Throughout 2021, we saw a new wave of censorship hit the legacy web. There is real evidence that censorship is gaining momentum and scope and it is most certainly something we should be increasingly vigilant about.
The deplatform phenomenon has been discussed for some time, but it arguably reached its most public peak in January when Donald Trump’s Twitter account was permanently suspended. relatively minor numbers, obvious bot counts or overt hate speech.
But it was something different. At the time, Donald Trump was arguably still (roughly) the most powerful and famous man on the planet, but clearly not powerful enough to withstand a Twitter misplatform. Whether or not this is the right thing to do is a matter of debate, but Trump, for better or worse, was part of the global discourse and his narrative was taken out of it.
It was a stark reminder that Twitter and global social networks are not public commons, but private entities to which we are invited. When we’re good, productive workers we’re encouraged to spend as much time as possible on platforms, when we’re not it’s exile in the digital wilderness (that’s Telegram and Signal for that matter – welcome to crypto dungeons).
Shortly after this happened, the Talking social media network (the next most likely hotbed for Trump’s antics) received an apparently coordinated eviction notice by Google and Apple from their app stores. An obvious blow to the network. But it was still available, to those who had already downloaded the app, or to people who were using their web app instance. That is, until Amazon removes them completely by deleting their servers.
It is not just the removal of an individual narrative from public discourse, but that of an entire network. It’s a little more alarming, about a third of the internet, if not more, lives on AWS servers, which becomes very evident when there is an outage. When the infrastructure cuts you off, it can get crowded. In this case, around 10 million people were deformed in a single wave of centralized intervention. “only”.
The problem is that what is “right” is not better determined by centralized power. That is why juries are meant to be a random selection of ordinary people. When the infinitely small number of people who control the Internet become judge, jury, and executioner, things have a very real potential to go very badly, and it won’t be long before you find yourself censored and not knowing why.
Fortunately, there is a counterbalancing force to this new wave of centralized censorship.
The unstoppable technical stack of applications
Blockchains are basically distributed databases and we use the Ethereum blockchain, as the main database. For all intents and purposes, this means we don’t have a database, as the Ethereum blockchain is a public good and not something we control. We couldn’t change it if we wanted to, and we certainly couldn’t stop someone else from interacting with it. It is without authorization. Blockchains are designed with the presumption that they are under attack at all times and they trick stakeholders into erecting a crypto-economic firewall that limits anyone’s ability to alter their history.
Blockchains sacrifice performance to be unstoppable and are the backbone on which all unstoppable financial apps will exist in the future.
The next great wave of decentralization will be driven by the ability of users to fully take over the operation of networks. In February, as Robinhood took financial freedom away from its clients, the yearn.finance DeFi app put the future of the year’s ecosystem in the hands of its token holders by allowing them to determine the monetary policy of the year. network by weighted vote.
We are not yet fully decentralized, but the trading venues of the future will be managed by the participants who trade there and the key to that is voting technology. Going forward, unstoppable applications like ours will not only be created by launch teams, they will be created, launched, maintained and organized by their users through credible and neutral decentralized governance and we intend to provide the unstoppable toolbox to do it.
Censorship will not disappear, in fact the Internet will tend to become more balkanized, more restricted, more contested and more centralized. The only hope we have for preserving digital freedom of expression is to continue our migration from the dying Web 2.0. The internet is undergoing an upgrade and with it the old financial system too. The new web is censorship-resistant, private, with its own money, and decentralized financial systems that are increasingly run by its users. Don’t wait for the old financial system to die, join the new as soon as it starts.