Is the future of social networks decentralized?

Current social networks like Facebook, Twitter or Instagram mostly have a centralized approach ([1], [2], [6]). They are centralized in the sense, that all data is processed in data centers that are under a corporation’s control. It is hard to beat the economies of scale that can be achieved by having gigantic server farms which process the huge amounts of data that are being created. But there is a lot of merit in a more decentralized approach. Especially if that approach serves a purpose other than making money by selling user data or entrapping people’s brains in a loop of distraction and dopamine release.

Of course, decentralization alone is not the sole solution to this problem. But in centralized systems there is always the possibility of data being collected and sold. The cost of operating server farms also creates the need of making a profit. That’s why social networks nowadays are often heavily reliant on ad revenue which creates a need to make users as dependent as possible on the platform, so they spend more time on it.

Society could really benefit from a social network with the sole purpose of connecting people and without the need for psychological tricks or selling data to maximize profits. Social media platforms purposefully create echo chambers to keep engagement high which nurture more extreme opinions and further cement the divide between political camps [9]. Additionally, platforms like TikTok use algorithms to take advantage of the way people’s brains are wired to maximize their time spent on the platform. All while damaging people’s attention span in the process [4].

An ideal social media platform would therefore either need a different kind of monetarization like a monthly fee or it needs to be decentralized and work with a technology like peer-to-peer (P2P) to save on infrastructural costs. That way the load which is normally taken on by data centers could be moved to the clients.

Um die Technik kümmern sich die Anderen…

Das Phänomen von ‘sozio-technischen Systemen’ und ‘Ökosystemen’

Mammut aus Gras von Christopher Alvarenga – [4]

Wenn wir uns als technisch begeisterte Computer Science Studierenden ein zu Deutsch “Ultra Großes, Skaliertes System” vorstellen… Was stellen wir uns dann wirklich vor? Naja wir denken wahrscheinlich erstmal an viele Zeilen Code, Unmengen von Server-Hardware und ellenlange Kabel. Das allein macht ein Ultra Large Scaled System (ULS) aber noch lange nicht aus.

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HERZLICHEN GLÜCKWUNSCH – Sie haben gewonnen!

Über Social Engineering und wie man sich schützen kann.

Jeder kennt E-Mails mit Titeln wie diesem. Eine wildfremde Person verspricht Gewinne in Millionenhöhe. Und alles, was dafür benötigt wird, sind ein paar persönliche Daten. Ein Traum vieler Menschen wird wahr und man will dem Titel glauben. Doch was passiert, wenn man der E-Mail nachgeht? Ist es so leicht, Millionen zu kassieren? Und was gibt es noch für Möglichkeiten meine Daten gegen fantastische Träume einzutauschen?

Dieser Artikel soll die Gefahren des Alltags aufdecken und einfache Wege zeigen sich zu schützen.

Quelle: Instagram @coderhumor

Social Engineering – Hacking the human OS


Nowadays, our secure systems are already sophisticated and perform well. In addition, research on subjects such as quantum computers ensures continuous improvement. However, even with a completely secure system, we humans pose the most significant threat. Social engineers prey on this to conduct illegal activities. For early detection and prevention, this paper deals with the analysis and discussion of social engineering attacks. The major challenge is to balance trust and mistrust. However, this threshold varies depending on the application. Therefore, it is advisable to extract patterns from past incidents and to recognize them in future scenarios. First, the basic principles and techniques of social engineers are introduced. Three different models are then analyzed. The effects of social networks and the feasibility of the models are outlined in the 58th US election. Finally, possibilities for avoidance, prevention and recovery are discussed.

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