How Decentralized Blockchain-Powered Platforms Can Protect Artists Against Censorship

Comedy sketch show World Peace has been canceled due to a pro-Trump slant. However, Blockchain-based decentralized media platform LBRY offered to host the show, showing how Blockchain technology can be used to fight against censorship.

Cointelegraph spoke with Jeremy Kauffman, founder and CEO of Blockchain-based decentralized content platform LBRY, about using the technology to resist censorship in media and the arts.

Canceled show

World Peace, a sketch comedy show created by Million Dollar Extreme, was canceled from Adult Swim, the evening slot for Cartoon Network. This was due to various reasons, including the creator’s support for Donald Trump, a video countering the “black lives matter” movement and a sketch portraying a white man as a light-skinned black man.

Creators of controversial media are no strangers to the potential for censorship of their more divisive works. Irreverent animated comedy show South Park famously had a few episodes censored or removed entirely for their (relatively tame) depictions of the Muslim prophet Muhammad over fears of violent retribution. The concern among artists of seeing their work taken down is real, and they have very few options for recourse.

Cointelegraph: Do you think censorship is a problem many artists have to deal with?

Jeremy Kauffman: Anyone who relies on the mainstream platforms ought to be concerned about how vulnerable they are. They could wake up and have their content removed or demonetized, even if it's for things that are entirely unobjectionable, like suicide prevention (YouTube de-monetized videos that talk about preventing suicide).

CT: How does LBRY solve this for content creators?

JK: LBRY is entirely decentralized and open-source, so there's no Google or Facebook that can unilaterally change the rules, nor is there a central point for governments or others to interfere.

CT: Are you at all worried that "too little censorship" can get out of hand and allow hate speech to proliferate?

JK: I would quote Brandeis: “The remedy to be applied is more speech, not enforced silence.” If there is ugliness, let it be in the sunlight where it can be bleached, not hidden so that people can cry censorship.

CT: What kinds of content creators do you see joining LBRY? Is it mostly people impressed by the new tech, or people looking for a way around censorship?

JK: All types! LBRY is about directly connecting creators with consumers and cutting out rent-seeking middlemen. We already have a Hollywood studio committed - you can download a David Cross and Julia Stiles film via LBRY.

CT: In general, do you see the media world moving towards more free speech, or more restricted speech?

JK: Over a long arc, towards more free speech. Over the last 5-10 years...not so much.