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Yeah, this has been tried over and over. Unless it becomes a standard browser feature (and decentralized, e.g. dht-backed), it's always been a nonstarter for technical reasons alone.

Also, if you start from an anti-censorship anti-moderation position, in this day and age, you are likely to attract the worst of society right off the bat.




The technical problem here is way easier to solve than the social one. You'd want to avoid having hatespeech or some attack being planned on URLs of your blog. This is by definition a tricky problem. Should moderation follow us to the remotest and most deserted corners of the web? Should prying eyes follow humans all the time, even on this abstract ocean of digital content? On technical side I think we'd need some sort of widespread micropayment mechanism baked into major browsers or at least Firefox. Then decentralized commenting solutions will follow.


> You'd want to avoid having hatespeech

I have zero confidence in automated hatespeech blocking ever since I had comments blocked multiple times for fighting racists with reason (which is, honestly, the only way it will be eliminated, just like it worked against homophobia and interracial marriage... I wonder how long it will take before we realize that if you ban it, you martyr it, and you merely send it off to fester on some darkweb somewhere)


I think there should be many data servers with different rules. Some will blindly accept and serve any comments. Some will have mods and a buffer of comments waiting for review. Some will review only those comments that are flagged by their scripts. All these data servers should form a well connected network and exchange with comments. What's the incentive to exchange with comments? If a greedy data server refuses to give comments, others will block it. And users will be able to have multiple data sources, if (when) one big data server tries to use its monopoly power.


> the only way it will be eliminated, just like it worked against homophobia and interracial marriage

Homophobia has been eliminated? Since when?


Well, gay marriage has been legalized at least, so that's a start


Hate is a transitive verb.


> You'd want to avoid having hatespeech or some attack being planned on URLs of your blog.

How could you possibly expect to control people saying things about your blog on a remote webserver?

There is no solution that is not worse than the speech.

This is not a problem that needs solving.


There was an interesting decentralized project that I found out about here on hn that has an interesting solution to that.

It's called Aether, and it only supports text. Each node stores 6 months of all posts. Every person votes for their own moderators of communities so you can basically choose your own moderation filter that you get.

I didn't personally like the idea that it has amnesia after 6 months, but surely eventually clients would support saving your own threads to keep locally.

So you could subscribe to your own trusted adblocking/flagging list.

https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=18370208


Then the problem instead becomes what is a valid comment, and a valid commenter (identity). Otherwise the vast majority of comments will be: WaNt A BiGgEr SoMeThInG? Go tO wWw.S0mEgR0$$sItE.cOm


There should be at least basic formatting filter that would block 1 MB comments or clearly non human written comments. This won't stop the spammers, of course. It should be time consuming to create a user id. It should be anonymous, but it should take a few minutes of your time (not your CPU time) to generate a valid user id. once this is done, it'll be easy to spot one spammer's comment, find all others (since comments are signed with ed25519) and dump them all. The spammers then won't be able to delegate the work to scripts.


I do want a bigger something! Sign me up!


> How could you possibly expect to control people saying things about your blog on a remote webserver?

You're right. My point would make sense only in case of an opt-in solution.


(Re: micropayments) Sigh... Flattr seemed so promising back in 2011.


Data is the payment.


How one would actually pay their server bills with data except by selling that to third parties [replace with your favorite agency]?


I'd expect some ML stuff, like training some models, etc. Such comments in raw form hardly have much value. What adtech usually pays for is data pinned to user ids.


The various meta-web providers are already decentralized. Given that the value of CommentSection-aaS is curation there's really not much value in federated accounts outside of the baseline "woudldn't it be nice if everything..."

Censorship resistance doesn't necessarily attract the worst type of people although the phrase is has become a synonym for anti-moderation among certain crowds.




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