Freedom of Speech sounds good, but have we ever witnessed true online freedom of speech before? I mean, something like a blog post, tweet, or some type of audio or visual recording that has true staying power. Staying power in the sense that, a particular piece of content will still exist and stay on the platform instead of being taken down.
Why does content get taking down anyway? Is it because the platforms’ governance body deems that the content does not reflect their perspective or doesn’t align with their political stance? But the platform is open, come one come all! Maybe there’s no stance initially but certain truths or dislikes tend to birth pressures that exceed the platforms comfortable tolerances. These pressures have powerful influences from sources that unfortunately carry more weight than the touted platform’s un-bias posture. True social expression is therefore muzzled by way of influential bias’s and in most cases, the content permanently gets removed. I can understand this type of control from corporate or governmental facing platforms and other platforms where the bias is understood. But where are the true censorship-resistant social network platforms?
What about the top social media platforms of today? We’ve heard and may have witnessed maybe first hand ourselves where content gets deleted. Most times when something has been deleted the reasons why sometimes are never known. The content creator usually never gets the courtesy of an explanation. I’ve heard stories where user accounts are just locked or shut down. When the user attempts to make an inquiry they usually get no response. Could it be that, if the reasons were explained as to why the account was closed, this would start exposing the platform bias’s even though they claim to be un-bias-ish?
Let’s say that the platforms’ governance body as a whole is as un-bias as some may think. If that’s true, how and who removes the questionable content? Hmm, maybe it’s tiny robot monkeys with an agenda working for Ceasar getting ready for the fourth installment of the Planet of the Apes? Or, maybe it’s something a little bit more sinister like SkyNet? Today’s technology in some cases seems to be outpacing Hollywood’s imagination and creativity, I mean look at Blockchain. So a SkyNet type of situation is not as far fetch as depicted in the movies. I just hope we’re typed cast in the right sequel and that the T-800 (Terminator) is on our side! If not, we all are doomed if we don’t have the John and Sarah Connor skill sets to survive. Without those skill sets, we know how that situation turns out.
Ok, ok, let me get back to the purpose of this article before I start making other movie references. Those Neo types who understand the significance of Blockchain, you know the red pill takers aka The One’s, they could be the Woke Protagonist in this ever so real Matrix! See I just can’t help it! Anyway, how does the content get removed and why? If it’s not monkeys or SkyNet, is it a group of people sitting at a desk reading every post and tweet that gets pushed onto the InterWeb? This would mean that there is central control overseeing everything that is posted. Man, that’s a tremendous task. How many people does it take to pull that off? Maybe 10 to 20 years ago that was the de-facto protocol but it is hard to believe that’s the case today.
Get ready here comes the buzz word of the day, AI. Yep, Artificial Intelligence! That’s the computer overlord overseeing all. But AI itself is just a computer program, except for GPT-3 which is more SkyNetish than anything I’ve read or seen! AI doesn’t care about politics nor do its feelings get hurt when it reads posts stating that you like dogs over cats. So if AI doesn’t care, how does it determine what gets deleted or taken down? The fact that it makes that type of decision seemingly on its own (wink wink), would mean that AI is all about that Bias life! I won’t try to go deeper into AI systems that think on their own because I don’t have the knowledge to do so. But I will say that the bias comes from the programming. These programming instructions are called algorithms. Algorithms just happen to be programmed by people! Therefore we are back at the same place essentially, is there true online Freedom of Speech?
We need a platform that will allow “individual sovereignty over centralized control”. Within the Polkadot ecosystem, there is such a platform where you, the creator have total control! Introducing Subsocial. “Subsocial is a set of Substrate pallets with web UI that allows anyone to launch their own decentralized censorship-resistant social network aka community”.
Subsocial is a new and exciting Blockchain based on Substrate. The team continues to improve and develop new features and are constantly pushing out updates. The potential for this innovative technology is huge! I can see Subsocial paving the way for similar future applications throughout this space. The great thing is, you don’t have to come up with the implementation on your own, just use a little bit of this and a little bit of that, meaning, Polkadot and Subsocial can be a great starting point. You can learn all about Subsocial here Subsocial.