Content-type: text/html ~ Stephen's Web ~ Decentralized Social Networks and the Future of Free Speech Online

Stephen Downes

Knowledge, Learning, Community

This paper (25 page PDF) "critically and systematically assesses the decentralization project's prospect for communications online." In the course of the discussion we get a good overview of types of decentralization long with potential promises and pitfalls. The major challenge for decentralized networks, though, is "the phantom of centralization", manifest through users' and moderators' desires to control what they can't indirectly control. We see these issues emerge in things like shared blocklists and network-wide serach functions. The paper seeks to: "balance the decentralization ideal with constant needs of centralization on the network, and how to empower users to make them truly capable of exercising their control." Good discussion, well structured and clear.

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Stephen Downes Stephen Downes, Casselman, Canada

Copyright 2024
Last Updated: Jul 23, 2024 09:52 a.m.

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