The Next Step to Defend our Freedom of Speech

in #censorship3 months ago


The internet enabled free and open communication like never before. This open communication has enabled millions of people to break free from the controlled narratives propagated by TV and newspapers. The truth was made available to more people than ever before if they were motivated enough to seek it out.

When the internet was young people shared information by email, messages boards, and self hosted websites. There were no search engines and people had to discover content by following curated directories. As the internet has matured we were given powerful services like Google that helped us find content and then social media evolved which made it trivial for anyone to post and share. The easier things became the more dependent we became on large technology companies.

We are now facing a world where companies like Apple, Amazon, and Google are denying service to communities which share information and opinions that run counter to the prevailing narrative. The goal of this is to recapture control over the narrative. This goes far beyond censoring what people post on a companies own platform to denying others the ability to create their own alternative platforms.

We are living in a world where everything from payment providers, to domain name registrars, to hosting providers are being weaponized against people attempting to understand the world by sharing information. All of this is done “in the name of protecting people”. Apparently people are so weak-minded that they are easily led astray and manipulated by “false” information. This so called “false” information is a danger to society! People might revolt against the status quo and demand something “bad for us all”.

I find this reasoning fascinating. If people are so easily manipulated by “false” information, how easy it must be to manipulate the masses if you can control all information they are allowed to see? Whoever has this power to declare things “true” or “false” can use it create their own revolution that is “bad for us all”. In a war of words, censorship is an attempt to disarm your opponents.

What happens if the “wrong people” gain the power of censorship? God forbid Trump supporters gain control of Apple, Facebook, Twitter, and Google. They might start censoring information about the virtues of communism and firing anyone who believes there are more than two genders. Information about the safety and effectiveness of vaccines might be hard to come by! Mostly peaceful protests might be framed as a violent coup against democracy, law, and order.

Most of today’s censorship is not being carried out by official government agencies, but by private powers behind the scenes which control government by controlling what people are allowed to read, watch, and share. This will not last, eventually this “soft” power will be enshrined in law.

Our only option is to remove our dependency on the infrastructure of the internet technology giants. This means creating a social media network that does not depend upon app stores, cloud hosting, and domain names. This will take us back to the 1990’s in terms of infrastructure, but it is our only hope.

This means that services like or are at risk even if the underlying blockchains are able to survive. Platforms like are at even greater risk until they decentralize their infrastructure.

If we want to create a platform that enables all ideas to be presented and discussed then it will probably need to look more like The key design consideration is that the users must provide the hosting of the data with IPFS/BitTorrent style data sharing. Federated systems such as may be a good middle ground; however, even mastodon comes under pressure to expel entire communities and is ultimately dependent upon hosting providers.

The ultimate may be a combination of federated ZeroNet-like services. Freedom loving information seekers will need to take on the responsibility of running nodes on their own computers.


Inspired by your article I dug into what would be needed to get my block explorer/frontend/hive toolbox running on IPFS... Literally all I needed to do was change to hash routing, pop it on free ipfs hosting and bam
^^ Client side js interface served via ipfs
^^ A domain that always points to the most recent uploaded hash (Identical to above, but auto updating to most recent version)

Obviously it needs work, but it's an easy example of ways we can make the hive ecosystem even more censorship resistant.

Glad to see you back on Hive :)

It is great example, how already decentralized data could be more distributed, onion layers 😊

Man oh man, and I think it needs to be done like yesterday. ;-)

Great analysis, however I think that Hive is now in the best position to resist censorship of any platform.

Hive has now successfully decentralised API nodes. There are now 19 (up from 7 API nodes 6 months ago) and the number is growing rapidly.

Thanks to work by @blocktrades and others in making the code more efficient, a single API node running on a $1000 machine (4/8 core modern CPU, 64Gb RAM and 2 TB NVME) can handle ALL of Hive's current traffic.

There are numerous front ends hosted by many different people in different countries on different domain names and it is very easy to create new ones. Trying to shut down all the Hive front ends would be whack a mole.

If necessary, the Hive blockchain itself can act as an uncensorable DNS server with API calls built into the hived code run by every API node. @brianoflondon is already testing something similar with podcasts.

This is not the time to start on something new, Hive already has the capability to do everything required to ensure freedom of speech. There is a very committed and talented community here that will fight tooth and nail for it.

Also Big Tech is about to be hit by a massive wave of cartel lawsuits, including @jbpliberty's #cryptoclassaction, that is going to be their undoing.

Welcome back!

