"What Decentralization Requires" by Larry Sanger

in #hive2 days ago (edited)

Larry Sanger co-founder of Wikipedia wrote an article about What Decentralization Requires. @geekgirl and I aggred that he describes Hive exactly. He is ignoring Hive because he for some reason does not like blockchains and i feel thinks we are shilling a coin.

hive decentralization.jpg

while writing this i found a bug on Peakd :) it has problem with opening posts when first media in the post is a twitter link. so i changed it to a photo, hope you will have no problem finding the tweet.

I don't have enough technological knowledge to cover his points precisely, but i will do it how i understand them, but I encourage that anyone who knows more to make a post or add it to the comments.

I will try to do it in lamer language because i don't know all the terminology (and English is my 3. language)

I. Self-ownership. Each user owns his own identity in the network.

(if owning your private keys means you own your BTC wallet, Owning Hive Keys means you own your Account on Hive)

II. Data ownership. You own your own data; you control your own data, within the bounds of controlling law.

(all text is written on the chain (not really sure how hivemind works) and only owner of the keys can edit text that he has written (all edits are visible on chain))

III. Platform-independent following. You control your friend/follower list independently of all platforms. Hene, once a friend follows you on one platform, he should follow you forever everywhere until he unfollows you or you block him (or there is a lawful government order compelling a change).

(friend/follower list is written on the chain and is independent of all platforms (frontends). So people that follow me on hive.blog also follow me on peakd and escency and dapplr and they will follow me on a front end that i decide to build from opensource code.

IV. Platform-agnostic posting. Posting on one platform means posting the same thing on all platforms that are part of one big decentralized network.

(posting on peakd is seen on hive.blog, dapplr, escency and all other frontends that are not community specific. community specific platforms like leofinance show all posts posted on peakd that have a community specific tag)

V. Decentralized moderation. Content moderation, which is ultimately an absolute requirement, cannot be performed by a single, central, controlling body or system, providing identical outcomes. So it, too, must be decentralized.

(every frontend can moderate how they wish but there is no centralized moderation. so if peakd decides that it does not want to show something it will still be visible on dapplr. or any other frontend (there is an option to build one from opensource code))

VI.Single conversation. Therefore, there is one giant integrated conversation, but parts of are not shown to people who don’t want to see it (or in places it’s literally illegal). Of course, it is still legal for people to run closed, walled gardens; but they’re not for general broadcast.

(as i wrote every frontend can show all data, but also can show only data that it decides to. Communities and tribes can have their own frontend that shows only specific data and ignore everything else. on some frontends user can decide that he can block some tags. user can also mute (he will not see) some users.)

VII Anti-monopoly. Therefore, also, no corporation has anything like a monopoly over the means of social media broadcasting, as at present.

(i am not sure what is the number of frontends that show all the data, more than 5 for sure, and big number of topic specific frontends. over 100 witnesses running the code and 15 Api Nodes (everyone can run one if they want))

There are several requirements that, I believe, are absolutely required of the alternative social media platforms to satisfy these principles:

1. User exportability. Platforms should permit users to export a complete and unadulterated copy of their user data from the platform and host it elsewhere. Moreover, public user data that is edited by the user in one place must be brought current with all other copies made elsewhere as well, in a timely fashion.

(every user can export complete and unadulterated copy of their data to their own frontend build from opensource code or build by them from scratch. All data edited on users frontend are edited on all other frontends. here the problem could be that no data can be deleted from the chain (frontends can decide to not show it, but can't be deleted)

2. Data exportability. The user’s data must be easily exportable in a common, easily machine-readable format, according to a widely-used standard. This is an absolute minimum. Not many actually support this yet. This isn’t enough, though, because you need to be able to export your followers, too, and to do that:

(ease of exportability is pretty dependent on knowledge of the user that is trying to do so. but there are some apps that are working on it. There is an wordpress addon that connects your wordpress site with hive. Travelfeed front is developing (it is functional) a few clicks option to make your personal blog from your posts on Hive. So with few clicks and options of what you want to show and how to show it you can have a personal blog connected to your Hive account. Making posts on any Hive frontend with a travelfeed tag will also automatically add it to your personal blog)

3. Interoperability. The social media platform must be made as interoperable as possible (at the user’s option). So I should be able to subscribe and follow someone who is posting on his own blog, or Mastodon, or Gab, or Parler. I should be able to post and read from any of these networks, and the data should appear in a timely fashion in all the rest.

