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What are decentralized social networks

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With the cryptocurrency boom and blockchain technology decentralized social networks have appeared. Its objective is to democratize the platforms for interaction between users, but their complexity means that they have not yet become popular.

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Currently, the traditional social networks like Facebook and Twitter they allow the user to communicate and exchange information, links and audiovisual files. But those who really control what can be shared and how are the shareholders and owners of each platform. At the heart of decentralized social networks is the democratization of the social process through digital devices. The construction of networks to communicate without barriers.

What is decentralization?

Among cryptocurrency and NFT enthusiasts, the concept of decentralization is already commonplace. It is a technology specially designed to make networks more secure, transparent and fair. None of the components of the network owns all the information together. Nodes and connection points between different devices are created, and small portions of the information to be shared are housed there.

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Being a more complex structure, decentralized social networks are more difficult to hack as there is no single master server. In addition, it seeks to create a democratic and collaborative virtual community to continue improving and adding functions and tools to the network. Blockchain technology helps brand identity in products, but it has other functions. It is essential to be able to expand this type of social networks with democratic governance.

How does a decentralized social network work?

Unlike a traditional social network, where a central server is key to the integral functioning of the platform, in decentralized networks there are small nodes and multiple networks that exist interconnected. The user can choose which network they want to join, being able to create networks based on common interests and ideas.

The decentralized social media governance system allows users to vote on the changes and modifications to be applied. From usage policies to adding new features. The user has the power in a democratic way, instead of the central authorities that today define how Facebook, Instagram or Twitter are updated without any type of consultation.

Benefits of a decentralized social network

Mainly, we find in this new model of social networks a greater power of control for the user, as well as more security against external attacks. As there is no single central server, it is more complex for a hacker to leak information or take full control of the platform.

In theory, decentralized social networks sound great. The idea of greater freedom, democratization and protection of information they make users quickly interested in the initiative. But there are some negative aspects to consider. For example, the possibility that hate speech and illegal content expand protected by the creation of intermediate networks without any type of restriction.

A user who promotes hateful ideas can create his own intermediate network and it will have a relatively easy tool to reach new audiences. Long-standing decentralized social networks, like Mastodon that started in 2016, have a very strict code of ethics. But hatemongers could take advantage of newer, smaller networks to further their messages. The other aspect to consider is that malicious users gain control of governance through fraudulent maneuvers to change the course of each network.

The future of decentralized social networks

Today there are some pretty solid decentralized social media projects, being the most recognized the Mastodon. But the truth is that the proposal still has aspects to improve. The configuration and development of these initiatives requires time and a careful analysis of the mechanisms and strategies to avoid a negative use of everything that decentralized networks and the blockchain have to contribute to the technological world.

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