I agree that HIVE is currently the best censorship resistant platform. How are images and videos hosted across all the servers?

3Speak is about to release an open-source desktop app that makes spinning up an IPFS node as easy as hitting play on a video. We will store only videos/images as Hive handles the text fine. Our next objective is a decentralized incentive layer built on top of Hive layer 2. I would like your feedback if you have a little time to read through a short version of our goals.

We are very deep into this, and a lot of planning has been done; if you would like to lend a hand, we would be thrilled, or maybe just look under the hood of what we have going on. Cheers.

We've just got to increase the number of witnesses by a factor of 10 ASAP (and they need to be evenly spread out all over the [free] world).

I have an idea ... build the better version of Qora you said you could build when we suggested it on the BitShares forum 5 years ago, prior to Steem's existence. AFAICT it was a very similar solution to what you outline in this post.

Its already been built,

We have 2 images proxy instances I know of, one run by us at Ecency,, and another run by @blocktrades team at

While not ideal, you can host images and videos via ipfs and create the links to those in a Hive post. As taskmaster mentioned, 3speak is already in process of creating a system of compensation to encourage providing this to the network

For apps, ecency (formerly esteem) has come a very long way. They have a website and are in the appstores, but they are also all open source with apps for ios, android, macos, linux, and windows

While it's great that Ecency is open source, I am a bit vary about them hosting them on the Microsoft owned github.

I encourage everyone to download a copy of the source code



Github is a medium that hosts public code for many to access, if they block or remove it, we can host same code on any other git services. We already have copy of all code.

That's really good to know.

I read about an intriguing decentralized solution to the git problem a while ago. It might be of an interest to you.

Both are still decentralized but 3Speak is bringing out a new system that will decentralize the video hosting in a manner like you described by having individual hard drives seed the videos.

Both are still decentralized but 3Speak is bringing out a new system that will decentralize the video hosting in a manner like you described by having individual hard drives seed the videos.

Fixed it for you.

3Speak is addressing "only" videos but should probably do the same for image hosting as well. The same infrastructure and incentive program they build for videos could probably work well for images and would solve our dependency on centralized image hosting. Who wants to read a 100% text post, after all images are deleted due to censorship attempts by the government?

Image hosting will be tackled as well, as thumbnails are used extensively on 3Speak. Both image and video will be handled by the 3Speak desktop app in a decentralized manner.

How are images and videos hosted across all the servers?

Hoping to get my personal photo album on the blockchain using base64.

( Proof of concept )

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And Qora!

If you please ✌️😎🥓👍

...freedom yang worship word. you not speak it...


Whenever people tell me Blockchain is too complicated, Imma just show them this post...

Fair to say that the Fans of Frank Bacon get Blockchain just fine

@apshamilton nice to see you hear ... however if you want better censorship resistance there is i2p, zeronet, bitmessage, and the list goes on, like freenet etc...

How do you feel about @theycallmedan’s direction for 3speak? Also check out @ausbitbank ’s comment below.

You seeded a lot more than a blockchain, you somehow managed to seed a pretty resilient resourceful and diverse community. Glad no one is at the head of it now but you are always welcome here 🙏

Agree about self hosting but in practice not everyone will host it, just like not everyone runs full bitcoin node. Hive development in recent months has been great, now basically anyone can host full node without huge ram or cpu requirements. Desktop apps are best with enabling you to connect to any instances of full nodes. Future is bright and Hive will continue to be only and best place for decentralized, uncensored social network.

want to create a platform that enables all ideas to be presented and discussed then it will probably need to look more like

How many times are we going to abandon ship and start anew? That sounds like a terrible idea to me because there's no community backing it.

Steemit kicked me out by down voting with the Steemit account. I am coming back to as it is currently the most decentralized option with a open community.

Downvotes are not censoring/kicking out but yes Steemit is fully centralised and censoring/stealing user's fund now, welcome back to Hive.

Will you be building anything here?

I’d support your witness if you’d Fire one ☝️ up or tells us one ☝️ you’d support from here on out. ✌️👌✍️🤙

Glad to have you with us.


Welcome back!

Steemit downvoted your post? What did you write about: freedom and decentralization?

Yeah that doesnt play well with Sunny boy.

I believe he's talking about Ned etc. downvoting him...

That's because he loves his Steemie too damn much XD

That's great news.

welcome back

Please consider using, it has a better layout and features, imo.

When communities came out, they were soooo ugly on the .blog that I overcame the minor inconveniences and made the switch full time.
So far, I haven't been drawn back.

