Shinda Singh: Sikhs Must Embrace A Decentralized Approach To Social Media Platforms

We must recognize that social media platforms can not be solely trusted or left to preserve our stories and we should be proactive in protecting them on our own

Shinda Singh
February 18, 2021 | 1.5 min. read 

Over the last few weeks, we have seen several prominent activist Twitter accounts withheld, Sikhi and farmer-related protest hashtags blocked on Instagram, and popular Sikh YouTube channels suspended and their videos removed. 

While the reasons surrounding what got these accounts suspended or what policies they violated remains mostly a mystery, what has become apparent is that valuable Sikh resources are actively targetted and can be instantly removed with little to no recourse. A harsh reminder that by using these platforms we opt-out of controlling our data in exchange for being able to interact with the platform's userbase -  leaving ourselves at the mercy of corporate and government censorship.

Even though the net benefit of being able to interact with a broader audience makes avoiding these platforms impossible, we can mitigate the side effects by embracing a wider array of services and technology. A communal push to stop relying solely on these single points of failure and implementing a more decentralized approach, not only to our platforms but to the way we distribute and share our data. 

Without getting overly technical, we need backups of Sikh resources so that when a single instance gets removed the information remains accessible on other services which prevent the silencing of our voices.

This can be as simple as a Tweet getting mirrored to a Telegram channel and co-published on a blog, using services like IFTT, YouTube videos that are also stored on traditional websites where they can be downloaded using torrents, and embracing decentralized and censorship-resistant versions of various platforms and making a push to distill information across those networks such as push to services like Mastadon.

In the end, while it may seem cumbersome to need to find ways to avoid censorship from foreign governments, and nefarious online trolls, it is more vital that we take steps to prevent our voices from being silenced and maligned. We must recognize that these platforms can not be solely trusted or left to preserve our stories and to be proactive in protecting them on our own.

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Shinda Singh is a Sr. Mobile & Web Architect, with a background in InfoSec, and a passion for gaming and decentralized system design. You can find him on Twitter at @shindasingh


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