Commit 22c22b77 authored by Eugen Rochko's avatar Eugen Rochko

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

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......@@ -13,4 +13,6 @@ Decentralization is biodiversity of the digital world, the hallmark of a healthy
One of the other things a decentralized network is more resilient to is 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 requests better, but in practice, commercial companies struggle to resist government requests from markets where they want to operate their business (see e.g. Google's lackluster opposition to censhorship in China). Twitter regularly blocks Turkish activists on behalf of the Turkish government. The strength of a decentralized network here is in numbers--some will be blocked, some will comply, but not all, and creating new servers is easy.
Last but not least, decentralization is about fixing power assymetry. 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 options of disagreeing. 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 I, as the developer of Mastodon, 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; have no control over any Mastodon server except my own no more than I have control over any other website on the internet.
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 become that which it replaces.
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