Bots, Fake Accounts, and Decentralized Twitter

Shared with a friend a thought regarding Twitter’s issue with bots, scammers, and fake accounts. It’s become quite apparent that, so far, policing these is an almost impossible task for algorithms; an epidemic affecting all major platforms (look at Facebook).

The reason communities like reddit (with 5 million comments per day) and Craigslist (yes, CL has a large community who post 25K messages per day!) have flourished and kept going over the years, is simply because they have loyal moderators who help fight fake accounts, bots, and malicious comments. These mods do not get paid, their only incentive is to maintain the community safe for their own pleasure (I believe that some mods on reddit do get rewarded via reddit gold), but it’s enough to keep them going, at least up until now.

Another example of a successful community managed by moderators is Telegram, the chat / social network app. Telegram has users in countries like Iran, where encryption and privacy are necessary to fight government censorship, and likewise, in the crypto space where users want privacy and can join multiple channels to follow their favorite crypto asset(s). These channels are also managed by group admins who make sure the proper rules and guidelines are being followed. There is no direct incentive for these group admins, and yet, they still manage to keep their communities healthy and growing.

The underlying success-factor among these companies is the partly-decentralized mindset and power given to its community. They maintain control over the product, BUT they leave community moderation to its users. In the next few years, as micropayments become accessible and/or companies like SimpleToken facilitate incentivization, we’ll see more platforms switch to this business model and reward system, as it allows for communities to grow healthy, stronger, and in an infinitely scalable way. 

In the same way, SteemIt rewards content, Twitter could build the tools to fight bots and fake accounts through incentivization.

What should they call the Twitter tokens: twits, tter? Doesn’t matter. Twitter is by far one of the most helpful tools and largest communities out there, and by giving the power to their users, it will help solidify its core product and enjoy a healthy narrative in public opinion.

If this power is not given to their community, it’s just a matter of time that people flock to a newer, incentivized, and partly-decentralized platform.