/ tech

Twister -- The Bitcoin of Twitter

Why Do You (or I care).

twister is the fully decentralized P2P microblogging platform leveraging from the free software implementations of Bitcoin and BitTorrent protocols.

So what does this mean?

The beauty of Bitcoin and BitTorrent is that it is distributed, meaning there is no one point an attacker can pick in order to shut it down. With a distrustful public who want liberty when accessing the internet, and even their social media, Twister provides a much welcome service. Twister is designed with privacy, reliability and an overall "for the people" approach that makes you feel good about engaging in social media.

Facebook, let's face it, has become a pseudo evil enterprise that tracks what you do, what you like, who you like and your online behavior all in an attempt to follow the American tradition of selling you shit you may be interested in, but really don't need. Twitter is not safe from this assessment either. Modern social media may seem like a wonderful commonality we share with our friends and our family, but in no way is it designed to "bring us all together". It is a tool to track your activities and exploit your interests.

So naturally, when I learned of Twister, I was intrigued and relieved to see that some social media platforms wanted to do it differently. So what exactly is Twister?

The first prototype (or proof-of-concept implementation) is meant to replicate the basic feature set of a microblogging platform. That means: finding users, browsing profiles, follow/unfollow, send text posts limited to 140 characters, re-transmiting and replying posts, navigate through post threads, mentions, hashtags and direct (private) messages. Private messages requires the recipient to be follower of the sender, which is a common requirement in other platforms as well.

Some other features may be difficult to implement in a completely decentralized system and may require more thought. This includes arbitrary search of words in all posts and collecting the hashtags to find out the top trends

If you aren't familiar with Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies, don't fear, many are. Just know that there exists out there a technology that gives you the benefit of Twitter and Facebook, without all the nasty advertisements, tracking and overall abuse of their users. Think of it as the righteous social media platform.

I am not your typical "fear the NSA" type, in fact I find their plight to record every piece of data ambitious and an experiment in data storage, but I still want my online activity private when I want it to be. The argument I hear most often is that "if you aren't doing anything bad then why do you care that the government spies on you?" This argument holds no weight with me. I shouldn't have to be an outright criminal to demand privacy. This isn't China, this isn't the Soviet Union and unless we want to live in a police state, the people of this country need to remember that the government works for us -- the people. We flaunt democracy around the free world, yet here at home we promote a fascist state that stomps on the very values we go to war for.

So why the charade? Why offer the allusion of freedom when there is no intention of backing that freedom up? There will always be threats in this world. There will always be people who want to do other people harm, but to place every citizen on that suspect list is unjust. To sum up I will quote the greatest American in the last 50 years, Edward Snowden:

Bathtub falls and police officers kill more Americans than terrorism, yet we've been asked to sacrifice our most sacred rights for fear of falling victim to it.

Wake up to what is happening in this evolving digital age and stand up for your freedom, or at least what is left of it. We don't have to live in a media conjured state of fear, rather we can fight those who fight us and hold on to what we fight for. This can be a great country. It is unfortunate that right now it isn't.