Introduction to Cryptosocial - the Book

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1 year ago

I wrote a book this year titled Cryptosocial: How Cryptocurrencies Are Changing Social Media. The book is currently with my publisher (Business Expert Press) and will be released some time later this year (likely before Christmas). Below is an excerpt from the introduction.

// BEGIN //

The year 2020 rode in on a dark horse.

From a lab in Wuhan, China, a virus spread out across the globe like an imperial sword. By March, it had taken root in New York City and soon pervaded the rest of the country. 

In May, a white police officer knelt on the neck of a black man in Minneapolis, Minnesota. His subsequent death set off a ripple of protests that will likely have social ramifications for many years to come.

Being that it was election year, the usual slugfest of words between warring political factions was more hostile than anything in recent memory.

But this book is not about politics or pandemics. It’s about social media.

Unfortunately, even our social media has us polarized. We can’t agree on a definition of fake news and Facebook news feeds serve as personal soap boxes for millions of amateur political analysts who make no attempt to hide their biases, proud mothers, and wall-to-wall cat memes. The previous year’s brouhaha spilled over into 2021 and led to several legacy social media platforms banishing a sitting president and locking him out of his own accounts[1]. Twitter and Facebook had already been fact-checking his posts and flagging them as potential misinformation.

Is this the power we want our social media platforms to possess? If they de-platform a member of one political party, might they also target members of another? If they silence the most powerful man in the world, who else might they silence?

This year marks the 30th anniversary of the first website. The World Wide Web has come a long way since. Where will it be in five years? Or fifty? If blockchain developers have their way, it will return to its decentralized roots. But what will be the price, and how will we get there?

Given the pace at which technology is changing our livelihood and our deeply held cultural values, perhaps we should ask what we really want from social media. How will it affect our beliefs and behaviors, our liberties and our laws? 

And, just as importantly, how should revenues generated from the content on social media platforms be split between the platforms, the creators, and the curators? 

These are the problems cryptosocial media entrepreneurs are trying to solve. Advocates point to blockchain technology and note that it provides benefits for everyone – if only everyone would get on board.

[1] Cohen, Li. January 7, 2021. “Twitter and Facebook lock Trump’s accounts, take down video of his message to supporters,” CBS News., (March 30, 2021).

// END //

I'll be sharing more excerpts from my book here in the future. Look for them in the coming days.

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1 year ago