Decentralized Messaging Apps Could Replace Today’s Social Media

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Facebook’s controversial privacy policy change for the WhatsApp chat service in 2021 made countless people look for its alternatives. It includes open-source, decentralized messaging apps based on P2P and blockchain technologies. 

It seems like a long time ago, but recently, more people have been fed up with big techs like Facebook and Google’s “my way or highway” attitude. They are now looking for alternative decentralized social media platforms. 

Open Source and Decentralized Messaging Apps

These alternative platforms are still nascent and may not give you the similar experience you are well accustomed to. However, the trade-off is these platforms don’t infringe on user privacy and freedom of speech. 

It explains why these platforms witnessed a considerable surge since the Russia-Ukraine conflict. When the Russian government banned international social media sites like Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook, it highlighted how easy it is for governments to target these apps. And people who have no option to access these apps have no choice but to seek the next best available alternatives. 

In this case, most activists worldwide adopt decentralized and open source applications. People are also switching to Telegram, a cloud-based instant messaging app that swiftly gained popularity as a place to share battle footage and other content, which would have otherwise been blocked on mainstream social media platforms. 

The fight between control and freedom is not new, and current events are just one example. 

There have been multiple concerns about big tech giants utilizing user data for profit-making and governments monitoring people. Consequently, privacy and freedom of speech will never be guaranteed under the Web 2.0 foundation. 

Decentralization to Make Privacy Possible

While the internet is an effective means to disseminate information, its infrastructure has several flaws. Though technology has become the heart of how activists work and interact with others, we need to place adequate standards and infrastructure to ensure their efforts are not hampered. 

Decentralized communication systems are among the best alternatives for people to share a space without concerns about system failure. 

Popular Decentralized Social Networks:

  • Minds: An open-source codebase, blockchain platform, an alternative to Facebook and Youtube
  • Aether: an open-source P2P platform, an alternative to Reddit
  • Mastodon: A decentralized open-source platform, an alternative to Twitter
  • LBRY: A decentralized, blockchain-based open-source platform, an alternative to YouTube
  • Pixelfed: A decentralized, open-source platform, an alternative to Instagram
  • Signal: An open-source platform, an alternative to Whatsapp and Facebook alternative

Blockchain technology plays a crucial role in decentralizing communication as a starting point for these messaging services. 

These technologies go beyond encryption to offer additional privacy later. While many are still skeptical whether these decentralized platforms could ever fully replace centralized social media platforms, they can stimulate actions that can benefit the larger good if we configure them properly. 

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Rucha Joshi, currently managing a team of over 20 content writers at TimesNext is fueled by her passion for creative writing. She is eager to turn information into action. With her hunger for knowledge, she considers herself a forever student and a passionate leader.

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