Weaponized Transparency and the Blockchain [...]

> We need to look right now at some of the problems inherent to the notion of a “permanent, censorship-resistant” Internet. Even in the Internet we have right now, which is designed to be mutable, the distribution of abusive material online disproportionately affects women, particularly Black women, and other marginalized demographic groups, sometimes to the point where these users no longer feel safe online. A web environment in which content cannot be removed without the consensus of all the nodes on a network, if at all (à la the current model of blockchain organizations) could make the Internet unbearably dangerous for these groups. Think deletion-proof non-consensual imagery, deadnaming and outing, not to mention the doxxing of any sensitive materials — from private interactions to bank statements, social security numbers and home addresses. A hyper-durable archive that resists needless censorship is worth very little if it does not include protections that enable all users to explore it safely.


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Audrey Watters

Writer. Troublemaker.