How distributed[C] handles identity

As we had mentioned on Designing for Personas, we want people to feel comfortable creating multiple pseudonymous identities on distributed[C].

How do we manage identity, then?

Impermanent file systems

d[c] uses OrbitDB and IPFS under the hood to store its data.

IPFS got something of a bad rap because people who don’t read documentation expected it to be automagic cloud storage that keeps data for free. However, someone needs to pin the file to keep it around.

Designing for personas

There are two gigantic issues with social media as we have it now.

Like it or not, we have monkey brains. They did not evolve to deal with the scale of information (and misinformation) that they are being exposed to. The monkey brain sees that something has 15,000 re-tweets, and assumes that one of those 15k other monkeys viewed it and vetted it.

The other is that people are getting a firehose of content into a single mental context.

Small world

We do not intend to enforce any sort of identity verification or unique identities in distributed[C]. We do not think encouraging people to doxx themselves is a good idea.

This goes beyond concerns about privacy, though. We believe that having multiple personas, which you can use depending on the context you are in, is healthy.

This raises concerns regarding disinformation. If the platform is uncensorable, and we do not plan to enforce identity, how will this not become a cesspool of fake news?

About distributed[C]

(This post is about distributed[C], an experimental decentralized publishing platform Haad and myself were running through 2021-2022. It’s currently inactive.)

distributed[C] came about originally as a design experiment, thinking that a completely peer-to-peer Tumblr would be a great testbed for swarm-based design (more on that later).