App to block/whitelist content

My question is simple. Do we need an App to block and/or whitelist content?

My answer is yes! We do need an App like that. I know SAFE is meant to be open, safe, censorship free etc. But let me explain what problems a network like that will see. I read an article some time ago about how companies like Google hires other companies to watch content that’s flagged inappropriate. It’s not a thing they tell you on there website, it’s sort of like a hidden thing for a lot of big companies that have video- and media websites. The problem is, with all these millions of videos uploaded to their websites, some sick minds post illegal stuff like underage pornography, torture, animal things… etc. An interview was done with some people who used to work for a company that watched these videos, and they said that they really saw a lot of shocking content. There were even workers with post-traumatic-stress disorders because they worked for such companies.

So how about SAFEnet, will people use it for the good? You bet, I think most of the people will use it in a good way, using the Dropbox-like functions. People will also build the greatest App’s for social media, videos, SAFEsites etc. But history shows that websites like I2P, Freenet and TOR are also used for bad purposes. Even while these systems are slow, not that much secure all the time etc. And what about SAFEnet, it will be open and (almost) free with the ability to create your own “URL”, and public data that can never be deleted. People will feel safe in the network so there’s no doubt about some bad people showing up. They can even create their own “URL” and make a public website that no one can take down… And remember, websites like Youtube have a team, looking at “flagged” content to decide if it’s illegal or not. But how about a videowebsite on SAFE? There will be a lot of good ones… they’ll have moderators. But no one can stop some sick minds to create a site with illegal content. And no one can stop a person making illegal content public… Of course most of the people won’t look at these websites, but what if they use a decentralized search engine? And banners show up with promotion to websites that have illegal stuff? Things like this happen on Freenet already.

So here’s a way we could stop and kick out the bad guys. It’s an App that blocks “URL’s” which the team behind the App voted for as “bad/illegal/etc.” It updates itself everyday and when people see a video which is clearly illegal they can “flag” that video as being illegal so a moderator can block it. When they see someone is promoting a URL which clearly promotes illegal content they can both flag that person and the URL as illegal so both can be blocked. So when someone shows up on a forum saying “Hi there, I’m looking for animal bla bla bla” that person will be flagged by a couple of people instantly and the team can directly block that person’s ID. Not only on that forum, but on all the other sites as well through the app.

Another way of doing an App like this is a so called White-list-App. It only allows you to go to websites that the team has agreed on as being safe and clean. Protect the App with a parent-password so the kids can use SAFEnet in a safe way. Being able to only access sites they’re allowed to.

Apps like these could help SAFEnet being fun and safe. Of course people can always decide to uninstall an App like these, but when a team of volunteers decides to create and update an App like that I really think it would be a great thing. Search-engines for SAFEnet could use the list to block content in the search results etc.


I think a better way to do this would be for the individual users to have the ability to block certain “urls” they do not wish to see. Having a suggested list of these that an individual user can block automatically if they choose would be a good start. Having moderators that block content seems to be counter to what the Maidsafe network is aiming for. If that was possible, what would stop a repressive government from blocking “inappropriate” content from its citizens…this seems like a bit of a slippery slope…


I’m not sure if there should be special moderators behind such an app. I think maintaining such lists as a community is possible, like Wikipedia is maintained. I also imagine such an app would use categories of content so people can use it as a customizable filter.

The app could even use it’s own reputation system so “false flags” are punished by a reputation loss, while properly flagging content increases reputation and gives more “weight” to future flags, or perhaps even give more share in the rewards from the network and/or donations. Whether something is correctly flagged would be up to the eventual majority vote. I think that would work. For example, I think most people against “child porn” would not want to flag it under “drugs” or visa versa.


Makes me wonder why those busy-bodies don’t employ sociopaths who’d love to work there!

Censorship is generally a very bad idea.
But let’s dive into details!

Would 10 “flag” actions by a group of feminist reactionaries be enough to create a block to my favorite porn site?
Or maybe 50000?
When I think of the “required” number of flags for a content to get blacklisted I immediately realize one and only one vote is required, and that vote is mine. All the other options do not seem acceptable.

I get your idea, but instead of “illegal content” I suppose you wanted to say “content that some may find unacceptable”?

I guess they should stop using that search engine.
Clearly a mainstream search engine has enough business interest to provide (or sponsor) such a plugin.

I “support” the idea, if that means anything. I don’t see myself using this would neither pay nor inconvenience myself (say, by updating my filters every day, etc.).
See, I’m a nice guy and maybe I’d flag some videos on my favorite site that I personally find repulsive (hopefully you can see the irony in this), but in order to know what is not yet blocked, I’d have to have or use the filter, so I couldn’t actually help.

It’d be a nice thing for parents to censor what their kids can see (instead of explaining to them what they shouldn’t watch), but I still don’t understand why would kids use filters when they can have their own anonymous account without it.
The only use case scenario seems to be the ability of people to not accidentally see nasty shit, but I expect that sites like search engines, portals, etc. would take care of that by themselves.

The main technical problem - as far as I can tell - is that MaidSafe is a read-oriented storage network, so such a filter should either be located on the Web (privacy and other issues) or on one’s own drive (which means it wouldn’t be free, if it’s regularly updated).

