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That's rather inherent: if you create a network whose primary feature is anonymity and lack of rules, your early adopters will be everyone barred by the rules of other services, which means you become a cesspool.

Tor did a good job with marketing and optics early on, to make its intended use cases highly visible.




> That's rather inherent: if you create a network whose primary feature is anonymity and lack of rules, your early adopters will be everyone barred by the rules of other services, which means you become a cesspool.

> Tor did a good job with marketing and optics early on, to make its intended use cases highly visible.

I used to work on Freenet. The mechanic you're pointing out doesn't have to be the dominant effect if the system performs as well as the alternatives. If everything else is equal (speed and convenience), users would of course prefer to have more security than less. If the performance and usability is only slightly worse, users may still be willing to choose security over that (e.g. Tor) - people today are becoming more aware of just how much their data can get abused.

Unfortunately for Freenet the technology wasn't capable enough - the security wasn't worth the usability and performance tradeoffs for most users. That doesn't mean strong security inherently attracts unpleasant types.


I'm glad they did. The "Who uses Tor?" page is still what I give to people thinking privacy/anonymity tech is only for crooks. I always point out it helps cops, folks fighting terrorism, journalists, and victims of domestic abuse. And that the only way it works right is if lots of people are using it so they can hide in the crowd. I add that crooks can use it, too, but they also use cars, cameras, cheap phones, and so on. Doesn't mean we keep those things public or under government control. These pieces together in the argument gets agreement or at least sympathy out of lots of people who media freaks out about Tor, etc.

https://www.torproject.org/about/torusers.html.en


VOAT turning into a cesspool of everything that was being banned from Reddit is another example of that, too.


“The moral of the story is: if you’re against witch-hunts, and you promise to found your own little utopian community where witch-hunts will never happen, your new society will end up consisting of approximately three principled civil libertarians and seven zillion witches.”


The solution to that may be to separate the hosting from the discovery.

If the hosting is anonymous and censorship-resistant then you'll get every type of content, but for anybody to use it they would first have to find it.

Then you have a slew of independent discoverability portals. Some are created for child pornography, so the FBI hacks into them and then uses them to arrest everybody there. Others are created to replace Tumblr and YouTube and refuse to link to child pornography, so child pornographers have no reason to go there and the people disgusted by child pornography can safely use them.

But setting up a discoverability portal is a lot less expensive than setting up a hosting service (because a link uses much less bandwidth than high quality video), so there should be more competition, and in particular it should still be difficult to censor anything that has more than a modest amount of popular support.


This is what Freenet already provides with three different messaging systems and anonymously run indexes.


Are you aware of any YouTube-equivalent? Something that allows you to search user-generated/submitted content and content feeds and has a builtin player to display them.


I am aware that we are just one release away from serving video in a video-tag. That’s not as convenient as youtube (because it takes time to load), but much closer than before.

For convenience, we need m3u lists of video-chunks and a simple player shipped, since browsers cannot play m3u out of the box.


It is amazing that we're still not used to the idea that freedom has drawbacks, and that even with those drawbacks it's still preferable to the alternative.


Some of my best friends are witches ;)


> Tor did a good job with marketing and optics early on, to make its intended use cases highly visible.

Even with their site saying one thing, the result in the media is clearly different. It's got a public reputation for only two things to those who've heard of it: darknet markets and ransomware payments.


It doesn't have bad reputation beyond some smear campaigns from law enforcement in some countries.




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