Author | Mada aflak
Compiled by Baize Research Institute
Mada aflak is a software engineer who is currently the technical director of twitterspaces Android and is committed to introducing blockchain technology into twitter. This article is written by her personal reflection, which only represents her personal point of view and has not been recognized by twitter.
In the good old days, when video recorders were still popular and children played with electronic pets, web1 only allowed users to read information found on the Internet. However, the birth of web2, accompanied by the emergence of new technologies such as smart phones, provides users with opportunities to read and write: anyone with a social media platform can now gain influence and have fans.
Over the years, social media companies have become very powerful. They master user information, monopolize the opinions of the masses, and dominate and decide the news. While social media networks do pave the way for Democracy (users can openly talk and share their views), the shortcomings of these platforms are still worth pondering.
Social media platforms have existed for more than 15 years, during which time, the way they are used has changed dramatically. In this article, I aim to criticize and re conceive the core authentication system of social media networks, so that users can adjust the platform independently. I will prove this through an imaginary voting system designed to give freedom of expression and diverse opinions, thus forming an ecosystem similar to a digital democratic society.
Social map of social media networks
Fake accounts in social media networks are a major problem: users can manipulate social media by creating thousands of robots and publishing fake news. Currently, social media companies are investing billions of dollars to combat misinformation, eliminate fraud and automated robots on their platforms. What happened? Now it has evolved into an endless war between hackers and security engineers.
in my opinion,The only sustainable long-term solution is to identify each user as a legitimate user: make sure everyone has an authenticated user account.For example, a person may have multiple "fake accounts" or browse the Internet anonymously, but the user can only have one authenticated account associated with his identity.
There is no simple solution for human authentication, which depends on the error range we can accept. In other words, the solution to this problem can completely transform today's social media networks into a healthy and sustainable ecosystem. This acclaimed ecosystem will represent a new digital society, enabling users from all over the world to trust, identify and vote on a shared platform.
It should be emphasized that the result of this will not be to store the user's identity, but to authenticate everyone through an authenticated account.
Represented by universal digital identity on the Internet
Bitcoin proves the demand for centralized digital currency on the general network, paving the way for human decentralized digital identity.
However, a person's identity is crucial to their sense of security and belonging, which makes it one of their most important assets. For this reason, digital identities should not be held by companies, governments or any other major entities, but issued as certificates and stored in blockchains (distributed ledger recording systems, almost impossible to tamper with). For simplicity, let's call this certificate Internet citizen ID, which can be translated as "Internet citizenship".
After the social media network authenticates, each user will receive an Internet citizen ID, which is connected to an encrypted wallet (the safest place to store and redeem digital assets). Assuming that this ID can be used as a general authentication means, it can not only confirm that the user is what they call identity, but also be generated between Internet platformsInteroperable。
Technology behind internet citizen ID: non tradable token (NTT)
You may have heard of NFT (non homogenous token), which is a proof of ownership stored in a decentralized database. These tradable tokens appear in the form of real-world asset themes, including art, music, in-game items, etc. The principle of this technology can also be applied to Internet citizen ID, such as non tradable token (NTT), which is a non tradable token. Vitalik, founder of Ethereum, likes to call it "soul bound NFT" ”）。
NTT will follow specific standards, similar to NFT standards, but there is no transferable capability.In fact, NTT has no monetary value, but will personally deliver it to you as proof of ownership. NTT can be used to represent inherent personal property, such as university diploma, online training certificate, government issued ID card, etc.
At present, this token standard has been written into Ethereum improvement proposal eip-4671. （https://eips.ethereum.org/EIPS/eip-4671 ）
Decentralized voucher Wallet: store NTT
In our daily life, we are used to carrying identification documents such as driver's license, passport, school diploma and employee signs. Throughout the day, we will show these certificates to our colleagues, organizations and companies.
Internet citizen ID reflects such a scenario in the digital world, allowing users to carry identification on their personal devices. Through the protection of privacy, reliable sources and reliable interaction of decentralized identity, it provides users with instant access to identity information, and allows users to independently decide how to store, share and access their personal information.
