Centralised microblogging platforms today are at the center of the social media ecosystem, and form a large part of the global information and cultural exchange taking place across the internet. With the power that these platforms have, there is great potential for misuse of personal user data.
With the growth of decentralized platforms, we believe that a different business model can be implemented for rewarding users for their actions, enabling third-party protocols to benefit from building apps, and having users own their data and use it as they would like it to be used by the platform or any third-party.
Social networks generate millions of data points every day, which are being mined and monetized by a few monopolies. The users do not receive any reward for the value they create on the network.
Censorship is rampant and is seldom discussed. For example, there have been the recent bans on all crypto-currency related ads. The platforms also hold the right to shut down any pages or profiles with no explanation.
Data traceability is a big issue with a large amount of fake news spreading across social media.
To build a payment network or an ad network on top of an existing centralized social network is not possible unless you use their tools and their metrics for ads.
Murmur is a decentralized microblogging platform, operating on the EOS blockchain. On Murmur, users control their data and convene on democratic governance.
Data created and shared on a Blockchain can be traced for its origins.
Since there is no central authority, censorship can be significantly minimized.
A collective open source approach to innovation allows anyone to build on top of existing protocols and standards.
We’ve built a micro-blogging application, which allows the user to share 140-character murmurs, with all their followers.
The user experience has been designed to ease the transition of the user migrating from centralized platforms. The mechanisms employed here are common to today’s social media. This follows for all aspects except user security, which is the biggest challenge any blockchain application faces. Great care has been taken to educate the user about the permanence of handling key pair and encrypted passphrases. Even for users unfamiliar with Key pairs and accounts, EOS as a platform makes it easy for applications like Murmur to onboard new users to Blockchain based applications due to it’s fast block confirmation time, accounts and delegation features, and zero transaction fee.
On Murmur, smart contracts have been designed to serve all the common social media actions. SDKs and libraries will be made available for third-party protocols to add onto the Murmur application. These could be ad networks, payment networks, or any website wanting to add a “Login using Murmur” onto their website for their users, for example.
The world today needs a better, safer and more trustworthy platform for social interactions. Centralized social media have made great strides in connecting the world, but issues of data privacy, censorship, and data misuse leads to decentralization being the next big leap in the way software is written for social applications.
Data privacy: Social networks collect a large amount of user data that is then monetized by them through means such as targeted ads. While this works very well, users should also benefit from the data that they share with a network. We believe that there is a model through which both the user and the platform can mutually benefit from sharing data, and that data is shared only with user’s consent, and on the condition that the user sees what data they are sharing with a publisher. This is one of the key aspects on Murmur.
No censorship: With a decentralized social network, there isn't going to be any censorship unless the entire Blockchain forks or if the account is banned from EOS.
Rewards for third-party protocols and user actions: Through the use of a Blockchain based Token, users and protocols such as Ad protocols or payment networks built on top of the social network can be rewarded and made rewarding for the user of the platform.
As a blockchain enabled social network, Murmur is able to effectively implement a community-driven reputation system. The users who garner the most positive feedback and attention (in the form of snoops and yells), will have a higher reputation, compared to those users who have been repeatedly flagged by the community – possibly for violating codes of conducts or spreading false information.
When a new member joins the networks and starts following other users, they will have a better idea as to the credibility of the source of an information – something which is absent in centralized social networks. Such a reputation-driven spread of information also prevents the spreading of fake news.
Users will be more likely to give and receive genuine feedback on Murmur, as they are much less likely to be individually targeted or censored for speaking their mind – thanks to the absence of any central authority.
It is a distributed database, simultaneously maintained by numerous nodes of a democratic network, where users can transact without restrictions or over-looking authorities. This is very much in alignment with what Murmur has set out to do.
The architecture consists of the front-end, which calls functions in the smart contract on the network, which then uploads discrete actions onto the blockchain.
Our remote server keeps a copy of this public data, to provide users a more seamless and fast experience. The existence of this server does not alter privacy or security in any way, as all observers of the network as free to read the public data on the blocks and construct their own remote database. We store certain data in our database because it is close to impossible to achieve the scale and speed of a centralized system in a decentralized network.
Any user data marked private, is encrypted with their public key. Which means others can see the existence of this data, but only the owner and authorized receivers can decrypt it.
EOS has been able to offer free (or gas-less) transactions on their blockchain. This is critical as a social platform is user action-intensive, and anyone beyond the early adopters cannot be expected to pay for every time they interact with the network. Other impressive points in EOS include:
EOS boasts fast block confirmation time.
Ability for the entire application to be hosted on the Blockchain, enabling whispers, comments, murmurs, yells to go through the Blockchain directly.
Design of the Blockchain is such so as to accommodate the scale of transactions that happen in social networks without the need for sidechains, and even if sidechains are required, the transaction confirmation happens with the same Block producers as given on the main chain hence reducing the possibility of a 51% hack.
The concept of accounts is more relatable to the mainstream audience rather than a private/public key pair, hence can lead to greater mainstream adoption.
Possibility of information being stored on transaction logs, hence making it less expensive to run the application.
All user actions are stored as logs on the Blockchain and then taken into our database to show other users their home screen.
SDKs and JS libraries will be released to build apps and protocols that can be used by murmur users; enabling any app or website to integrate a "login with murmur" facility for users to log into any app through the account created on murmur and sign transactions.