At a time when traditional media faces the dilemma of privacy leakage and low content quality, a new social model, blockchain socialization, has quietly emerged. But for now, if the reward and punishment mechanism is imperfect, the authenticity of the news cannot be resolved, and the contradiction between privacy and legality cannot be adjusted, then it is nonsense to open a new era by relying on the blockchain.
According to CCN: Facebook acquired Chainspace, a blockchain company founded by University College London researchers.
Chainspace is said to be “a line of smart contract platforms” that uses “distributed networks” for scalability, speed and privacy.
Facebook’s move has attracted a lot of speculation: Some people think that blockchain socialization is coming. But from the trouble that Facebook has encountered in the past year, its involvement in the blockchain does have this possibility.
First, the itching of social media
Back in March 2018, Facebook was strongly criticized and boycotted by a wide range of users due to data breaches, setting off a “delete Facebook” campaign. Affected by this incident, Facebook’s market capitalization has shrunk by $50 billion in two days.
This atmosphere has also spread to other social media and technology companies: Twitter shares fell 1.7%, Snap fell 3.5%, and Google fell 3.0%.
User trust in social media platforms seems to have collapsed at one time.
In fact, there are still many large companies that have experienced examples of leaking user data.
Such as: Target 110 million customer data theft, Linked In account information is sold, and so on.
In the Internet age, in order to obtain some convenient services, people have more and more information and traces left on the Internet, and they have become more and more transparent. Until now, users are almost as naked in front of major companies or platforms.
We will receive harassment of various types of promotional text messages and calls. Similarly, is the hacked, “precise marketing” and “user portrait” not the result of the analysis of data including user privacy? If it is only the recommendation of the product, it will not let the user’s big move.
Facebook’s incident has caused damage to the user’s personal rights and interests, and may even involve national decision-making issues, which is why it causes public outrage.
The reason why social media can take advantage of user data is not hard to imagine, it is the single profit model that leads to its dependence on user data. From the use of free services to attract users, to the realization of traffic, advertising, games, value-added services, etc. are good profit models.
As far as Facebook is concerned, advertising revenue accounts for nearly 99% of total revenue. Therefore, the more thorough the analysis of users, the more favorable to the maximum advertising revenue.
Then privacy leaks are a very common thing, this is a symptom of social media.
In addition, the quality of the content is not high, and fake news is also a problem for the user to gnash their teeth.
Perhaps some users have already become tired of traditional social media, without the freshness and romance at the beginning.
These problems are like the ants swearing. If they are not improved, they will one day break the dyke.
As these traditional social media get into a dilemma, a new model of social media is quietly emerging.
Second, the blockchain social turmoil
Blockchain socialization is a response strategy.
The reason why user privacy is compromised is that it is concentrated in the platform.
Then, the best solution is to get the data back to the user.
If you can achieve end-to-end communication without centralizing the platform, and asymmetrically encrypt the communication, you can prevent information from being intercepted and tampered with. In this way, information is also stored in a distributed database system to ensure data integrity. In addition, if the data is time stamped, the data can be traceable so that the data is sold and the ownership can be determined.
Whether for instant messaging or blog-based social platforms, issues such as user privacy and data attribution may be resolved.
This is the blockchain social, which is an ideal model.
It is worth mentioning that the blockchain socialization can also be scored by the user for voting on the content, the premium content is rewarded, and the bad content is punished. The public review and reward and punishment mechanism will filter the content and greatly improve its quality.
In fact, in recent years, there have been some social platforms that claim to use blockchain technology, which has also attracted people’s attention, such as Telegram, ONO, Steemit and other platforms.
This is a change in the social model brought about by a new technology. Especially the problem of traditional social media exposure is becoming more and more obvious. Blockchain socialization may be a subversive blow to traditional social media.
Therefore, there may be two choices in front of traditional social media: “going to blockchain socialization” or “killing blockchain socialization.”
Third, go to the blockchain social?
