Decentralization of the web must happen now!
The Peer Social story starts Feb 2018 with an article in The Economist; The Discord amplifier. One month before the Cambridge Analytica scandal broke, The Economist was reporting that elections and public opinion on Facebook were up for grabs to the highest bidder. The saddest part of the story was that you did not have to do anything illegal to influence public opinion on Facebook you just needed to know how to manipulate the Facebook algorithm.
I bet two farms on Brexit and Donald Trump’s Presidential run and I lost, twice! I have been a salesperson for 20 years and I think I am a pretty good judge of character so losing once is a surprise but losing twice was a shock.
I was reminded of how much the Internet has changed from a tool for learning to tool of exploitation.
And it was now changing the world not for the better but for the worse.
The structure of the Internet was such that everyone and everything was set up to collect your data and influence you to do something.
Brexit and Trump are two extreme examples of social media being used to influence the agenda. Since Feb 2018 Cambridge Analytica, WhatsApp murders, lies lies and more lies leading to PTSD, Congressional Hearings, Grand Jury Indictments and regulations such as GDPR and Article 13 in the EU.
The Internet was no longer a place where you learned anything it was a place where you opinion was influenced in subtle (algorithms) and not so subtle (DT Twitter) ways.
Opinions become fact and likes become proof.
It has to change, but how?
By getting rid of the Cloud and going back to the basics of one user = one connection.
If we want to fix the Internet, we need to remove as much technology as possible between the user and their Control Plane.
As long as third party software or services that were created or configured by another person or company are between a user and their data, there is room for exploitation.
We need to decentralise the user experience and get rid of the Cloud.
Now thanks to advances in technology (smartphones and blockchain) we can… with ManyOne.
Don’t forget Google
My personal Peer Social story is probably a little bit different than most because mine began with Google. It is almost too easy to go after Facebook nowadays but let’s not forget Google and Amazon, they are just as guilty of exploiting their users as Mark Zuckerberg.
I was probably one of the first Google search users back in the early 2000’s when I received an invite from a friend to join Google Mail (Gmail) and get 1GB Google Drive online storage, all for free!
Little did I know that my entire digital life since then would be stored on Google’s servers and hard drives ready to be accessed by Google, the government, or some random hacker.
When “I agreed” to a free Gmail account in 2005 and every search, email, document & file I have ever made since then is in the possession of Google. Isn’t possession nine-tenths of the law? So who owns me now? Google? Ironically I bet if I had a lawyer go over the Google terms of service I agreed to all those years ago, I bet it is true, Google really does own me, or at least the digital version of me.