IRL - Online Life Is Real Life

Decentralize It

Episode Summary

Some people believe that decentralization is the inevitable future of the web. They believe that internet users will start to demand more privacy and authenticity of information online and that they’ll look to decentralized platforms to get those things. But would decentralization be as utopian as advocates say it could be? Host Manoush Zomorodi speaks to Eugen Rochko of Mastodon, an ad-free alternative to Twitter; Justin Hunter of Graphite docs, a decentralized alternative to GoogleDocs; Maria Bustillos who hopes to help eliminate fake news online through the Blockchain; David Irvine, the co-founder of MaidSafe who plans to make the centralized internet as we know it redundant; and Tom Simonite of WIRED, who comments on both the promise and also the pitfalls of decentralization. IRL is an original podcast from Mozilla, maker of Firefox and always fighting for you. For more on the series go to irlpodcast.org

Episode Notes

Some people believe that decentralization is the inevitable future of the web. They believe that internet users will start to demand more privacy and authenticity of information online and that they’ll look to decentralized platforms to get those things. But would decentralization be as utopian as advocates say it could be?

Host Manoush Zomorodi speaks to Eugen Rochko of Mastodon, an ad-free alternative to Twitter; Justin Hunter of Graphite docs, a decentralized alternative to GoogleDocs; Maria Bustillos who hopes to help eliminate fake news online through the Blockchain; David Irvine, the co-founder of MaidSafe who plans to make the centralized internet as we know it redundant; and Tom Simonite of WIRED, who comments on both the promise and also the pitfalls of decentralization.

IRL is an original podcast from Mozilla, maker of Firefox and always fighting for you. For more on the series go to irlpodcast.org

Help us dream up the next season of IRL. What topics should we cover? Who should we talk to? Let us know by filling out this survey.

Try out the decentralized endeavors covered in this episode of IRL:

Decentralization efforts are proof that the age of internet innovation is far from over. In fact, Mozilla staff work tirelessly on decentralized web standards, which have been — and continue to be — widely adopted.

Mozilla co-chaired the W3C Social Web Working Group 2014 through 2018, which produced several key decentralized social web standards. Some have dozens of implementations like Webmention (a standard for federating conversations across the
decentralized web); and MicroPub (a standard API for client applications to post to decentralized web services).

Check out IndieWeb.org for more on key decentralized web
standards, and ‘become a citizen’ of the Indie Web.

As a part of Mozilla’s dedication to decentralized innovation, Mozilla participated in the 2018 Decentralized Web Summit. See our Founder and Executive Chairwoman Mitchell Baker’s talk on revitalizing the web. Hear Tantek Çelik, Web Standards Lead, speak on taking back your content with practical decentralization steps; and watch Chris Riley, Head of Policy, lead a web panel on decentralization.

So, are you inspired? Want to work on the decentralized web? Join Mozilla at one of these events: Feb 23-24, 2019: IndieWebCamp Austin; Mar 30-31, 2019: IndieWebCamp New Haven; May 4-5, 2019: IndieWebCamp Berlin; June 29-30, 2019: IndieWeb Summit in Portland. Questions about participating? Ask here.

For more, we've teamed up with 826 Valencia to bring you articles written by students on IRL topics this season. Accompanying this IRL episode, Huy An N. from De Marillac Academy wrote about centralized social media platforms and privacy. And, see this article from Common Sense Media, on why we need more research on kids and tech (centralized and not).