For the past weeks, Reddit has been criticized for its content censorship methods, and for the dismissal of Reddit’s director of talent, Victoria Taylor which led to the closure of major subreddits and led to Reddit’s default subreddits such as /r/movies, /r/history, /r/gaming, and /r/AskReddit to convert to private subreddits.
With Reddit’s struggle to support and respond to the protests and the needs of unpaid moderators whom are as much responsible for running the platform as the company itself, Fred Wilson, one of Silicon Valley's most successful venture capitalists has come up with a solution, which he proposed through a blog post titled “The Central Authority.”
Wilson proposed an entirely decentralized media platform, in which the decision to curate and censor information is wholly dependent on the moderators and clients. Wilson noted in his blog:
“The interesting thing about an entirely decentralized media platform is that you can have clients that choose to curate, police, and censor and clients that choose not to. Twitter, as originally architected, could have headed down this path. But for many reasons, reasons I supported to be clear, it chose not to. But someone is going to go there. And I think it will happen soon. And I think it most likely will be built on the blockchain.”
- Fred Wilson
All necessary variables for a decentralized media platform to work are there - demand, supply (technology), entrepreneurs and developers, explained Wilson. He believes that one or more will get it right, and that it will happen very soon.
However, Wilson also noted he is unsure if it may not be a good business or if it will even be a business. He believes that there is a market for it, and it will be a powerful community and platform.
The emergence of decentralized media platforms does not lead to the end of Reddit or Twitter, Wilson further explained. But Wilson showed concerns over Reddit, and the type of platform it is growing to become.
“It may be that there is no viable middle ground between a centrally controlled media platform and an entirely decentralized media platform,” he stated in his blog. “You are either going to police the site or you are going to build something that cannot be policed even if you want to.”
Currently Wilson is actively looking into the possibility of a decentralized media platform. “Wilson said his firm has seen a bunch of entrepreneurs working on such an idea and that he believes the blockchain technology is now sophisticated enough to support such an initiative,” reported Recode.net.
Meanwhile, the Bitcoin-friendly Reddit rival Voat.co, has already received more than 45 BTC (~US$12,000) in donations at the time of writing.