From an unbalanced creator economy and poor security, to centralized control and disgruntled communities, the failures of Web 2.0 have been on the horizon in recent months.
First, former Facebook product manager Frances Haugen testified before Congress last month that the social media giant “chooses profit over safety.” Then, as if it were a sign, Facebook’s centralized services went down all over the world. The outage was so widespread that Facebook couldn’t even access the servers themselves.
Then a disgruntled anonymous hacker launched a massive hoard of internal data from Twitch, the popular streaming service owned by Amazon. Along with source code and payment information for top creators, the hacker urged improvements, calling the community a “disgusting toxic cesspool” in an attempt to “encourage more disruption and competition in the streaming space. of online videos “.
It has never been more evident that the old guard has been wrong about many things despite the growth, reach and profitability of these platforms. The centralized version of Web 2.0, which was all about network effects, massive scale, and the winner-take-all economy, is no longer working for society.
Time to make a change. As Web 3.0 entrepreneurs building an open infrastructure that fosters a more collaborative, creative, and user-centered Internet, it is up to us to fix the fundamental flaws of the latest generation of technology.
This is how Web 3.0 solves some of the most glaring problems in our current digital economy.
Poor security and data controls
Twitch is still riddled with jokes, like East, which replaced the backgrounds with photos of Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s billionaire founder. These security concerns were apparently endemic, as former employees reported Bad security practices at the streaming giant.
We have all realized that any data we share with a centralized entity is at risk. Years of leaks of private information from banks, retailers, and social platforms show that you shouldn’t expect anything on the internet to remain truly private.
Since Web 3.0 is based on cryptographic primitives and often features open source code, anyone can contribute to the project by reviewing the code. This increases user safety and turns transparency into a competitive advantage. The gains are not simply based on privacy, but actually result in protecting the value of the user. Security investigator @samczsun has identified potential exploits in protocols like 0x, Livepeer, Kyber, Nexus Mutual, Aragon, Curve, and more, saving billions of dollars in potentially lost value.
Interoperable standards mean that ERC-721-based NFTs can be traded and viewed in a litany of different front-end applications, and ERC-20 tokens can access an entire ecosystem of competitive financial products that compete for attention and value. This agency raises the stakes for platforms, which can trigger an exodus of users after security breaches.
Platform toxicity and liability
The Twitch hackers, despite acting illegally and immorally, were right in one respect: streaming platforms are increasingly toxic, and big tech companies have struggled to respond in a way that responds to the enormity of the world. trouble. However, in the world of Web 2.0, streamers have no viable alternatives. They could move to YouTube or Facebook Live, but they would swap one attention-economy, toxic platform for another.
These realities exist in an environment where creators are more empowered than ever. Fans will follow their favorite creators to the platform of their choice, giving them tremendous influence. To escape toxicity, creators need Web 3.0 tools to get out of walled gardens and control their destiny through direct relationships with their communities.
Web 3.0 also rebalances the power dynamics between users and platforms, putting users in control of their data. With interoperability and portability provided by data management platforms such as Fir treeWeb 3.0 platforms can make it easier for users to “vote with their feet” and move from one platform to another.
As companies like Conflux other Moral make it easier to scale across blockchains and standards, competitors can take quick action whenever an opportunity arises. For example, when users discovered that NFT’s trading platform, OpenSea, may have been insider trading based on knowledge of which NFT would be featured, alternative platforms such as Artion emerged to rectify some of the perceived grievances of the NFT market. Such quick reactions to market dynamics simply don’t exist in the traditional Web 2.0 ecosystem, which relies on scale and closed access to stifle new entrants.
However, Web 3.0 goes far beyond direct relationships with users. These platforms are user-owned and community-driven, so incentives are aligned for communities to moderate. In the case of video streaming, surely no community wants hate raids to force their valued members elsewhere.
In the world of Web 2.0, users must wait for the platform to act. In the world of Web 3.0, they can act through built-in governance and moderation mechanisms. On the Mirror blogging platform, users vote who can write and post each week. In the Web 3.0 index, the listed projects have control over the addition and removal of subsequent projects, ensuring healthy ecosystem growth.
The Facebook whistleblower also revealed that Facebook has a two-tier justice system, treating celebrities differently than ordinary users. While a normal account can be penalized for violating the terms of service, one with a large following could get away with the same behavior.
Web 3.0 also fixes this with increased transparency and censorship resistance thanks to the immutability of the blockchain. Decisions are made outdoors through tools such as Snapshot and they are driven by the wider community. Governance happens on the chain, for all to see. There are no secret agreements or two-tier justice systems (unless they are voted on, of course). Everything is community driven, so participants can just move on if they disagree with the direction or level of transparency.
Unbalanced creator economy
The Twitch leak revealed a huge disparity between the top artist economy and the everyday creator. These dynamics align the incentives between the platform and only a small part of its creators. When a few creators make most of the money, the platform will draw attention to the biggest influencers.
The Web 3.0 paradigm addresses these misaligned incentives by democratizing access and dissolving silos between creators and fans. Web 3.0 creator-friendly monetization mechanisms such as NFT, digital payments, tokens, and crowdfunding level the playing field in a creator-friendly way. Artists using platforms like glass.xyz They have found that they can monetize their content through NFT accompanied by an engaging live stream far better than they can simply sell through a Web 2.0 model.
In Web 3.0, users can also own their platforms, often coordinated through tokens. Since they benefit directly from the growth of the platforms, they have the incentive to provide critical services like moderation, for example.
Users can also purchase fan tokens, further engaging with their favorite creators and creating a positive feedback loop that nurtures healthy fan communities built around a shared passion. Platforms like rally, Partners (built on Chiliz) and Roll Give creators the tools to directly monetize their reputation, authority and creativity without intermediaries. This further aligns the incentives, as the creator it is the platform. The creator can define the rules of engagement and do whatever it takes to maintain a healthy community, without interference from a disinterested third party.
An internet update is good for society
It is certainly detrimental that much of the social fabric and economic structures of society depend on an infrastructure controlled by a few private companies. The damage is further compounded when those companies avoid accountability, offering promises of change that seem to fall by the wayside once the spotlight wears off.
But it’s less about ending Web 2.0 entirely and more about giving society the much-needed Internet upgrade. Web 2.0 tools themselves have a huge positive impact, but there are tradeoffs too: Web 2.0’s structural incentives have led to inflexible and irresponsible Big Tech monopolies. Web 3.0 evolves the Internet to take the good of its predecessor and improve it by aligning economics and incentives among all users, thus avoiding the negative effects of ad-supported models.
When it comes to culture and control, decentralized services have a significant advantage over centralized gatekeepers. Web 3.0 proposes a completely new way to nurture the community, empowering users with data portability and interoperability, and refocusing incentives that support self-moderated communities.
Haugen is right: “This is not about breaking Facebook. The way forward is all about transparency and governance. ”We all deserve better, and services, platforms and products that prioritize transparency and community governance will be the ones that will thrive in the next era of the digital economy.