One of tech's most controversial topics is that of content moderation. Big tech companies are coming more and more under fire for the content moderation that they perform, and they constantly have to find a balance between protecting users’ freedom of expression and removing content that promotes hate speech. This inspired Anonym's anonymity and community-based moderation scheme. A blogging platform which helps such ideas surface by removing the fear of retribution allows for open contribution to democratic society and continues the tradition of idea sharing that is required for a society of free and independent thinkers.
What it does
Anonym is a completely decentralized platform that allows users to make posts completely anonymously,. without being subject to anyone's bias in content moderation. The platform as a whole moderates the content by contributing small amounts of cryptocurrency to support or flag content. All posts are stored in a blockchain using BlockStack, allowing users to post freely without having to worry about the connection between their posts and their identity.
How we built it
We used BlockStack's Gaia storage system to store the posts and comments, along with React JS as the web framework with the Ant Design UI kit. We also used Heroku to deploy a Radiks server that allows us to use the Gaia storage system, along with hosting the website on Github Pages.
Challenges we ran into
The primary challenges that we ran into involved creating a fair and unbiased content moderation scheme and utilizing the BlockStack platform in our app, since this was new for all of us.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
We were able to finish most of the goals that we had for the project; the BlockStack and cryptocurrency integrations are functional, along with a minimalist UI to utilize these features. Additional features include comments and markdown rendering.
What we learned
We learned how to integrate BlockStack and cryptocurrency into a web application using React JS.
What's next for Anonym
Next, we want to work on making Anonym a more complete blogging platform, with features like being able to edit posts. We also want to expand the number of users on the platform, since the content moderation model that Anonym is based on requires feedback for effective moderation.