Friday, January 5, 2018

Bitcoin, Blockchain, and Facebook. Is Zuckerberg's scheme a benefit to social media or an Orwellian move for full control?

In a New Year mission statement on Jan. 4 by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, the social media mogul penned his outlook on how Facebook could return to its roots and 'give the power to the people' through the technologies that helped create both Bitcoin and Blockchain.

Focusing on the blockchain's inherent attributes of decentralization, Zuckerberg believes the public's loss of confidence in the mainstream sources of information (including his own business model) is tied to technology becoming centralized rather than open.

Graphic courtesy of The Issue
In a long post on his own site, the Facebook founder said that he recognised that the problem with the internet is that it is becoming too centralised, and controlled by a few huge companies that include Facebook itself. That was in contrast to people's vision that the web could be the perfect way of distributing and decentralising power, he said. 
"A lot of us got into technology because we believe it can be a decentralizing force that puts more power in people's hands. (The first four words of Facebook's mission have always been "give people the power".) Back in the 1990s and 2000s, most people believed technology would be a decentralizing force," he wrote in a long post. 
"But today, many people have lost faith in that promise. With the rise of a small number of big tech companies — and governments using technology to watch their citizens — many people now believe technology only centralizes power rather than decentralizes it."
In order to counteract that, he would look at bitcoin and other technology, he said. – The Independent
Unfortunately Mark Zuckerberg doesn't have a good track record of transparency or openness when it comes to Facebook, and this was validated last year when he began installing algorithms to try to destroy many alternative media sites that competed heavily against the corporate and controlled mainstream media.

Additionally, the public rejection of Orwellian control over social media portals like Facebook have led to the rise of alternatives such as Steemit,, and Wrongthink which do not impose censorship like Facebook does, and in fact use cryptocurrency technology to have an open and free space for discourse.

There is an old saying that goes, a Leopard doesn't change its spots.  And as a corporate CEO primarily bound to his shareholders, one must be wary of Zuckerberg penning a 'come to Jesus' moment about openness and fairness, since it hasn't been that long ago when he bent over backwards for the powers that be and made Facebook more centralized and controlled than ever before.


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