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ZeroMe – Decentralized Microblogging on ZeroNet (bluishcoder.co.nz)
79 points by doublec 40 days ago | hide | past | web | 37 comments | favorite




How nice would it be if humanity united together and formed a non-profit organisation like ICANN that would run an IDentity+social network service with ability for people to plugin their extra features (like photo album, blog, things/services they sell etc)... As a central body it can still retain the ability to shutdown ID of non-acceptable content like child porn and dangerous propaganda. I’d happily donate to have such an unbiased body.


> As a central body it can still retain the ability to shutdown ID of non-acceptable content like ...

The problem with that is who gets to choose what is acceptable and what is not? If I make criticisms about something or someone's actions, is that "non-acceptable" content? During these discussions, the lowest common denominator is used, but the reality is that definitions change or people try to expand the definition to include what one does not like or agree with. The price for free speech and expression comes a great price with many risks, but it is worth it. We have seen centralization fail time and time again with platforms like Facebook and Youtube censoring (demonetizing) unfavorable opinions or ideas.

> I’d happily donate to have such an unbiased body.

As soon as you start picking, choosing and expanding what is acceptable and what is not, it is no longer unbiased.


Non-acceptable content will always become censorship. Freedom of speech comes with a cost.


I am not very familiar with this project but I see it uses UPnP. Does it rely on UPnP or is it only opportunistic use? If the former, what happens if the user's custom router does not run a UPnP daemon, or if the user prefers to disable UPnP in her consumer router?


It does rely on being able to communicate through that port - UPnP is one of the options it uses to ensure it can receive external requests. If you run using the tor option it evades firewalls via tor.


It has been really exciting to see ZeroNet grow, we need this!

Curious, does it still use git to push a JSON record change in a large blob to a remote bot that then commits it? Are you working to re-architect this? I'm hoping I can convince you guys to partner up with us, we just got a prototype of end-to-end encrypted P2P data structures working ( https://youtu.be/ik_dqXBMBHw ) that is storage/network efficient (syncing diffs) and fully decentralized using CRDTs. Shoot me an email (check profile) if you see this. I've been keeping an eye on ZeroNet for the last year or year and a half-ish (?), and really excited about its growth.


It does not use git internally - other than for source code control - and it does not push to a remote bot. There used to be a demo app called ZeroBoard that used an external service that it did an HTTP POST too, back in the days when ZeroNet had not other way to do that type of thing. The app is still around but it's superceded by other things.


Huh, then how do you handle dynamic content versus pages?


I'm not the author of ZeroNet btw, just in case you think I am.

Each site has an area for user content. That is content not generated by the site owner. Users of the site that generate content (posts in a forum or comments on a blog for example) write their content into that area which is a directory for them based on the public key of their pseudo-anonymous identity. The user then signs the data with their private key and this gets sent to other site users through the seeding mechanism. All this is hidden by the API so the user of a site doesn't see the public/private key signing, etc.


I love Zeronet project. the only problem I have is, within my corporate network I can't run my node.

I also have a hard problem understanding how to use ZeroMe from different devices... I use the same masterseed (maintaining my ID) but my ZeroMe profile does not seem to move between my devices. I find the hub concept difficult to understand...


Wait a second-- ZeroNet was written in Python and hasn't iterated to a lower level, popular systems programming language yet? Hold the presses! Before I get too excited, though-- would someone involved with the project share what's the reason?


The trouble with every decentralised anything I've seen is that the on-boarding is so.damn.complicated. Peer to peer doesn't work if there are no peers.

You can almost tell that a service is going to fail to adopt any sort of critical mass by the size of your scrollbar in articles about them.

Additional:

> Uncensored

> Sites are served by visitors

Technically, decent idea. Realistically, you're hosting the stuff people don't want to pay to host.


> Technically, decent idea. Realistically, you're hosting the stuff people don't want to pay to host.

Very personally, I see it as contributing a small amount of a very non-scarce resource (bandwidth, disk space, computing power) so that I have greater control over the platform I'm using. I loved both Twitter and Medium, but the corporations that run them have different ideas about what they're for. I see web decentralised about letting the user choose their experience instead of having it enforced on them.


I see it as I'm going to be on the hook for hosting a child porn gallery at some point


Weeell, it depends. For example, with IPFEssay, you just write something and press "publish":

https://www.eternum.io/ipfs/Qmbm5CGDjGDgU4vd18dF9LavSrXsbFXk...

It's an extra click to actually pin the thing on Eternum and host it for 100 years on $0.01. If you want an actual blog, it's a bit more complicated, but still not by much.


P2P apps are enough of an onboarding hassle that they have only gotten popular when there's a powerful incentive, such as the promise of downloading every popular song or movie at will or evading the speech laws of a totalitarian state.

It's not binary, however. As friction decreases, the number of sufficiently motivating use-cases increases non-linearly and there are multiple thresholds.


