The Damus app, a decentralized alternative to Twitter, has been pulled from the Chinese App Store just two days after its approval. The removal was due to the presence of "illegal content" on the platform, according to an app review notice shared by Damus on Twitter.
The last will be the first to be censored
Damus's decentralization made the approval process difficult for Apple, so it finally made it onto the App Store on February 1. However, in China, where information is subject to heavy government control, the app did not last long. All legal social networks in China have censorship tools to control and remove content deemed illegal or prohibited by the authorities. Users are linked to their real identities and anonymity does not exist.
Now, the distribution of Damus in the country through the App Store has been cut, although users who already have the application on their phones can continue to access and publish content without problems. Damus' infrastructure, based on "multiple centralized servers" rather than a fully decentralized infrastructure, makes censorship difficult.
Greater privacy and freedom of expression for users
Dorsey launched Damus to provide a more secure and private experience for users, as well as more control over their online identities and content. The application works on a decentralized network, which means that user data is stored on a distributed network of computers rather than on a single centralized server controlled by a company. This provides greater security as there is no central point of control that could be targeted by hackers or government censorship.
In addition, Damus allows users to monetize their content through cryptocurrency payments and control who can see their posts, thanks to customizable privacy settings.
However, although this proposal is a step forward for the decentralization of social networks, its adoption may be affected by censorship such as that of China. The launch of Damus on the App Store represents an important step to offer users a safer and more private experience on the web, but the Chinese government does not seem to like this.
Damus says goodbye to China's App Store, but app decentralization makes censorship more difficult. Although the distribution of Damus through the App Store has been cut off, users who already have the app can continue to access and publish content without issues, but what about those who didn't make it in time?