Project Liberty: decentralized social media on a blockchain

This is good news for anyone who is tired of Facebook’s algorithms and those of the other social media platforms collecting your data. Billionaire real estate mogul, Frank McCourt is investing $100 million in a blockchain project that he hopes will democratize social media data. McCourt is also owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Bloomberg reported the story over the weekend saying that McCourt aimed to “rebuild the foundations of social media.” He has called it Project Liberty and it is focused on “the construction of a publicly accessible database of people’s social connections, allowing users to move records of their relationships between social media services instead of being locked into a few dominant apps,” writes journalist Sarah Frier.

McCourt was inspired let’s say, by ‘fear’ of the power the social media companies have. He said, “I never thought I would be questioning the security of our underlying systems, namely democracy and capitalism.”

He added, “We live under constant surveillance, and what’s happening with this massive accumulation of wealth and power in the hands of a few, that’s incredibly destabilizing. It threatens capitalism because capitalism needs to have some form of fairness in it in order to survive.”

He is not the only one concerned about the power the platforms have, especially Facebook Inc, which also owns Instagram. Jack Dorsey, CEO at Twitter is another prominent figure who believes the solution to this could be blockchain.

Project Liberty would use blockchain to construct a new Internet infrastructure called the Decentralized Social Networking Protocol or DSNP. And just as blockchain stores information about the tokens in everyone’s digital wallets, “ the DSNP would do the same for social connections.”

Currently, Facebook owns the data about the social connections between its users, and it is able to use this to have a tremendous advantage over its competitors. Frier writes, “If all social media companies drew from a common social graph, the theory goes, they’d have to compete by offering better services.” It would also stop any single company from dominating the sector.

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