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Author Topic: The decentralised social network freegala  (Read 1825 times)
jaminunit
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April 22, 2012, 03:34:13 PM
 #1

Hi Folks,

So I've been dreaming up a way of disrupting the centralization of social networks. I know that Diaspora tried to do it but I would love to take it way beyond that.

So here is my idea, I would love feedback and input at fleshing this out.

Freegala : A peer-to-peer Social Networking System

Abstract. A purely peer-to-peer social network would allow people to keep full control of their information without trusting 1 central authority with everything from images, video and status updates and comments.  The 3 main problems with centralized social networks like facebook, google+ or twitter is that they can cut a member off at any time and have total control over the members information which can be viewed by rouge government subpoena, sold to advertisers. Governments could also block entire centralized social networks.
We propose a solution to these problems by constructing a peer-to-peer social network where all files and status updates are stored on local machines while they are online and the rest of the time they are stored as a read only encrypted file stored on machines no further than 2 degrees of separation.


1.   Introduction
Social networking on the internet has come to rely on a few massive players on the internet. The problem lies in that most people want to be where everyone else is. This is why new social networks find it very hard to get started because most people’s friends are already on facebook or one of the other 2 major networks and so there is no point joining another. This creates the problem of monopolies and an absolutely massive centrally stored cache of information profiling most people in the developed world. What if facebook had been developed by a German company in the 1930’s and was seized after the rise of Nazi Germany?
The centralization of so many peoples most personal conversations and memories as well as public information leaves people very venerable to abuse by the corporation running the network or by governments in with the network wishes to operate.
   What is needed is a client based peer-to-peer cryptographically secured social network where the user has full control over who has read permissions on the information that is shared including Status updates, images, movies and comments. In this paper, we propose a solution to the data uptime issue using 2 degrees of separation to serve your content to the rest of the network.   


2. What are the basics of the protocol.

The social network would be P2P and client based.
All data (status updates, images and so on) would be stored on machines up to  2 degrees of separation from you. This way you can turn off your client and your profile is still online.
All information is encrypted and only the people that you have given keys to can access that info even though it might be stored with many other clients.
If you delete information its deleted from every one. (YOU HAVE FULL CONTROL)
Deeply integrated bitcoin so you could pay or tip any friend.
when I download an image it downloads parts of the image from multiple peers so that the bandwidth is spread out amongst friends.

--

Anyway its just a rough idea (dont even know if its possible) but I would love to get the great minds of the bitcoin community fleshing out a white paper with me.

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April 22, 2012, 04:21:15 PM
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I tried "friending" people a second degree of separation away from me in Retroshare.

Surprise surprise I *still* ended up with zero connections.

Its not just bitcoiners but also their contacts that simply are not online thus are not viable for p2p networking, it seems.

I friended about 27 bitcoiners and same number of connections they were shown as having.

Useless, total waste of time, pointless. Sorry. Its amazing the bitcoins themseves manage to network at all really I guess.

-MarkM-

TL;DR: Bitcoiners have a real financial reason to have machines online 24/7 yet even they are useless for finding connections for another p2p use...


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April 22, 2012, 04:56:32 PM
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I think decentralized social networks are extremely important, and feasible. What you describe is more or less how I would do it.

There needs to be a way to monetize storing user data and making it available. It doesn't need to be only friends of the user, anyone should be able to operate a dedicated data node.

I don't think it's possible to enforce deletion of data. However, you can use secret sharing to ensure that if there are only a few rogue keepers of encrypted data, nobody can gain access to it.

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April 22, 2012, 05:58:52 PM
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I would use this
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April 22, 2012, 08:01:23 PM
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Sounds really cool. Goes furter then Diaspora with it's "half-decentralized" solution.

Would efinitely use this!
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April 23, 2012, 04:00:10 AM
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I would disconnect from my facebook account and swap to such system. (Currently my facebook account consists of antiFB manifesto and links to some FB fanatics who want to keep contact with me this way.)

The biggest challenge of such distributed system is to keep it compatible. You will have implementations on various platforms and they all need to speak the same protocol. (I have just seen problems with Chrome 13 slightly changing the way it sends HTTPS requests.)

Also I think FB is exploiting human nature of following pack leader. Rebellious individuals are few and far between. How convenient for central herders...

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April 23, 2012, 04:13:32 AM
 #7

A very good idea - I have also started creating a similar sort of application with the CIYAM platform (one thing that really worried me about Diaspora from its start was reading that Mark Zuckerberg was by far the biggest donator to the project).

The approach I am taking is to actually send all content AJAX style encrypted over a plain HTTP connection (as HTTPS is blocked in some places as can the use of specific ports but rather tricky to block HTTP). Am yet to work out how to handle files/movies but images are fairly simply handled as raw data.

With CIYAM anyone can create 100% generated C++ web applications in literally minutes.

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jaminunit
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April 23, 2012, 02:39:22 PM
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Wow I didn't know that the Zuckster paid towards Diaspora!

I've never seen retroshare and just had a look at it. It looks very nice. but I think it should be a lot more like facebook. Status updates, and image sharing.

