Personal data breaches on social media platforms are nothing new. Global giants like Facebook are known for their privacy issues. While global Internet users continue to rely on classic social media like Facebook and YouTube, industry players keep building privacy-focused alternatives based on blockchains like IOTA.
Society2 is a new decentralized social media, or DeSM, project that aims to let users regain control of their data and enable IOTA node owners to run their own social media sites or apps.
Officially announcing the initiative on May 5, Society2 outlined that there has been no mainstream adoption of decentralized social media so far. As such, the Society2’s team has started to work on a IOTA-based DeSM framework to enable a new standard in privacy, control and interoperability of data shared between social media platforms.
Ben Royce, head of development at Society2, told Cointelegraph:
“SOCIETY2's framework is very different from existing social networks. An owner of an IOTA node can run a social media site or app as easily as downloading an open source template from a menu, customizing it or not.”
Users of Society2 will be able to trade their privacy in exchange for IOTA
Society2 is promising to enable social media privacy and control that is not available to social media users to date. As part of the effort, Society2 plans to allow social media users to explicitly choose the level of privacy they want, using zero-fee micropayments in IOTA cryptocurrency (MIOTA) as rewards.
Royce elaborated that Society2 will be exclusively based on the IOTA framework. For example, using IOTA’s peer-to-peer micropayments, the platform will be rewarding users for seeing advertisements on Society2. “If you wish to receive ads, and give up some of your info, you share in the revenue streams with the IOTA node owner who runs a particular site or app,” Royce explained.
“IOTA is the only currency that will be supported natively on the SOCIETY2 framework. IOTA is the core of technology of the SOCIETY2 framework because it best fits our use cases. Besides its ability to scale and its ability to securely transfer messages, IOTA allows for P2P micropayments without fees.”
Society2 hopes to deliver a decentralized social media framework working for Twitter
Alongside implementing IOTA cryptocurrency as a base currency powering its system, Society2 will be building its platform on top of IOTA distributed ledger technology. The project will be based on IOTA Streams, a framework for cryptographic applications being developed by the IOTA Foundation. Specifically, IOTA Streams will enable social media content encryption and distribution. Additionally, Society2 will be deploying IOTA’s Decentralized Identity technology.
After officially starting the project and launching their website this week, Society2 expects to deliver an early prototype of its DeSM system for community feedback by Q3, 2020, the project’s head of operations, Joseph Skewes, said. The Society2’s team, which has been in the IOTA community for years, expects that their framework could be used by media giants like Twitter, Skewes noted. He said:
“Twitter recently funded an independent team bluesky, who are researching the decentralized social media landscape for a standard that Twitter itself could eventually use. A framework like SOCIETY2 may develop into a suitable candidate for such a platform."
Society2 is not the only firm working on blockchain-based alternatives to the traditional social media system. In October 2019, David Gelernter, a Yale’s professor of computer science and Rob Rosenthal, a 19-year veteran of Goldman Sachs, revealed plans to introduce a new project of a blockchain-based Facebook rival in 2020.