of the Internet
“The most powerful people in the world today are not the politicians but the guys who write and improve the algorithm of global social platforms.” Naval Ravikant
It's no longer a secret – the Internet, like the world, is at a crossroads. Now we have the choice between letting the “Gods of Tech" from Silicon Valley to Asia and Tech-based governments define what our future should be like, what philanthropy should sound like... Or collectively taking over the control of our lives, of the Internet, its contents, our data and propose by ourselves a Democratic Design to live and rise together.
An unlimited power that has turned against us
It's no longer a secret – the Internet, like the world, is at a crossroads. Now we have the choice between letting the “Gods of Tech" from Silicon Valley to Asia and Tech-based governments define what our future should be like, what philanthropy should sound like... Or collectively taking over the control of our lives, of the Internet, its contents, our data and propose by ourselves a real Democratic Design to live and rise together.
Indeed, because they are controlling the spread of information and so the way we think, create, produce, global social platforms and their architects are basically rewiring people’s brains and programming the world.
The phenomena we are seeing surging in recent years such as increasingly deleterious climate on social media, rise of extremes, control of content drifting toward censorship, are only the tip of an iceberg which plunges its roots deeply into the very business model on which are based global social platforms: that of algo-driven engagement and the merchandising of data as revenue model.
In 2015, GAFAs and governments were holding 5 digital data points per person in the US. In less than 10 years from now, everyone on Earth will be “databased” with over 70 000 personal data points.
Besides the obvious dangers of this evolution, this over-identification has generated "filter bubbles" and other vicious and devious data distortions which, contrary to the dream that sparked the social media age of bringing together people from all around the world whole, now isolate them in their individual worlds.
The “rage machine” business model
This model, which gives the illusion of a free service, is based on the exploitation of our data, new digital gold which in fact we all abandoned to the Big Techs as soon as, to be able to use these services, we accepted the Terms of Services (TOS). Most of the time without reading it.
Today, after scandals such as that of Cambridge Analytica and thanks to documentaries such as in particular the Social Dilemma, the general public is increasingly aware of these excesses and the buzzy word “Web3” is found all over the place and sold with all sorts of solutions, or so-called ones, supposed to transfer the power from shareholders and corporates to users. However, if Web3 is a necessary and big step forward, as it stands, it doesn't provide any real solution as it doesn't pull out the real root of the problem which is the business of attention.
Indeed, in order to keep us connected on the platforms, the algorithms are designed to generate the maximum engagement by favoring instinctive and fast reactions rather than reflected and / or quiet actions. Designers build systems that harness this automatic thinking extensively, what some call “rage machine” or “hype machine”.
The result is that, actually, literally speaking, there is no longer a 100% safe space to share ideas of any kind, moods, opinions, creations, joys and questions of all sorts.
(And what if we add that Facebook and Twitter have lost the understanding and the control of their algos?)
The scathing observation is that global social media also directly contributes to polarizing the "real world" as well, slowly killing what is most human in us: the true relationships with others. And that the material world is more and more a copy of the digital world.
And that's probably just the beginning...
“The day is coming, if not already here, when the politicians realize that social media platforms are picking the next President, the next congressmen, they are literally picking and they have the power to pick, so they will be controlled by the government.” Naval Ravikant
Meanwhile, the COVID era we are going through has brought new challenges and has helped in some way to increase the will of governments to control their population. We can say today without exaggeration or judgment that a somewhat liberticidal context is gaining ground.
This results in the fact that people are now basically divided in two camps: the ones who accept easily what they are told to do or think without digging more and the ones who question, trying to get a better understanding of the situation, and situations in general.
However, today we are reaching a dangerous point where those who just question the official discourse are called conspirators.
The in-between grey zone of investigation where lies the intelligence’s playground as well as human beings' path through a dynamic and ever unfolding reality is being threatened by a “premolded-thought” model, greatly favored by the engagement-based models (in social media but also obviously in classic media, TV and newspapers, pushing catchy headlines and unanalyzed or “fast analyzed” information).
Technology has the power to shape the world, in a way, or the way around…
More than ever technology is at the heart of these issues: either it can imprison us, or on the contrary liberate us. Throughout history governments have used technologies to influence the crowds, whether for the good or the bad, from campaigns against cancer to mass propaganda under Nazis or Soviets, or nowadays in a very arguable way in China with the social credit.
