Decentralized social media is a social media platform that is based on blockchain.
Decentralized social media, also known as blockchain-based social media, refers to social media platforms powered by distributed ledger technologies (DLT) like blockchain or DAG. As such, activities on these platforms are irrevocably recorded on a decentralized protocol where no central authority can control or oversee, unlike centralized networks like Facebook, Twitter, etc.
Conventional social platforms not only control users’ posts but also what they see, since these networks tend to prioritize revenue generation. Therefore, they present users with attention-grabbing advertising content, making them more entertained than well-informed.
On the other hand, users on decentralized social media networks have the freedom to interact however they wish without censorship as the developers usually only provide guiding rules, leaving the rest to a distributed group of users.
Decentralized social media platforms prevent the unauthorized sale of user data which is one of the contentious issues with centralized social networks. Moreover, blockchain technology increases user privacy and data security using cryptography methods.
Despite their promises, decentralized social media also have some shortcomings. For example, lack of moderators may result in users posting inaccurate information or offensive content with no way to delete. Furthermore, there’s the risk of a 51% attack in which a malicious actor could theoretically control over 50% of a network’s power, allowing them to edit data as they please, which would damage the integrity of the system.
Examples of decentralized social media networks include Subsocial (built on Polkadot and Kusama’s Substrate framework), Uptrennd and Steem. Despite their massive potential, blockchain-based social networks have a long way to go before becoming mainstream and being on equal footing with their centralized counterparts.