Commit 1d91a2a6 authored by Eugen Rochko's avatar Eugen Rochko

Update content/posts/2018-12-30_Why-does-decentralization-matter.md

parent fe4238b3
Pipeline #436 passed with stages
in 18 seconds
...@@ -20,6 +20,6 @@ Decentralization is biodiversity of the digital world, the hallmark of a healthy ...@@ -20,6 +20,6 @@ Decentralization is biodiversity of the digital world, the hallmark of a healthy
A decentralized network is also more resilient to censorship--and I do mean the real kind, not the "they won't let me post swastikas" kind. Some will claim that a large corporation can resist government demands better. But in practice, commercial companies struggle to resist government demands from markets where they want to operate their business. See for example Google's lackluster opposition to censorship in China and Twitter's regular blocks of Turkish activists. The strength of a decentralized network here is in numbers--some servers will be blocked, some will comply, but not all. And creating new servers is easy. A decentralized network is also more resilient to censorship--and I do mean the real kind, not the "they won't let me post swastikas" kind. Some will claim that a large corporation can resist government demands better. But in practice, commercial companies struggle to resist government demands from markets where they want to operate their business. See for example Google's lackluster opposition to censorship in China and Twitter's regular blocks of Turkish activists. The strength of a decentralized network here is in numbers--some servers will be blocked, some will comply, but not all. And creating new servers is easy.
Last but not least, decentralization is about fixing power asymmetry. A centralized social media platform has a hierarchical structure where rules and their enforcement, the development and direction of the platform are decided by the CEO, board of governors, and CTO, with the users having close to no ways to disagree. You can't walk away when the platform holds all your friends, contacts and audience. A decentralized network deliberately relinquishes control of the platform owner, by essentially not having one. For example, as the developer of Mastodon, I have only an advisory influence: I can develop new features and publish new releases, but cannot force anyone to upgrade to them if they don't want to; I have no control over any Mastodon server except my own, no more than I have control over any other website on the internet. That means the network is not subject to my whims; it can adapt to situations faster than I can, and it can serve use cases I couldn't have predicted. Last but not least, decentralization is about fixing power asymmetry. A centralized social media platform has a hierarchical structure where rules and their enforcement, as well as the development and direction of the platform, are decided by the CEO, with the users having close to no ways to disagree. You can't walk away when the platform holds all your friends, contacts and audience. A decentralized network deliberately relinquishes control of the platform owner, by essentially not having one. For example, as the developer of Mastodon, I have only an advisory influence: I can develop new features and publish new releases, but cannot force anyone to upgrade to them if they don't want to; I have no control over any Mastodon server except my own, no more than I have control over any other website on the internet. That means the network is not subject to my whims; it can adapt to situations faster than I can, and it can serve use cases I couldn't have predicted.
Any alternative social network that rejects decentralization will ultimately struggle with these issues. And if it won't perish like those that tried and failed before it, it will simply become that which it was meant to replace. Any alternative social network that rejects decentralization will ultimately struggle with these issues. And if it won't perish like those that tried and failed before it, it will simply become that which it was meant to replace.
\ No newline at end of file
Markdown is supported
0% or
You are about to add 0 people to the discussion. Proceed with caution.
Finish editing this message first!
Please register or to comment