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Decentralized Social Network

Updated on April 27, 2022 at the 00th hour
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DISCLAIMER: Expressed views on this blog are my own.

With the buzzzz around Twitter being bought by Elor Moosk and some people wondering about moving away from Twitter, I wondered about an idea I had in the past with RSS style feeds.

Mastodon is a decentralized Twitter, but not in the way that seems beginner friendly. It needs to hide its complexity through some assumptions about user intent. I'm sure they'll get there when more decentralized social networks come out.

About RSS, remember news sites, blogs and many others had RSS feeds so that anyone could subscribe to them using an app. The one thing you couldn't do was comments on those RSS feeds. Who would host the comments (publisher) and who would moderate the comments to prevent garbage from making the comments unreadable?

Twitter was and is that middleman. Twitter is a centralized authority which could be perturbed by ownership shifts like the one it is experiencing now.

RSS feeds are collections of summarized content that lead to the source content and you'd read the content but want to comment because something ticked your mind. How can you comment on the content without trusting something like Twitter? Delegating publishers. Publishers who will receive comments from other "trusted" publishers and lay out the comments as a feed. If a publisher doesn't trust other publishers then they can just unsub from that publisher to which comments will be removed.

How would these publishers get paid to host the content? Same way how Twitter makes money. Ads. The more people who sub to that publisher then the more they can show sponsored ads to users in any app. Publishers are responsible for moderating comments i.e. refuse to publish comments. If enough publishers refuse to publish the comment then it may be out there but undiscoverable. You'd need to sub on your app to that specific publisher who broadcasts that content.

People will complain no matter what anyway. "WOKE" publishers and blah. Not like they will care. Consensus on harmful content can be reached and publishers who continue to host that content will be distrusted. The idea of having multiple publishers sounds inefficient to me since comments are pretty low value, but the idea is that if multiple publishers come to a consensus that a piece of content should be allowed to be discovered. Some people are really really really dumb and think any content posted should be allowed to be discovered.

Anyway, I don't care much for Twitter. There will always be something else to replace it if needed just like previous products (i.e. MySpace, Friendster, etc.). Nothing is permanent. Let's be honest, right winger social networks don't work because they can't get the people they want them to hear them on there. Rght wingers should conform to the center if they want to continue using Twitter because under Musk there will be more scrutiny.

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