From the current point of view, there has not been a traditional social media announcement to switch to blockchain socialization. Of course, it is not easy for traditional social media to become blockchain social, because it means a complete redesign of the website architecture.
The entire business model is decentralized based on the overall control of user data. The biggest problem is not the technology, but the loss of control over the data. Losing control of the data, the placement of advertising will become inefficient, which may be a fatal blow to the platform of revenue mainly by advertising.
Although Facebook announced its entry into the blockchain and acquired the blockchain company Chainspace, it is more likely to use it for finance from all sorts of clues.
The so-called meritocracy, Facebook’s new blockchain department is led by the original Facebook Messenger director David Marcus – he was a member of the board of directors of the cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase, and also served as the president of PayPal.
According to Bloomberg News, Facebook is developing a stable currency linked to the US dollar, allowing users to transfer money through its instant messaging application WhatsApp, which will be used first in India’s remittance market.
In addition to Facebook, other social media giants also have research on blockchain technology, but the application is different.
Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey has said that the company is exploring the potential applications of blockchain technology.
When asked “What are the potential applications of blockchain technology for the company?”, Dorsey said: Blockchain can be used to combat misinformation and scams.
Domestically, Tencent has set foot on the blockchain early, but from its blockchain map, it is mainly in finance, baas, games, internet of things, medical care, etc. The only one launched on WeChat is the application of electronic invoice.
From the current point of view, these giants are not very interested in blockchain socialization.
Fourth, kill the blockchain social?
For the diseases caused by these old social media, the blockchain can be used to some extent, but the giants are interested.
So, be wary of opponents who might grow up, is it necessary to take measures to contain it as soon as possible?
Last month, a chat software known as end-to-end encrypted communication, all-round protection of chat privacy, inchat, was sued by the Haidian Court for allegedly copying WeChat.
This incident may make people associate in this regard.
But in fact, we may have overestimated the ability of the blockchain to socialize. Even if the giants stand by, the blockchain socialization is not easy to develop.
For a blog-like social platform, even the form of scoring by user voting may not improve the quality of the content. There have been many such platforms at home and abroad, and readers have been praised for gains, which has led some users to maliciously praise for earning rewards.
In addition, the right to review the content is given to the public, and the authenticity of the information cannot be guaranteed. Once someone intentionally spreads the malicious information, it will cause great harm.
For encrypted communication, there is still a big difficulty: conflict with supervision.
Encrypted communication provides a completely private communication environment. Although it can protect privacy, it also has the characteristics of evading supervision. Criminals can use it to transmit information to spread illegal content, which poses no small risk.
In fact, following the crackdown of mobile phone data between Apple and the US government, some technology companies have adopted measures to protect user privacy and encrypt data, such as:
Facebook Messenger and Google’s chat tool Allo have introduced user-selectable encryption.Facebook’s WhatsApp also announced the introduction of chat content encryption mechanism, taking end-to-end encryption. However, because Brazil refused to provide the police with information records of suspected drug trafficking cases, WhatsApp was frozen by the Brazilian court.If you want to achieve complete privacy, you have to take greater risks. This may be why many social media are reluctant to develop blockchain socializing.
The author believes that there are still great potential opportunities for social products. As mentioned above, whether it is privacy issues, advertisements, information authenticity, etc., the problems exposed by traditional social media are increasing, and the opportunities for latecomers are getting bigger and bigger.
At the same time, with the development of technology and the changes of the social mainstream population, the user’s preferences and needs will be different, which also gives the innovators the possibility to come later.
In mid-January 2019, the attack of three challengers to WeChat at the same time may indicate that people are holding this throne.
Now maybe it’s a time when social media is alternating between old and new, blockchain socialization will become a challenger. However, if the reward and punishment mechanism is imperfect, the authenticity of the news cannot be resolved, and the contradiction between privacy and legality cannot be adjusted, then it is nonsense to open a new era by relying on the blockchain.