The number of simps for abandonware Dan ITT is too damn high. 🙄

Thank you for saying it like it is! 👍 is pretty solid, have you never tried it? Also, it has 16.k stars, ~850 watching and 100 contributors on Github, I wouldn't call that no community support.

We need decentralized top level domains like .crypto and .zil for the front ends, so the front ends can't get censored in DNS.

Actually top level domains are more censorable than just having lots of regular domains all over the place with different top level domains.

I think the DNS threat is overblown.

Firstly there are A LOT of Hive front ends. Every community has one.
Very difficult to shut them all down. It is something that would need to be done at government level by slow cumbersome legal process.

Secondly people can create a new domains and set up a new Hive front end very quickly.
Condensor is Open Source and quite easy to run.

All DNS does is convert a URL to an IP address.

For something you are using all the time like a Hive front end you can just use the IP address directly. You only need to record it once as a bookmark and DNS blocking won't work.

You can also change DNS server to one that doesn't censor.

Curse of knowledge bias exemplar

I think the DNS threat is overblown.

As someone who specializes in this field, I disagree. You must build to the lowest common denominator in respect to your userbase, ESPECIALLY when under active attack. Make no mistake, if a platform gains any notoriety with the 1984/Fahrenheit 451 cult, it will be attacked from all angles.

You can also change DNS server to one that doesn't censor.

Can you imagine saying this to the average suzy creamcheese user out on the internet? It's not a very realistic expectation over simply having them type .crypto, and having a browser resolve to the blockchain seamlessly.

What about when your VPS provider joins in the fun and cancels your account (IP) as well. If you had control over the domain, at least you could swing it over to another IP, or even do it seamlessly with a technology like GSLB and perhaps clever use of site-to-site tunnels.

Maybe you can use the old way - to write IP into your .hosts file ...

Case in point. These IP addresses belong to Amazon.

This means that services like or are at risk even if the underlying blockchains are able to survive.

Steemit died almost a year ago when TRON/CCP took it over.

Fortunately it lives on in!

This is a solid cool statement Bruv.
Welcome back 👏😎🥓👍

It's pretty fucking heartening hearing that from you Dan, can't help but feel doubt at times - but general mood is 😎

Self-hosting is a great solution, I’ve tried skynet/sia to self host videos on dtube, it’s a bit complicated to set up, probably would be too ideal for daily users, but for sure I think it’s the future, probably in a few years centralised websites like youtube google will run out of space, especially video storage.

Skynet is the shit! But it does have a way to go to make hosting profitable especially Skylink operators (moving from freemium to premium model)

Disclaimer: I'm fairly invested in SiaCoin so obligatory DYOR to anybody reading this!

yep sia isn't so easy to use, decentralised file hosting and sharing still has its potential tho. Probably in the future it can be big, there're some interesting projects already: like upfiring etc.

I had some image issues, i got scared they they were gonna block me for talking smack about hive price! Luckily it appears to be a glitch! Pamp eeeet!


Come back and help hive grow and develop. It’s the best of its kind on the market.

The public has already begun flocking to #HIVE thanks to #ThePurge

How do you know this lol.

I pay attention.

I used older technology before and can learn to do it again if I have to. I'm old enough to have been a FORTRAN programmer and used a modem that was actually a box plugged into a big desk phone, so nobody will ever shut me up. I am even old enough to know how to write notes in cursive on paper and pass them secretly to another person. :)

Most of today’s censorship is not being carried out by official government agencies, but by private powers behind the scenes which control government by controlling what people are allowed to read, watch, and share.

Social Media is better than Mass Media.

Decentralised community powered Social media network is better than Centralised social Network

Welcoming ongoing discussion around progressing censorship resistence. It is insidious & scary that big tech now controls the public dialogue which shapes governments.

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Great to see you posting on Hive Dan!

Looking forward to reading more of your insights....And while this place may not be perfect, it's got a passionate community that strives for decentralization. 😀

Plutocratic content discovery IS censorship

steemit is not a decentralized platform any more, dan should know this. otherwise good post.

Steemit never was decentralized.

Great to see you expressing your thoughts on Hive. We welcome you and hope to see you get more involved once again. The more great minds we have contributing the better. The way we socialize and consume date online is evolving. This evolution will undoubtably encounter resistance. Who can handle the pressure? Let’s find out.

Only People like you can save the world from this #censor that is going on

Ain't nobody touting the virtues of communism, looking out for the poor is not communism. Besides didn't you hear the debates, the man said "I'm not Bernie".

