Their job is to ban our voices. The most fearsome censors of the world

Prometeus | 05.13| 156

Not only in Russia and China but even in the democratic USA there are departments of Internet-censorship. Day and night they remove unpopular opinions, block unwanted sites and ban uncomfortable users. Their long arms will catch you everywhere, whether it’s American Facebook or Chinese Sina Weibo. But even the most terrifying censor is impotent against Ignite. It is a decentralized microblogging service created by Prometeus Labs team

Facebook’s “Supreme Court”

Facebook opens its own Internet police — the “Oversight Board”, which will focus on challenging content issues including hate speech, harassment and people’s safety. The media have already dubbed this body Facebook’s “Supreme Court.” Board’s members start work this summer. They will consider the complaints about controversially removed posts and from banned users who have exhausted Fb’s usual appeals process.

Facebook itself chose the initial members of the board. Among them, former European Court of Human Rights judge Andras Sajo, and former editor-in-chief of the Guardian Alan Rusbridger

“The board’s decision will be binding, even if I or anyone at Facebook disagrees with it,” assures Mark Zuckerberg.

But experts are sceptical.

“The independence of the committee is theoretical. The Board could serve to shield Zuckerberg and Facebook from scrutiny and regulation, much to their advantage. It seems like removal of total culpability for policy blunders around censorship or political bias from Facebook’s executives.” speculates Techcrunch.

Facebook has long faced criticism for high-profile content moderation issues. And now this platform seem is losing last objectivity. Howbeit in Russia the censorship situation is even tenser.

Without charge or trial

Roskomnadzor as Internet censor has existed in Russia for a long time. But this agency received real power only three years ago when President Vladimir Putin signed the law “Security of Information Act.” Now Roskomnadzor can block sites massively without trial or charge. The head of Russian censorship department is an official with a 12-year experience, Andrei Lipov. What has been blocked by Lipov and Roskomnadzor?

Andrei Lipov
  • 7 videos on YouTube that were created by Nastya Rybka. She was an escort girl who served the sexual needs of Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska and took part in orgy on his yacht.
  • Dozens of anti-corruption sites of Russia’s main oppositionist Alexei Navalny including portals where content about the wealth of Russian ex-president Dmitry Medvedev was published.
  • Entire applications and services, such as Telegram, LinkedIn, Zello, Slideshare, Imo, Torrent-trackers, etc.

Ferocious assault on civil society in China

The Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) is characterized by local journalists as a “ferocious assault on civil society.” The areas CAC regulates include usernames on the Chinese Internet and the appropriateness of remarks made online. The head of the censorship department is Zhuang Rongwen, who reports only to Communist Party General Secretary Xi Jinping. Here are the most outrageous “feats” of CAC:

Zhuang Rongwen
  • After a campaign to arrest almost 200 lawyers in China, the CAC published a directive saying that “All websites must, without exception, use as the standard only official reports with regards to the detention of trouble-making lawyers by the relevant departments.”
  • The CAC chased down Internet users that published “rumours” following an explosion in the port city of Tianjin. So-called “rumours” claimed that blasts killed 1,000 people and provoked looting.
  • The CAC threatened to close the major web service Sina Weibo unless it “improved censorship.” According to CAC, Sina had failed to properly police the comments made by users on the Internet.

Ignite would stop censors

Prometeus Labs strongly disagree with the situation of global censorship, when officials in any country can shut up our free voices. So we created Ignite — nonprofit decentralized microblogging service resistant to any kind of moderations or bans. Technically, Ignite represents a set of independent and equitable nodes. Core functions of Ignite are similar to Twitter: it allows to post small messages (up to 240 characters) and attach media files to them.

Ignite is a truly anonymous instrument without the risk of impersonation. Our service allows signing in it via private key and ERC 20 wallet. There is no centralized user database, no social networking protocols.

Due to its distributed architecture, Ignite is unblockable. Our service can not be banned by any kind of barrier or firewall, because it stores everything on the BTFS engine and utilizes public blockchain for users/nodes authentication. Even CAC, the Oversight Board, or Roskomnadzor will be impotent against Ignite.

Content that published in Ignite is immutable — data will be stored forever on a distributed data storage BTFS/SOTER. Nobody can edit or delete even one word.

Read more about how Ignite works in our previous article.

Be with us. Read more about Ignite in our next articles. Soon we tell you about Ignite integration with token Prom.

Their job is to ban our voices. The most fearsome censors of the world was originally published in Promeθeus Network on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

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