In fact, we are facing today some of the collective choices with the most far-reaching consequences in human History:
- Do we want to let the technology in the hand of powerful few shaping the world for us and deciding the way we should act or think or are we brave enough to use this technology to free our minds and shape the world we want?
- Do we accept that global platforms use our data under the cover of “free access” and sell us as products or are we able to take our financial destiny in our hands?
- Do we want Central Banks Digital Currencies to track us or do we want to stay free and spend our money as we wish and “peer to peer”?
- Do we want to “engage” when we consciously choose it or because algos obliged us?
- Do we want to remain able to think freely or do we want to obey without even questioning?
Today we Must choose our side and not choosing is letting them make the choice for us.
Republike, the Digital Nation
Republike is a community-driven global attempt to take collectively back the control over our destiny. It proposes a 180° reversal of the GAFA model, from ownership to financial reward, by giving back users what should never have left their hands – the control over data and display.
By putting the control of the algorithms and the Governance of the platform in the hands of users, our ambition is to create a collective opportunity to take control back over our digital lives and to open the possibility of thinking outside the matrix.
Let's tame this power together and take back the control
The next era of social media
Republike must be free of algo opacity, guarantee that users’ data is safe, free of influence other than its own Citizens’ one, self-financed without the need to resort to other third-party companies or investors.
For these purposes, we use today’s technologies as a support. Unlike the majority of today’s social media projects, we don't use Web3, blockchain, NFT buzzwords’ hype as a purpose to build a project: technologies serve our common vision, matured for months by analyzing social media and their impact on society, not the other way around.
Beyond Web3, redesigning engagement
“Web3” projects claiming to be the parade to Big Techs domination are now popping up every day and everywhere. But beyond the buzzword and the hype, is it something that will bring trustable solutions to tech imperialists? Will it bring new issues of another kind such as mass selfishness and hyper competition for revenues and self-hype, finally not that different from what exists on Instagram?
Unlike existing platforms, we certainly must not focus on keeping users as long as possible on the platform at the expense for them of a balanced life and real useful and gratifying interactions in the material world.
Nor shall we focus on money or individual reward and ownership in the first place but on “Commons”. If people contribute and stay on the platform, we want the cause to be that they had a great experience and feel they became better people, more useful, with more purposes, by using it, but certainly not because they became addicted to it.
On Republike, we want to give the best of ourselves for something bigger than ourselves, which implies that, by an order that goes beyond the individuals, we are sometimes led to receive the very best from the Community, in addition to discovering little by little the deep, subtle and mysterious satisfaction of giving the best without expectation.
From this point of view, we pretend to go far beyond Web3's usual perspective which is mainly to make the user an independent and self-centered source of self-profit.
Indeed, if we do not deny this aspect, we deeply think that the Common Good must be placed above the, essential by the way, individual interests.
To truly make users free, engagement has to:
- Be ours, not the one of algos
- Be chosen, not suffered
- Promote quality, not quantity
- Uplift us, not make us addicts
We, of Republike, are designing a new definition of the concept of engagement that could help to shape the future of what the web will be, and give a blink of what the next step of evolution should be.
Calling for an engaged Community
Last but not least, we can’t do that alone. Because, practically speaking, it’s impossible, as much as because it is not the decentralized, democratic, meritocratic and altruistic vision we have for Republike and the World.
Republike does not intend to be a product or a service that would be in competition with other platforms in order to dominate in a winner takes it all game. Competition has no meaning in our vision since it continues to oppose some people to some others. We assume that collaboration rather than competition is the next step in evolution and thus Republike has been conceived as community, model, vision, involving open-source and interoperability as founding notions.
Consequently, we call for a Community aware of these major issues and committed to build with us something powerful, game changing and good for our future, not only in the virtual world but sowing the seeds here, in Republike.
This global vision, from the conception to the smallest details of use, translated into a radically innovative design of self-management and collaboration processes, eliminates polarization and censorship while guaranteeing a level of freedom of expression that no platform has ever approached… And above all should renew your digital journey and make you better and next step Human beings.
Don't let self-centeredness, whether Big Tech's or your own, turn you into cattle!
Let’s regain control of the algorithm, internet and our minds
THE REVOLUTION STARTS HERE AND NOW.