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Censorship - Can Blockchain Help?

Freedom of speech is a passionate issue for many people. And the threats of censorship are more evident today than ever before. What solutions are available from the blockchain community? And what does it potentially mean to have a censorship-resistant platform?

Numerous blockchain projects exist offering to address the issues of censorship. These include messaging platforms like Dust, Session and Riot. But, when you start diving into how these systems work, you can often struggle to find “the blockchain bit”.

Messaging apps need real-time responsiveness. And most people don’t want their chats and files available stored on blockchain even if they are encrypted. 

Dust rewards “good members” with its coins, and makes it more expensive for those who abuse the platform. How does the platform decide what is abusive and what is not? It may not be a centralised system, but it doesn’t sound like it is censorship-resistant. Someone or someones are making those decisions.

Then come blockchain-based social media platforms. The majority of these systems boast of being “blockchain-based”. Again, it isn’t easy to find detail on how blockchain technology is used in their architecture.

Social media platforms typically include a messaging function which is similar to the dedicated messaging systems referenced above. They also need the ability to post and share more substantial content like photos, videos and more. There are some excellent decentralised file systems in the market today. Very few of them could handle the transaction volume or the file size needs of a social media network. And very few of them are capable of fending off censorship.

It isn’t easy to find detail on how blockchain technology is used.

Immutability is a core principle of blockchain. Data written into a blockchain is not so much permanent as written in a way which could reveal tampering. If censors wanted to go through and delete data from the network, they cou...

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