Onboarding isn't too bad with ZeroNet to get a node up. The post demonstrates getting it from github but there are 'bundles' available for most platforms which include dependencies and are just unzip and run.

There is effort to create identities, etc though. The article is long because ZeroNet has a lot of features.


Speaking of onboading -- why doesn't someone build "Just like Twitter minus everything everyone dislikes about Twitter"?

Is it due to the challenge of building critical mass?


Does Mastodon (https://joinmastodon.org) fit what you just described?


I suppose my question is illformed. And perhaps it's not possible to make my question properly-formed.

I mean very similar to Twitter, in that it's a centralized service.

But, they'd do a better job of protecting users when threads go hostile. Perhaps I'm too focused on today's boycott.


Right away, i will state that i am biased in favor of decentralized/distributed/federated styles of platforms, such as mastodon gnu social, etc. Having said that, i still think your needs might be best met by one or some of these non-centralized platforms (and not twitter)...Here's one way you can test this quite easily and painlessly (using mastodon as an easy-to-onboard example):

1. Visit https://instances.social and walk through the choices. This will help you choose a mastodon "instance" which would be most relevant to you.

2. Then join and use/play around with that recommended mastodon server.

The beauty of mastodon - and other similar platforms - is that you are not stuck to that server only. Mastodon does not have a single, central server like twitter; each of its numerous servers can however connect with each other. (Apologies, i don't know your level of tech literacy, so am purposefully keeping this high-level for ease of explanation.) You can join any peer server/instance and still connect with friends/acquaintances from other mastodon servers. Some of these other mastodon servers focus around a specific community, some do not. You could join one of these servers - maybe the one that helps protect its users to be yes open in their opinion but shielded from hostiles, trolls, a$$holes, etc. I can't say for sure because i don't know, but there certainly could be such a mastodon server out there. (We must remember that there often are people thinking and feeling the same as us at times.) Think of it like email: anyone can send a message to anyone else (provided they know their recipient's address) but each person can have an email address from different domains! Alice's address might be alice@whatever.com, and she can can send a message to bob@bobshop.net...and neither of them "reside" on the same email server...And email - as far as delivery is concerned - has worked pretty ok for several decades. This tech philosophy can work for social networks as well.

I may be missing the mark on what you really want, since i'm only going off of minimal notes...but i really believe in non-centralized platforms. I myself am a fan of Gnu Social, but Mastodon is simply such a powerful platform because the on-boarding is so very simple. (And, by the way mastodon servers CAN connect with Gnu Social servers, so good benefits all around!) There's a reason that mastodon is so extremely popular. Even if you don't believe in or agree with what I (or others) have stated about non-central platforms, I encourage you to try it out and see for yourself, if it meets your needs. Good luck!!!


There's a bunch of twitter-likes. Since I don't know what you dislike about Twitter, I don't know if they fit your definition of "minus everything everyone dislikes about Twitter" (there isn't one list of "everything wrong with twitter", nor a non-contradicting list of such lists). And of course, they all have some issues with growth/lack of critical mass (how big of an issue that is again depends on the users and their preferences)


Yes, I think it's the challenge of critical mass. There's quite a few twitter-likes around, including decentralized ones (ZeroMe, twister, Sone) but building beyond a set of initial users is difficult.


Filecoin seems to be one solution...

To be honest I would be more interested in a solution where you get to host as much data on the network as you host on your machine, or something in proportion, at different levels of redundancy.

For example hosting a blogpost sqlite database file should be accessible to all hosts, since it will be never so big, but it can't be lost with a high enough level of redundancy.


> Technically, decent idea. Realistically, you're hosting the stuff people don't want to pay to host.

That's some damn good clarity right there.


A lot of microblogging/social network is "stuff people don't want to pay to host". Some of the rest is "stuff people would pay to host, but for reasons they want to post it on services that don't allow them to pay to host". With a P2P system, you at least have the option to pay to host (=setup a server or pay a service to help serve content that's important to you around)


Honestly I was thinking more the darker side of the internet. Combine uncensorable with a hint of anonymity and you're on the hook for distributing a lot more than you signed up for.

Less cryptic - copyright violations at best, things like child porn on the worse end of the scale


Not being sarcastic there, his comment summed it up so well. Why downvotes?


No kidding. Getting a .bit domain and a plugin to actually be able to resolve them in a browser is quite an achievement.


How exactly did they solve cross-site scripting? It looks like all pages run under same hostname:port pair.


Is ZeroNet built on ipfs or a standalone implementation?


It is not built on ipfs. It uses the bittorrent DHT to associate site addresses with IP addresses (or tor onion addresses if configured to use tor). Actual transfer of data is done via a custom p2p service implemented within ZeroNet.


it's based on BitTorrent


Didnt Opera do something like this years ago? Opera Unite


> Peer to peer doesn't work if there are no peers.

Thankfully there's thousands of peers, and quite a few of those are people escaping the GFW of mainland China.


How does peer-to-peer get pass the firewall ? They can host stuff anonymously inside the country though.




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