SubSocial — A Decentralized Social Platform on Polkadot

We live in a world where privacy is a thing of the past and our social/online/digital life has taken precedence over our actual lives. We live by posts, tweets, stories and feeds. We’re now both the product and the consumer. Nothing is private anymore, the concept of privacy is a blurred notion. There are no free lunches and social media platforms for one are nothing but free. We are paying for it through our data and time.

Need for Decentralized Social Platforms

Don’t get me wrong but we all love these platforms so much so that we don’t even think twice about dropping off our information. But to what end and all it does is help these big conglomerates to sell and earn off of your data. We may get the thrill but they get the money. We also live in times where our ideas, thoughts, and perceptions are all governed and dependant on centralized platforms for approval. They end up deciding what they want us to see, hear and explore. If the President of a country could get blocked, so could everyone else who isn’t playing by their rules.
This might seem fair to them but not to the blockchain community who have been working on a better world order.

How would you feel if you could control and monetize your personal data without the oligarchy of these tech giants like Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, and others? Would you take that option or stay on feeding the Elephant which doesn’t even provide you protection against your own data. I know the question is not easy to answer when we are all feeding on it in one way or the other. But yes, it would all boil down to available options. In quest of answers, I bring to you Subsocial — an option that intends to do exactly that.

Introduction

Subsocial intends to solve the existing problems of the centralized social platforms. It gives the power to the users to choose the data they want to share without any censorship. It also wants to remove the disparity between what social platforms earn and what they end up paying the content creators.

Subsocial is a platform that brings to you the power of blockchain with built-in monetization methods. It is an open platform for decentralized social networks and marketplaces which are censorship-resistant. Think of it as a decentralized version of Reddit, Instagram, or Medium, where a set of subreddits or blogs run on their own chain. It is a Web 3 Foundation grant recipient and one of the first 17 projects handpicked by blockchain developer Parity to participate in its Substrate Builders Program.

Subsocial consists of an independent blockchain built on Substrate (which hosts its custom social networking modules) and a decentralized application that functions as a social network. It will help creators to effortlessly build their own decentralized versions of social networks, marketplaces, and platforms such as Reddit, Instagram, Twitter, and Medium, allowing its social media users to do anything that they’re used to doing on traditional social platforms. It will help both the creators and users to share fairly in the success and growth of their social media platforms.

Architecture

Subsocial is an open-source project built on the Substrate framework which will work as a Parachain for Polkadot. Polkadot is highly scalable and secure, relying on the Proof-of-Stake model with its set of validators elected by nominators. These validators secure the Relay chain and all Parachains in the network. Parachains are very similar to child chains in Ethereum, they work as separate blockchains that rely on the Relay chain’s security.

Subsocial is highly customizable where anyone can launch their own space with a separate version of Subsocial. Every separate Subsocial community is called Space. Let’s go through the architecture of Subsocial.

  • Spaces and Posts — The building blocks of Subsocial are the spaces, posts, comments, likes, and follows. Spaces are similar to blogs, publications on Medium, groups/pages on Facebook, servers on Discord, or channels on Youtube. Posts are similar to posts on Facebook, articles on Medium, tweets on Twitter.
  • Identity — Subsocial allows for the creation of a user profile that can be used in any community built on it. In the future, It might serve as an identity on other parachains.
  • Ownership — Users are the owners of the network. Token holders can participate in the overall governance of the Subsocial platform, but users can also participate in the governance of each space where they are members. Each space is like a DAO (Decentralized Autonomous Organization) where members can have ownership and help to steer the way that a space is governed.
  • Account Keys — Subsocial gives the ability to publicize and monetize content fully independent of trusted third parties. Login credentials are stored locally on your devices rather than in a centralized database.
  • Monetization — Monetization can be achieved through various means like tips, subscriptions, smart contracts, NFT monetization, social tokens, adverts, and others (More on this in an upcoming article).
  • Roles and Permissions — Subsocial natively offers four built-in and dynamic roles (none, everyone, follower, and space owner). Space owners can specify the roles for any Subsocial account and designate permissions accordingly. These roles and permissions are dynamic and as such allow the space to be flexible, personal with granular access control. This is extremely helpful for space management especially when it represents a group of people such as a community, an organization, or a team.
  • Moderation — At the on-chain level, Subsocial is censorship resistant however it allows moderation for independent spaces. Space owners will be able to manage and moderate their spaces as per their own rules. They can remove unrelated content, remove troll posts, or otherwise moderate inappropriate content as per the rules of moderation but they all will share the same blockchain.
    Subsocial is the glue for binding all the spaces together.
  • Cross-chain Interaction — Subsocial will be able to use any token on Polkadot for payments on Subsocial thus making the interaction between different parachains trustless.

There is a lot of development happening with so many projects aimed at Social Finance. SoFi is an open space that needs the Midas touch of the blockchain revolution. There have been a lot of players who have decided to step in but only time will tell to what degrees of success.
Subsocial can be that alternative that can bring disruption in the centralized world of social media. Personally, I wish the team all the success because we do need more of such social warriors.

See you on Subsocial. My space is Everything Blockchain

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Everything Blockchain

Everything Blockchain

Freethinkers, Writers, Blockchain explorers in pursuit of simplifying the different blocks of the chain metaverse.