Where I think Facebook has done really well is tap into the love of people wanting to share with friends. Know what friends are up to instead of randoms.

Google+ has tried to be personal as well as bring in randoms by creating circles.


markm, You said that 2 degrees wasn't enough to stay online when using retroshare. Maybe we could fix this by having a sliding scale.

So if you only have
1 to 10  friends then your info block gets stored (encrypted) and served up to 6 degrees of separation.
11 - 20 Its stored only on 5 degrees of separation.
21 - 40 friends -4 degrees of separation
40-80 friends 3 degrees and then
80 + friends 2 degrees

So you might be serving someones profile from your client (while you are online) who you are 6 degrees from and don't know what so ever.

But because you don't have a key you can't see the info you are serving.

I like how you email your friends a key in retroshare to access your chat and files. But I think it would be good to also let people have a public profile.
The good thing is that its very scalable. So if Oprah Winfrey mentions your profile on her show you would instantly get 2 million people looking at your profile but you would also have 2 million people serving your profile to.

My sticking point is how to search for your friends on such a network. Maybe there a could be a P2P DNS style list of everyone using the network?

I would just like to say I'm not a developer I'm a Philosopher and Designer so would love to get input from programers, cryptographers and any other technical people to start this open source project.

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April 23, 2012, 05:11:24 PM
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A very good idea - I have also started creating a similar sort of application with the CIYAM platform (one thing that really worried me about Diaspora from its start was reading that Mark Zuckerberg was by far the biggest donator to the project).

The approach I am taking is to actually send all content AJAX style encrypted over a plain HTTP connection (as HTTPS is blocked in some places as can the use of specific ports but rather tricky to block HTTP). Am yet to work out how to handle files/movies but images are fairly simply handled as raw data.


Interesting stuff and great ideas
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April 23, 2012, 07:38:35 PM
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one thing that really worried me about Diaspora from its start was reading that Mark Zuckerberg was by far the biggest donator to the project

I wouldn't really read into this much, Zuckerberg isn't the CIA, he really does think that it's a cool project (he also doesn't see it as any kind of threat).

The code for Diaspora is OpenSource (and written in Ruby, which means comparatively easy to read), so the chance of someone slipping a backdoor in there is slim.

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April 24, 2012, 01:04:44 AM
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The code for Diaspora is OpenSource (and written in Ruby, which means comparatively easy to read), so the chance of someone slipping a backdoor in there is slim.

True - although the initial release (perhaps a little rushed) apparently had huge security holes (hopefully most of those have now been addressed).

With CIYAM anyone can create 100% generated C++ web applications in literally minutes.

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RaggedMonk
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April 24, 2012, 01:39:49 AM
 #12

I tried "friending" people a second degree of separation away from me in Retroshare.

Surprise surprise I *still* ended up with zero connections.

Its not just bitcoiners but also their contacts that simply are not online thus are not viable for p2p networking, it seems.

I friended about 27 bitcoiners and same number of connections they were shown as having.

Useless, total waste of time, pointless. Sorry. Its amazing the bitcoins themseves manage to network at all really I guess.

-MarkM-

TL;DR: Bitcoiners have a real financial reason to have machines online 24/7 yet even they are useless for finding connections for another p2p use...


I deleted all bitcointalk peers on Retroshare because some of them were sharing sketchy porn (filenames indicated possibly underage), and I didn't want to be any part of that.  Retroshare is only intended (and only makes sense) for you to add people you already trust.
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April 24, 2012, 02:05:40 AM
 #13

There has to be a better way to SN than FB.

Any significantly advanced cryptocurrency is indistinguishable from Ponzi Tulips.
jaminunit
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April 24, 2012, 12:33:15 PM
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There has to be a better way to SN than FB.

I think Facebook does it very well , that's why they are so popular. I just dont like 1 company controlling such a massive network. when that's what the internet itself was designed to do decentralized.

So I would love some tech heads to weigh in on this thread to give some advice on whats possible and whats challenging. And how we can get around the challenging parts.
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April 24, 2012, 12:45:57 PM
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There has to be a better way to SN than FB.

I think Facebook does it very well , that's why they are so popular. I just dont like 1 company controlling such a massive network. when that's what the internet itself was designed to do decentralized.

So I would love some tech heads to weigh in on this thread to give some advice on whats possible and whats challenging. And how we can get around the challenging parts.

I would like to see fb more like stack exchange with a tagging system.

Any significantly advanced cryptocurrency is indistinguishable from Ponzi Tulips.
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April 27, 2012, 11:48:24 PM
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I would like to see fb more like stack exchange with a tagging system.
Do you mean a tagging system like this?
https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=5441.msg864586#msg864586

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April 28, 2012, 12:12:35 AM
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I would like to see fb more like stack exchange with a tagging system.
Do you mean a tagging system like this?
https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=5441.msg864586#msg864586
Not really. That is a location tagging system for payments. I'm talking about content based tagging like Stack Exchange uses for posts and indirectly how Google uses for ads.

Any significantly advanced cryptocurrency is indistinguishable from Ponzi Tulips.
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April 28, 2012, 12:38:41 AM
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I'd support a project like this.
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