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As Web3 rapidly approaches, business owners are wondering whether their apps support their own growth aspirations. dApps (decentralized apps) that embrace social media within its mechanics are going to be necessary to scale many businesses as the blockchain expands.
How the Blockchain Evolved Multiple Industries
The blockchain has started to tap into multiple industries, including gaming, social media, and finance. It’s most famous for buying and trading cryptocurrency, producing Smart Contracts, and storing NFTs. Crypto’s popularity created plenty of new jobs for software engineers and coders.
For example, Smart Contracts are necessary to transfer assets between two parties. Many programmers will learn Solidity through online bootcamps like RareSkills to write Smart Contracts. With these documents, an investor can securely move funds from their wallet.
Why Social Media dApps are the Way of the Future
Security is the main reason why forward-thinking companies are moving toward a decentralized model. However, the blockchain could also offer better solutions to social media specifically. We can examine the possibilities of social media dApps by looking at real-life examples:
Touted as the first social media platform on the blockchain, this Reddit-like platform encourages people to post by offering tokens called Smart Media Tokens.
A decentralized YouTube, DTube offers an uncensored platform to upload, upvote, and comment on videos. Users can deactivate videos but can’t delete them.
Similar to Twitter, Peepeth prides itself on being “spam resistant” because it costs Ethereum to post. They will remove anything that breaches their code of content.
Comparable to LinkedIn, Indorse monetizes endorsements, connections, and most interactions. IND tokens can be earned to purchase pages and advertisements.
A platform similar to Facebook, Minds is a place to build like-minded groups and communities. Users can pay Minds tokens to boost posts and earn tokens by interacting.
From what these social media dApp examples show us, decentralized apps do the following:
- They offer a platform where anyone can say anything without being censored
- They monetize interactions using specific platform-only cryptocurrency
- They award interactions using specific platform-only cryptocurrency
- They allow for true account ownership because there are no centralized figures
- They can’t monitor or track your data because its encrypted on the blockchain
- They can’t permanently delete your content, so everything stays saved
- They completely secure your identity if you wish to remain anonymous
For many, being able to say what they want while remaining anonymous is a positive, and so is the thought of claiming ownership over their content. But it’s easy to see how things can go wrong quickly if measures aren’t put in place, which defeats the purpose of decentralization.
How Social Media dApps Could Go Horribly Wrong
Although Web3 can do a lot of good for social media, it can also open the floodgates for the worst possible harassment, political misinformation, cyberbullying, and cybercrime. These problems are prominent on centralized platforms, so they’d definitely happen on the blockchain. Here are some other things that could go wrong with social media dApps:
- If you post something embarrassing, it can’t be deleted. If another person posts something embarrassing about you, you can’t ask the platform to delete it.
- The monetization model makes it necessary to pay to interact with some platforms. This makes an already free platform expensive and unfair to use for the majority of the US.
- The inability to track data means an anonymous person could commit a crime with little recourse for the victims. This also makes it more likely these crimes will continue.
- Any platform without community guidelines inevitably becomes a platform to spout hate. This hatred doesn’t stay online; it has a direct link to real-life violence and discrimination.
While free speech is something we often take for granted, it’s important to consider how others will use the rights afforded to them. Freedom of speech doesn’t mean “freedom from consequence” when that speech is used, but a decentralized platform could actually mean that.
If social media dApps are going to be the way of the future, they have to consider the potential consequences of a platform without community guidelines and the inability to delete content.