In order for individuals to win the information war, they must be:
- resistant to manipulation by centralized entities, and
- able to safely and easily coordinate with those they trust
For this to be the case, the end-user features of an ideal social network are assumed to be:
- data is only accessible to the intended recipients
- users only see content shared directly by people they deem trustworthy
- data is safe and accessible to the owner
- service is reliable
One potentially feasible approach is outlined here.
All self-interested centralized entities eventually make decisions that favor themselves to the detriment of others. As a result, it’s unsafe to rely on information services controlled by centralized entities.
Every individual should have sole control over their own social infrastructure in order to establish themselves as equal peers to every other entity. This requires individuals to host their own services, which in turn requires minimizing the cost and complexity of hosting.
The system described here is a low-peer decentralized message exchange platform with all design decisions made in the interest of the individual user’s independence from third party manipulation.
This is interpreted to require:
- zero-config self-hosted infrastructure
- strong cryptographic primitives for security and privacy
- direct connections only to those we know in real life
- redundant data and service layer
- composable conversational consensus primitives
- Users install decentralized agents on their phone, PC, router, etc.
- Individuals meet in person to establish connectivity and identities.
- Users broadcast messages to and receive messages from those that they have connected with.
- Messages can be simple communication, or follow more complex rules for particular purposes such as debate, discussion, announcement, invitation, etc.
- A rich set of consensus methods helps users share, process, and act on information.
- Information filters through our society organically, is more resistant to interference, and is refined into common truths that are widely accepted.
Road to Development
There aren’t any systems that work like this yet, so the first step is to plan the development of such a system, and then build it.
This project is currently organized into several components, which are planned to be implemented in sequence.