Just days after it was revealed that Peter Thiel’s fund has millions of dollars in Bitcoin, Facebook’s Co-Founder, Chairman, and CEO alluded to looking into cryptocurrencies and decentralization this year.
“With the rise of a small number of big tech companies—and governments using technology to watch their citizens—many people now believe technology only centralizes power rather than decentralizes it. There are important counter-trends to this—like encryption and cryptocurrency—that take power from centralized systems and put it back into people’s hands. But they come with the risk of being harder to control. I’m interested to go deeper and study the positive and negative aspects of these technologies, and how best to use them in our services,” he wrote in a Facebook post.
Mark Zuckerberg has a tradition of posting at the beginning of every year to make goals for himself and the company.
Although the message Zuckerberg posted had a very anti-censorship tone, we mustn’t forget the fact that Facebook has problems of its own with its content reviewing strategies.
As he mentioned, Facebook would be harder to control if it were decentralized, which is something that a family-friendly social network like his wouldn’t be able to handle.
On the other side of the spectrum lie governments that censor actions on social media.
Some countries have been adamant about what can be discussed on the internet, putting Facebook in the difficult position of having to balance between user demands and regulations.
In order to make a blockchain-powered social network work, Facebook will need to strike a balance between its need for control over the content that users post and the need to evade the measures that governments have in place for censorship.
This won’t be an easy task, particularly when using a decentralized ledger-based system as opposed to a central database to store posts.