Ō1 Problem

Thirty years after the rapid development of the Internet, large tech companies such as Facebook, Google, and Twitter have emerged. They have monopolized social media,search engine, press, and other vital areas. In recent years, the abuse of power by large companies has become a significant threat to personal freedom.

  1. People’s accounts and data are not in their own hands. For example, Twitter permanently banned the US ex-president Trump's Twitter account, and more than 70,000 Trump supporters' accounts.

  2. Facebook and other large companies are censoring content contrary to their opinions by deleting accounts, putting freedom of speech on the Internet at risk.

  3. Big companies are capable of manipulating the spread of information by search ranking and recommendation algorithms.

  4. Big companies are suppressing small platforms. For example, Parler was removed from Apple App Store and Google Play Store, and Amazon stopped providing cloud services to stop the growth of small platform

While social media and search engine have become the portals of Internet users, new small and medium-sized platforms or services have to buy traffic from several monopolistic tech giants to develop their new platforms or services.

On the one hand, the chance of organic exposure becomes smaller, and on the other hand, those companies which are supported by capital can buy out traffic, making it difficult for innovative start-up to grow up, and copycats may rely on capital advantages to win. Large monopolistic companies have a large amount of user behavior data to analyze in order to acquire information on user preference. For example, as China's largest search engine, Baidu has done a series of products such as QA forums, knowledge sharing communities, to compete with small companies, or individual websites. As a result, the first page of the search result from Baidu could contain 7 out of 10 links to websites built by Baidu company itself. This behavior is a monopoly and also reduces the value of Baidu's search engine itself. Amazon is not an ecommerce marketplace platform but runs its own online store. It has all sales and operation data from merchants on Amazon. If Amazon finds a particular product very popular, it will sell the product on its own store and lead the traffic to it. The Internet was constructed to be an open, decentralized, and information interconnected network at the very beginning. IP protocols, application layer Email, DNS are all typical decentralized architectures. Today, can we regain the original aspirations of Internet designers to achieve decentralized services in social networks, media, communities, search engine, ecommerce, and more importantly, let users be willing to use them and break the monopoly of big companies?

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