How to avoid censorship in a commercial app?


Let’s say you create a platform where you have people share their files in a public forum/indexer/whatever and you create a search engine for this. Much like any search engine I would say. Much like the old Napster for instance. And let’s assume you would like to commercialize this running ads on it, how do you avoid being pressured to remove any links to illegal content? What I mean is that although you will not have the authority to remove content that you simply do not have access to (delete) but you can still be pressured into shutting down your site or stop distributing your application right?

Actually, the same would go for any maidsafe “website” right? If one creates a “commercial” website, a news blog for instance with content that for whatever reason a government or corporation does not agree on, I could always be forced to take that content down or be prosecuted right?

Any thoughts on this?

Don’t let them figure out who’s running the platform? In the classic internet in most cases they can figure out where your server resides, and then usually figure out who you are. There is no server in SAFE, so technically it’s possible to stay completely anonymous. All business would have to be done over SAFE though. It’s not very practical, but should be possible in most cases I guess?

Thanks for your reply. But for a commercial application that is not possible. You will have to register a company and if you present ads in your application or explore any other normal revenue model the source of the application can of course easily be traced as they would only have to demand information from your ad-broker. They in turn can be forced (with gag-order) to spill the details (which they have since they have done a verification on you so they know where to send your money.).

The idea behind my post was that you find an ad-broker that operates on SAFE as well, and get paid in SafeCoins. Then they don’t need to know your identity.

The SAFE network is like a protective bubble. If you stay in, pretty much none can interfere, as long as you don’t do anything stupid. If you step out of the SAFE network in any way related to your business that runs on SAFE, you pretty much lose it’s protection. So stay on SAFE for the full 100% if you want absolute freedom. If you need third parties to do business with, find or get them to come on SAFE as well.

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I understand but that still would not work. I appreciate your input though.

If you operate a commercial business and write apps that you either ad-support or might even charge money (or safecoin) for. Sooner or later you would also provide adequate support via normal communcation channels like phone or mail and those need to be operated by real humans.

What I am looking for is a way of creating apps that serve a good purpose and make life easier (and cheaper) for people but which I fear could also be abused to share illegal content. I am wondering if there is a way to employ a normal commercialization scheme like ads but operate under a zero-knowledge proof where I cannot remove content or links in a search engine like app.

I think it could be a desktop application (or webserver running locally) but I wonder how I can get, store and present results without being able to censor or remove them and still operate a normal business.

In my opinion you are asking a vital question that highlights the tip of the ice berg with the aggregate conflict of interest that sponsorship in any form presents. First thing is dont run ads, find another way. No matter what, ads are conflicts. How much of the current net is wasted on spam. Good non conflict search will begin to filter out sites with ads.

If I am not mistaken, although it requires a SAFE specific OS and browser, there is an intent to give end users total control over the end user interface. This means ads might generally be blocked by default and given the built in implements for privacy and the expectation of privacy it might be almost impossible to confirm delivery of ads, so the payment model might be lean to the point of being impractical. But in my opinion that is a huge advantage because sponsorship and sponsored media undermine democracy like nothing else- mechanism needs to be replaced and outlawed.

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I know you love this subject @Warren but ads are not relevant here. He would have the same question with any monetization scheme.

Like @Seneca said, from the moment you run a classic business, you’ll be subject to the classic legal framework from where you run the business. The question is, within that context, can you build an app that reference illegal content without putting your business at stakes? In other word, is an app that is only indexing and not hosting illegal content legal? Or even, is an app that allow users to index illegal content by themselves and share that index legal?

Honestly, I don’t know. There’s probably some jurisprudence about this already but you really should seek legal advice from a lawyer if you want to run a business like that.

Sorry, It doesn’t help you much.

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Develop a general file search engine for SAFE (without having any other connection to the files other than indexing them). :slight_smile: And then you can show ads along with the search results, just like Google Search. Or is Google pressured to remove search results to illegal content? :confused: Hmm… Maybe they are.