Last week we asked the question, how would you feel being censored?. We looked at several examples, with backgrounds ranging from content creators, to crypto news providers, to politicians on every side of the political spectrum. All of these people have been censored in some way on a major Web2 platform. Some know why, while others are left without answers. This is scary and a very serious issue that has led the team to build Solcial.
While it is admirable for a platform to dislike censorship and claim to uphold the freedom of speech, it is crucial that Solcial is actually censorship-resistant. We have seen centralized platforms start out championing the mission to provide freedom of speech, just to fall victim to external pressures and sacrifice their morals to gain greater market share. So how does Solcial actually solve censorship? Is it done by a central organization? Can freedom of speech on the platform be attacked by a government or large cooperation? Let’s take a look at what Solcial is doing to not only prevent censorship – but to end it!
The core of Solcial’s philosophy around protecting users from harmful content is the belief that users themselves should moderate content and have a say in what needs to be removed. While we can probably all agree that the examples given in the previous blog are not the types of content that should be censored, there are other types of content that is illegal and immoral globally. This is content that is obscene, vulgar, and or abusive. The way Solcial strikes this balance of censorship resistance and avoidance of harmful content is by giving the power to censor to the community.
Solcial is built so that if any post gets a high enough ratio of reports/views (among other metrics) then we will automatically unpin it from our IPFS nodes and hide it on the UI. Because Solcial is being built with the goal of being fully decentralized and relying on a P2P network or users to host content, this means Solcial will not support content that its community of users deem removable. Now others can still continue to pin the content on their own node and support it. To learn more about our P2P network, check out this blog. This is a key innovation for Solcial and will be foundational as we progress in future versions.
While the core belief is that censorship should be avoided at all costs – the team at Solcial sees this balance of community moderation and P2P solutions as the best of both worlds when it comes to protecting the platform from obscene content and still supporting user freedoms. In an effort to avoid users who might randomly report content they might disagree with (this does not have to be censorable content) we have also incorporated an upvote and downvote feature to give users this voice. We hope the act of reporting is only going to be used if the content is clearly obscene.
What About Encryption?
The second method we believe will help support individual freedoms, while limiting the threat of censorship, is by implementing strong encryption methods wherever we can. While we have not released many details on this yet, the development team has been working on implementing encryption models that will help protect users’ privacy while also ensuring usability and scalability. This freedom to post security is crucial when it comes to preventing self-censorship. Yes, solving overt censorship is important to users, but we must also provide an environment where people can be free and trust that their content is safe on Solcial.
DAO to Give Users Control Over Everything
Another central component to our mission of being censorship-resistant is by having the platform be governed by the users. While some might argue that having centralized control allows for more decisive leadership, we believe this also leads to more authoritarian decision-making. We have seen the pitfalls of having one group of people making all the decisions and we don’t want a repeat of that. We are fully committed to incorporating a DAO in an effort to remove control from the founding team and transfer that power to the community and platform users. This will allow for changes in moderation guidelines, content structure, and even more depending on how the community wants to proceed.
While many of these aspects are complex, we hope you trust that our mission is to give you the power over your own social network experience. Censorship is just one of many problems that need fixing and we are confident that the world will be a better place with less censorship and more sharing of ideas and opinions.
The risk if we don’t solve our problems with censorship is too high. Some blame censorship for our increased societal division, online hatred, and distrust in social networks. We currently allow a vocal mob to bully platforms, and silence opposing opinions. We hope Solcial becomes a sort of Wikipedia where the platform is neutral, and users are free.
Imagine a world where censorship is not fixed. Platforms continue to divide, and we as users are helpless. Is this a future that worries you?
To end, we encourage you to think about censorship, read our last blog and also consider how Solcial is wanting to solve it. We will need all of you on board and committed, for Solcial to reach the heights we need. We know everyone is excited about the launch – we are too!
The future of social media is something that has the potential to impact the future of the world. The choices are clear and we know which side we’re on. So join us, and we look forward to seeing you on Solcial soon ;)
Solcial is a permissionless social network that gives users the power of web3 by allowing people to interact with each other without fearing censorship, and allowing content creators to be rewarded fairly at market value.
Get in Touch
Email: [email protected]