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Check my post above yours. :wink:

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This is a good question. It’s about the really sick things which every normal user hates. And @Seneca makes a great point about categories to be blocked and a voting system for people… So as I would see it… I would like to block someone who comes into a forum saying: “Hi there, here’s a video about how I killed my dog because I hated him.” So I would add the category “animal abuse and mistreatment” to be blocked. I would follow a team which did great work on this category and have a good reputation. They would block this person and his link to the video. That’s a good thing in my opinion.

I agree, but on the normal internet sick stuff is probably hidden. So Google scans billions of websites with not that much risk for linking to child-abuse. But what about 2 millions websites on SAFEnet? How would the search engine know that something is illegal?

They can use the App and follow their own “blockers” so they wouldn’t see that site, while you still could. But when it comes to childporn you would both add that category to “being blocked” for sure.

Great idea! Really like that one.

I say that one of the nice things about cryptocurrencies is we can make vote spamming prohibitively expensive without being a burden on the everyday user. Say if every vote cost you a penny, and it was reimbursed later if there wasn’t significant “Wrongly categorized” complaints.


You posted it while I was typing so I didn’t see it!

Personally that is the biggest problem (that also lies at the core of why I’m against democracy).
Again, I’m not against the idea, I’m just saying I’d never want to use such system.
I think it’d be possible for people to contribute without using the plugin (there would have to be another plugin, that would not block anything, but only allow you to submit and actually submit only if content is not already blocked, to avoid duplication.

Thanks for the vote of confidence!

I completely agree, but please note that in their view that would not be considered spamming, but “community service”.

EDIT: does anyone want to comment on the “write” aspect of the app that I mentioned above. Where would those lists be stored?

Same community vote mechanism that can block spam can filter this. A one click mechanism to flip it off like traction control in a car may help when needed. Really pin point non conlict of interest search helps to. Generally you’d have to be looking for it to encounter it. Same mechanisms that can remove sponsorship can remove this stuff.

I’ll give a general disclaimer first: I’ve not had time to read the thread so far, but scanning over it, I did feel a point might not have been mentioned that is unique to the SAFE network.

Similarly to the original point I made in the post on the essence of SAFE apps, a ‘true’ / truly decentralised SAFE app would not have a central database of ‘all content generated through this app’.

Compare: is a central server infrastructure that collects all videos uploaded by anyone. Computers can’t identify/understand all the content, so if you search for terms, all results will show. Additionally, a third-party company is broadcasting this video again, so they have legal ramifications on this act.

A SAFE video sharing equivalent (depending on how the App developers want it) can be more or less centralised. In the same sense that with VHS video tapes, anyone could film and record anything, but if the recording just stayed in their house, less objections are raised. The SAFE network allows users to say: ‘in Jimmy’s house (read MPID) there are these video tapes, and in Andy’s house these video tapes.’

So if a group of people likes to watch videos of monkeys hoarding bananas then they can unite and connect on that topic. If you feel personally offended by videos of monkeys hoarding bananas as all monkeys should be sharing bananas, then you can choose to not connect to groups of people that do like banana hoarding. If in some country banana hoarding is deemed illegal, then the appropriate authorities can infiltrate these groups undercover and try to identify the real people behind the banana hoarding videos.


But does not it violate the main SAFE Network principle - security? It can’t be controlled by whoever and nobody shouldn’t be able to go undercover. The government and appropriate authorities can’t impact on the network, right?

This is a subtle game, with different opinions. The SAFE network needs to level the playing game again: no agent/agency should be able to afford a drag-net type of surveillance, but the aim of the SAFE network is not to blind all authorities. If there is a legitimate interest for investigating a suspect, it should significantly cost an agency to do so and then they can deploy traditional policing methods, establishing contact, gaining trust, and tricking, trapping the humans involved.

The SAFE network serves many goals, only one is ending dragnet-style mass surveillance. Encryption might not be broken, but humans make mistakes and a good investigator will find a lead to uncover criminals as judged by that countries legal system.

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You’re right, I changed it so now it’s stated the way I meant it to write down.

The list is made by the App owners. So people flag things they think are illegal, the team decides if so. When it is, the team will add this to their own list. So now we have a list, say in the category “Animal abuse”. That list is shared with people who have installed the App and decided to block this category. The list is not a block.txt with all links to the content. It’s encrypted so only the plugin can decrypt it. That way it’s in your data-atlas/personal-file without the links being in plain text.

That sounds more doable.

It would be nice to be able to block users (MaidSafe “FQDNs”) as well as individual media/content.

Thrashed out pretty well in this post, with input from Devs:


Why not just allow people to block content themselves if they don’t wish to see it? Then, somehow, the network could aggregate a list of most blocked content as a suggestion of what people might not want to see. Just a thought.

Nothing like googling up a bunch of explicit photos on accident while in a public place…

A certain degree of “You probably don’t want to see this unless you intentionally ask to see this” is appropriate.

I was working for a Charity once and was trying to locate incontinence aids for the Elderly…I googled “Adult nappies” and wandered into some weird grown up babywear fetish thing…almost as perverted as those monkey banana hoarding sites…sick puppies :smiley: