The Occupy Wall Street (OWS) movement has been in the news a lot this year and has even prompted some spin-offs such as “Occupy Flash,” an attempt to convince users to uninstall Adobe Flash from their machines. Wired is reporting that the OWS movement is trying to build a new social media platform so they can avoid using the services of the 1%.
The group’s main concern revolves around the lack of control of the data put on the network. They cite a case where Twitter was subpoenaed for information about accounts tied to the Occupy Boston segment of the protests and fear that companies like Facebook and Twitter will represent the “1%” instead of the needs of the “99%.” The secondary concern is about infiltrators getting into the group and spoiling the message. To combat this, the team envisions that all new users will need someone to vouch for them. The thought is that if only people you trust are allowed into the group, there’s no fear of the group being taken over by people who don’t share your vision.
Regardless of what side you support, there are two major flaws with this new undeveloped platform. The first issue is where will all of this data be housed? Creating a site for the majority of the population requires a lot of server power and network bandwidth. While cloud providers like Amazon and Rackspace would be good candidates to house the social media site, they would also be just as susceptible to legal subpoenas as Facebook and Twitter.
The other issue is the fact that people will blindly accept other people into their group without really knowing much about them. Even ignoring the fact that people will accept random Facebook requests from complete strangers, simply meeting someone at an OWS protest does not mean that you know anything about their background. Infiltrating the platform would be trivial.
On the surface this appears to be an interesting concept, but the actual implementation on a wide scale seems nearly impossible.
Image Courtesy of TechCrunch