To ensure this function, customers first need to install an encrypted wallet application on their mobile phone. The wallet contains an Internet citizen ID and other user credentials, which are cast as NTT.
Conceptually, such an encrypted wallet is similar to a password manager, but it manages the private key used by users in a decentralized identity system. When a former employee joins the resume, for example, when a new employee joins the company. Here, candidates can use their former employer's NTT login instead of traditional background checks and prove to recruiters that they have worked for the company.
Trust information on social media networks
A few years ago, viewers could only watch news in centralized and perfect news media institutions. Nowadays, with the rise of web2, online social media has become an important channel for news release because "people rely on social media to get news" (Forbes, 2019). At the same time, the mass media is "affected by the decline in public confidence" (net foundation, 2018).
Subverting the standardized channels of news distribution is one of the biggest democratic breakthroughs in history: it provides a shared space for ordinary people to participate and express their opinions, not only in the news, but through diversified events.
However, social media networks also make it easier to spread misinformation and false information.
Through a term called deepfakes, the integrity of information on social media networks has been greatly challenged. With deepfakes, anyone can replace a avatar with another person's image。A famous example of this includes comedian Jordan Peele, who plays former US President Barack Obama and manipulates the audience (youtube, 2018).
Part of the reason why social media networks are so difficult to identify deepfake and other error sources is that there are inconsistent standards for identifying, tracking and responding to large-scale manipulation of content.
Although it is undeniable that social media networks play a positive role, we must also face the dark side: it is much easier to artificially exaggerate conspiracy theories and false claims on the theme; There are a large number of accounts that dare to highlight racial discrimination; Election results and wars have been spread to the point of virus identification by spam.
Who should manage social media platforms?
Content auditing is arguably the biggest challenge for social media networks. Indeed, the standard of the platform is that users can express their beliefs freely, but not at the cost of large-scale manipulation. Such content is difficult to identify:
In an ideal world, social media networks should be designed so that users can independently adjust the content constituting the platform.
How can NTT help audit content?
In an online world that encourages freedom of opinion, we should be able to vote or oppose content, but this alone is not enough to regulate user content.
Usually, we will see robots participate in a large number of content and topic labels, artificially exaggerating topics and trends to manipulate public opinion. We need a more complex system to create a trusted, self regulating social media network, in which decentralized voucher wallet will play a key role.
In a world with internet citizen ID, using the voting system, everyone will only get one vote on a post. This will make it more difficult to manipulate social media algorithms, and public opinion easier to track and establish.
In addition to this voting system, the decentralized voucher wallet can also allow legitimate users to vote using their NTT credentials: software engineers, health doctors, news article journalists, data scientists and so on. The voting results will be divided into public opinion and professional opinion.
Let's consider a post against vaccine efficiency. Users will see obvious differences between the public and professionals, that is, 40% of the public support and 80% of doctors oppose. With clear professional recognition, these indicators will be as influential or even more important as the post information itself.
Public opinion survey: open public opinion to benefit the Democratic ecosystem
Historically, we know that it is not uncommon for the US government to provide false information and manipulate society to better meet its interests. Having tools to understand real public opinion is crucial to public awareness, but they do not exist in 2022.
Since the social media platform is still unable to generate reliable indicators, the public opinion algorithm is ambiguous and unreliable. In addition, users will be classified according to their reading and clicking habits, so the algorithm will give suggestions according to their interests. As a result, a volatile and isolated culture was born, resulting in users' unwillingness to accept new ideas.
In the future, voting tools can exist in social media networks through "voting". Unfortunately, in an ecosystem where users are either robots or have multiple accounts, such voting results are uncertain.
When authenticating legal users on the platform, we can conduct public opinion surveys around hot topics and accurately understand public and professional opinions.
These results can be given a series of uses, including market research, reliable data, general statistics, and can also trigger discussions among users.
Creator voting: economic incentives for users
In social media networks, there are two types of users: passive users and active users. Passive users are readers on the platform; Active users are those who create content, often referred to as "creators". Creators represent a minority of total users on social media networks, but they are a key component of the platform's success.
Without creators and incentives to make long-term profits for creators, passive users connected to the platform can only consume advertisements rather than read wonderful content.
Strategically, the platform can distribute token rewards (a fixed amount of digital currency issued by the company itself) to users who connect their personal identity Internet citizen ID to the platform every month. For simplicity, we call this digital currency Agora coins. Agora coins can only be used and valued on the platform it issues, allowing users to promote themselves internally to improve their popularity.
For further explanation, users can apply for "income" on the platform using the Internet citizen ID stored in the encrypted wallet. For example, each legitimate user can receive 100 Agora coins per month. Users can send 20 Agora coins to their favorite economists, another 60 to their favorite comedians, and the remaining 20 to an entrepreneur friend. This reward system based on "user voting" will grant a person visibility and attention on the platform.
Unlike like / follow / share, Agora coin will support specific features, such as single authentication and quantity limits, which will make them essentially similar to weighted voting.
By distributing tokens to authenticated users every month, we have experienced the birth of the digital economy and automatically reward creators who devote themselves to the platform. By building an ecosystem similar to Digital Democracy (users can choose which creators have increased their popularity), social media networks have been given a more equitable business strategy.
Voting archive content
We often forget that we are the first generation to have Internet access, and we know very little about how Internet archiving works and why it is so important. For future generations, we have the opportunity to provide them with a historical backlog of "Internet archives": enabling them to track conversations at any particular time in history.
Unfortunately, if website creators stop paying for servers, their content will disappear. In order to avoid losing valuable content, few organizations aim to archive the "Internet". Although these organizations have good intentions, the current level of "Internet archives" is low due to disorder and unmarked. If past content can be carefully arranged to be stored online and attached with rich metadata, users can find any content in the original format at any time.
Using blockchain technology or any other distributed system that allows data storage, we can solve the problem of archiving the Internet (without relying on a central authority). However, given that the current "Internet archives" system is expensive, chaotic and difficult to manage, social media networks can use hybrid systems: only important content (including identity credentials, authentication, user voting and Internet archives) can be cast into the blockchain; All other user content will then be stored in a centralized database.
In order to succeed, the necessary voting system should be established to enable users to reach a consensus. This consensus will determine whether a post is worth storing on the blockchain. Therefore, all relevant Internet blockchains must meet the new standards of Internet archiving.
"If we weigh all the ants in the world, they will weigh as much as all humans.".(e. o' Wilson and B. Hoelldobler, 1994).
Here, the accuracy of this sentence is irrelevant because it shows the influence of collective wisdom. Although ants may not have EQ, they have mastered the art of cooperation, coordination without conflict very skillfully. In general, their wisdom makes them one of the most important species on earth!
The same concept can be applied to humans: because we can communicate with each other, we have made incredible achievements. Unlike other species, our evolution is complicated by time: we have to learn not only from the animal world around us, but also from our ancestors, who spread a wide range of knowledge through books and encyclopedias.
In such an uncertain era of the earth's future, war, large-scale migration, ecological disasters and global warming threaten our species. Now more than ever, we need a tool to solve these problems and enhance the collective wisdom of mankind.
When providing users with decentralized social media networks with autonomous regulation, a transformative ecosystem may become a solution to reduce centralization, censorship, manipulation and misinformation. This will not only help build a Democratic platform, but also enhance transparency, trust and governance.
History can be written not only by enterprise groups, but also by the public. Therefore, Internet citizen ID and social media voting tools will build a universal digital society. As a result, the public will have the opportunity to express their views on the Internet in an influential, influential and historic way, so as to change the online world forever.
According to the notice on further preventing and dealing with the speculation risk of virtual currency trading issued by the central bank and other departments, the content of this article is only used for information sharing and does not promote or endorse any operation and investment behavior. Readers are requested to strictly abide by the laws and regulations of their region and not participate in any illegal financial behavior