that is powered by blockchain technology that allows members to receive rewards for generating and curating content.
- Peepeth is a blockchain-based microblogging platform that is decentralised and operates on the Ethereum network.
- Sola is a decentralised social network that provides incentives to its members for producing and disseminating the content of a high standard.
- A decentralised social network called Akasha that gives members the ability to post, find and debate ideas on a public ledger is known as Akasha.
- Diaspora is a decentralised social network that gives users the ability to own and manage the data associated with their accounts.
These are only a few instances of decentralised social networks, and there are always new ones being created.
Because traditional social media platforms are centralised, people are worried about privacy, censorship, and having control over their data. Decentralized social networks (DSN) offer a solution because they work on a decentralised network and give users more control over their data and a safe and private way to communicate.
A DSN runs on a blockchain network and uses a network of nodes to store and send data. This makes sure that data is safe and private. The most important parts of a DSN are decentralised and transparent data storage, smart contracts, consensus mechanisms, a token economy, decentralised apps, secure user authentication, and resistance to censorship.
When these parts are put together, they make social networks safer, more open, and more focused on the needs of each user.