I've been sold to censorship resistance since day 1 on this chain, and then you know who had to make a case for censorship.

Of course Dan, attack trans people you cis white man, they haven't suffered enough.

Relevant and timely, especially after watching Amazon pull the plug on Parler apps.

Good to see you Dan.

So you are saying that hive and Steemit are still at risk of being censored if ie internet providers decide to block the site?

I think you are taking it a little too far.... just my honest opinion.

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Decentralization should be happened from the hardware infrastructure level too. I think we (HIVE) still depends on these giants hosting services. So, the day we remove such dependency I think this will be the place for people like TRUMP.
I wish you will think about supporting HIVE to bring smart contract layer, and work like old days!


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Hi @dan

I agree that this is a key issue for everyone who interacts socially online. The weaponization of information by central authorities makes for an Orwellian future.

Hive solves centralized censorship as voting determines token distribution and influence of #Hive content. All we lack is focused marketing which I think you could help with if you returned as a developer to the project you started with Ned.

Hive has so many Dapp solutions to solve the issues of censorship like PeakD (blogging), Dapplr (mobile) + 3speak (video)... the list goes on. I feel like the world is missing out on a chance to at least address the problem of centralized social media with a platform that is 100% community consensus in #hive.

Anyway, let me know your thoughts if I'm not too late to the comment party 😂

Looking forward to your next product!

Imagine a “Create a community/group” button on Telos, and having a template with all top social networking features to pick and choose from for EACH community.. Here is the template. 👌

Big love for promoting Mastodon just be aware that some instances run similarly to Twitter and don't actually federate with a big part of the Fediverse. Be careful which instance you choose or you might find yourself in the same bubble of communist revolutionaries as on Twitter.

It was awesome to see you mention ZeroNet, and thus give the old Namecoin a bit of a bump in exposure. It's an incredible coin that has slowly faded out of existence despite being so useful to us all.

Den BP? Foundation? NewDefi?

CENSORSHIP is the excuse of the greats for silencing the inevitable the truth is at the command of all we just have to get the shit out of our faces to see what is really happening.

We cannot cover the sun with our finger and we cannot deny or not see the reality of the things that are happening around us.

We live in a world controlled by lies and the limited capacity of people to understand that there are other realities that we should only seek and not only. Letting ourselves be carried away like zombies by those who practically control everything.

Do you want to be free?

So let's get our heads out of that shit hole and start seeing things for what they are.

Free your Mind!

Yes i also see it as a money problem. Media and the narrative spun is also controlled by money. So yes i do believe censorship can be a huge issue in the problem. I don't believe it will be as huge of a problem than the money that controls it. So i feel like we need to decentralize wealth and money. I would have hoped to see from you more things related to UBI and ideas like URI

Yes. That's why we need people like you. Thank you for dPoS and all the tech you help develop.

I would suggest you try out or ecency, they are both alternatives to built on hive.

i think you now have a clear idea of what hive and steemit are now ;)

Could a front-end app be provided via IPFS? That way we wouldn't have to rely on using servers.

Edit: I was silly, I missed the part where you mentioned IPFS... Must go to bed now. 😴

Edit2: It'd be an interesting experiment to have Hive frontends written for Ethereum, Cardano and EOS. But since I am not a programmer that will likely not happen any time soon.

Could a front-end app be provided via IPFS?

Certainly. Would want to make use of IPNS for updating the front-end code every once and awhile. Still would need to have an API to hook into for fetching post content, account info, etc. So can't completely remove the need for a server, but can make the reliance on one significantly less.

You mean hosted on Ethereum and Cardano?

Hosted or run on them, whichever works the best.

After having a good night's sleep a thought came to me, that a whole Hive appstore could be decentralized using existing technologies.

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Welcome back!

If we want to create a platform that enables all ideas to be presented and discussed then it will probably need to look more like

When we met face-to-face for the first time, I mentioned to you, the author is (was?) in Budapest :)

You forget that not many people care that much about agencies spying on them, or that their voice is under censorship control. The average person just does not care as they have nothing to hide. They take the rough with the smooth. Only Criminals are willing to jump through the hoops in order to obtain privacy. If you want mass appeal you cant expect them to go to great lengths to get it. There has to be trade offs and you have to stay grounded in reality.

why did you @joshman reblogged it when you don't support mine? very strange, selective free speech? another american hypocrite...

Freedom of speech is play important role in everthing.