Gab: A lesson for those that seek decentralization


#1

I posted this a few days ago on Minds and Steem, but I also thought it was something important that the folks here should read and think about as well. Here is the link to the full post on Steem to read. I highly recommend you read it for the full details of what I’m talking about, and so you’ll fully understand the question I pose at the end of it.

TL;DR version: The trend for tech companies, media services, and network operators to censor, deplatform, and outright ban users or services for ever increasingly minor issues is alarming. I use Gab to demonstrate this, but also show several other examples of users and websites having their web hosting pulled, their DNS registration revoked, their payment processors severed, and their social media accounts blocked without just cause. As developers working on decentralization, whether in dApp’s, networks, infrastructure, and the like, could you survive (potentially coordinated) attacks from media companies, your web hosts, and potentially even your DNS provider? In theory, places like Europe could even go one step further as well, to governments actively trying to takedown your service/app/network in that country or region. This isn’t a political issue. Politics just provides an easy scapegoat to do something like this, whether it is the true reason or not. To elegantly quote Ayn Rand, “the concretes differ, the abstractions are the same.” The concretes in this case are the (publicly stated) reasons used to censor and deplatform a site or service. The abstractions are both the underlying intent and the final result.

I truly believe, and know rationally, that decentralized blockchain networks are inherently much more difficult to block and censor. However, this question still must be asked, and I think it’s important that developers understand what could be at stake, and what consequences they could face, should they draw the ire of a larger foe.

(PS, I left this as “Uncategorized” as I wasn’t sure whether it belonged there, in News, or in Community. If someone can give some guidance on that, I’ll happily change it if I can! :slight_smile: )

PSS, Here’s an interesting link shared by Andrew Torba, the creator of Gab, earlier today. It’s a blog post by their new web host, Epik, on the continuing dangerous trend of DNS censoring and deplatforming. It’s definitely worth reading for sure!


#2

Thanks for this, never finished hearing about what happened to Gab and it’s cool to see that there are companies that exist like Epik.

I do hope one day that the BNS becomes big enough to replace the DNS system. We still have a way to go but once we do then we wouldn’t have to worry about all the issues with centralization here, except for the classic issue of 51% rogue miners =)


#3

Yeah, the idea of a blockchain-based DNS would be very cool! It would certainly make “unpersoning” someone effectively impossible via DNS censoring. And the easiest way to solve the 51% issue, at least with POW systems, is just get more people on the network! (Technically working on the consensus mechanism, but you get my point! :sunglasses:)


#4

Here is a way to use BNS to host and access websites: Xor Browser
:slight_smile:


#5

Fantastic! Thanks for sharing! :smile: