I’ve been saying for a while now that most users will not easily move to decentralized systems, protocols or applications unless something bad or painful happens to them, What Incentives Will Push Users to Move to Decentralized Applications?
Well, something bad just happened to a long list of video producers.
Yesterday, it was reported that YouTube started to take down thousands of crypto-related videos from dozens (perhaps hundreds) of content producing sites and accounts.
Although YouTube has not officially acknowledged the reasons why so many crypto-related videos are being targeted, it is assumed that the reasons were “harmful or dangerous content” or “sale of regulated goods”.
It’s ironic that Naval’s video was just a fireside chat with my Token Summit partner Nick Tomaino, and it was mostly an intellectual conversation about the future of cryptocurrency and what the underlying philosophical implications this new technology has on society, business or government. It was actually one of the most widely viewed videos from our San Francisco Token Summit II in December 2017. The other video dated from May 2017 from our first Token Summit at the NYU campus, again a highly educational conversation about the governance of blockchain. Nothing about ICOs there.
It is a good thing that these two Token Summit videos and all others (from the past 4 events) are also available on the SlideLive site. SlidesLive is the company we hire to shoot the Token Summit videos.
What is interesting about this situation is the revelation that YouTube’s algorithm were not perfect by any means, as they ended-up removing some good content in one fell swoop.
What just happened is a strong tipping point for moving to decentralized / uncensored solutions, whether it’s video or other. It showed what big and powerful companies can do to shut us down, or shut us up based on their own whims or rules.
Emerging Decentralized Solutions Are Here
Luckily, decentralized alternatives are emerging, and we need to give them a boost.
In search we have DuckDuckGo as an alternative to Google. In e-commerce, we have OpenBazaar (and their Haven App) as an eBay or Amazon alternative. For private browsing, we have Brave. In private chat, we have Telegram or Signal. In private money, we have Monero and Zcash.
There is nothing available on Blockstack yet, but their CEO, Muneeb Ali told me he has just received dozens of inbound requests following this new YouTube development. I’m sure a Blockstack alternative will eventually emerge.
Or, you can move to friendlier services like SlidesLive.
YouTube just handed the decentralized blockchain movement a big tipping point opportunity. They are making it easier for us to move to decentralized apps, platforms, protocols, and services that are censorship-free or privacy-minded.
YouTube is showing us that big companies will shamelessly flex their muscles at the whiff of regulatory pressure. This also shows that algorithms are not perfect, but they can be dangerously harmful in acting the wrong way and making mistakes. When a human makes a mistake, you can usually talk to them and reason with them, but when an algorithm goes willy nilly on something, good luck in reasoning with it. The good humans will hide behind bad algorithms.
How we wiggle our way out from central systems will be won the hard way, one censorship attempt at a time. The producers will move out first, then the end-users will follow.