(this one is tricky because other platforms have nothing to do with hive. using data of other platforms would probably not go well. but few frontends are making an option to write on Hive and posts are also shown on users Twitter. Connecting it to every and all would be a hard job)

4. Data inalienability. If the user’s data is not actually served from outside of a platform—which should be possible—then it is treated by the platform as if it were. The platform is merely holding the data on behalf of the user, as a service. The platform must not treat the data as “theirs.” This is still a rather vague requirement, but it has specific consequences. One of them would be that the platform is absolutely not permitted to delete or edit a post from your data, although they can of course opt not to post it on the platform. Twitter and Facebook violate this principle when they fail to retain copies of posts that they delete.

(Hive is merely holding the data and can't edit it or delete it. biggest issue here is that data can't be deleted)

Those are things I feel confident of, as a bare minimum. There are other things that really also need to be part of it, I suspect:

5. Moderation. Individual users, or whole platforms (if users should wish to use them), should be able to select their own moderators. Moderation data, or metadata—such as that a certain user should be blocked, or that a certain post should be hidden or flagged in some way—should be shared in a way similar to how the user data and content itself is served (so, across the network in a decentralized way), and independently of the user’s canonical copy of the data.

(every front end can decide on their own what to show and what not to show. on some frontends every user has an option to add tags that he does not want to see on that front end. there is a mute function that user can use to mute other users for himself.)

5.Text representation. The user’s public data must be syndicated in a lo-tech text-based (more human-friendly) format such as JSON or XML, even if they have an API (maybe I don’t want to be forced to use their API, maybe because it’s too restrictive).

( this is a bit to technical for me, but Hive stores text, uses JSONs and everyone can run an API node, so if someone does not like all the other nodes that are running, he can run his own. as i said this is a bit over my knowledge to be able to say it with 100%)

6.Permanence. By network policy, the user’s public data must also be able to be made available forever (so a particular platform couldn’t delete it, even if they wanted to) via bittorrent or IPFS or the like.

( the text data is there forever, or as long at least one person is willing to run the witness servers. photo and video data is still stored on centralized servers. 3speak (hive based video platform) is in final stages of making desktop program that will host video and photos on IPFS and they clamed that everyone would be able to do it with few clicks)*

This is my take on it, it is a bit non technical, and i know i doubled on points because it was easier for me to try to answer all of them. it is probably not the best read for technical people so i encourage someone to do it better.
He also invited everyone to do it:


5.Text representation. The user’s public data must be syndicated in a lo-tech text-based (more human-friendly) format such as JSON or XML, even if they have an API (maybe I don’t want to be forced to use their API, maybe because it’s too restrictive).

Hive profile attributes are formatted as JSON. Posts and comments are formatted as Markdown/HTML. Hivemind API responses are also JSON-formatted.

Posted using Dapplr

Great find and great initiative! You got something going that between the write-ups here and the tweets on Twitter, I'm sure that Larry Sanger now has some very interesting newly found knowledge to work with!

i think he does not like blockchain technology for some reason. At the beginning he was ignoring it. but i think most of what he wrote is already here on Hive. Would be interesting to see what will be his take on this and what he sees as a problem.

I think he is actually describing something like Hive, one of the problem of Wikipedia is that it is not super transparent (not blockchain-based) and still has a centralized media organization behind it with crypto-skeptic administrators. Everything that is not covered by mainstream media, is not allowed to have an article if it does not fit the ideology of the owner(s).

i seen that Larry is really blockchain crypto sceptic (not the right word as blockchain and crypto is not really mainstream :D ). He does not like blockchains. i was interested in his honest opinion, but from his attitude i think he will never try it and will base it on presumptions.