Doesn't "Human Centered Internet" Really Mean Decentralization and More User Control?

I’ve been trying to get my head around what "human centered’ really means and how it ought to play out in the real world. I keep arriving back at increasing user control over their (our) own experience coupled with far less centralization of data.

European governments can individually or collectively make tons of rules and regulations trying to get the huge companies to behave in what they regard as more civil ways, but as @inge brings to our attention where Mark Scott of says in his tweet set, those huge operations like Google and Facebook just find ways to route around those rules. Or they pay the fines and move on with business as usual until the next fine. Meanwhile they lobby extensively for those rules to be watered down so they are more favorable to their business models (which requires minimal transparency). And, according to Investigate Europe, the EC buckles to that pressure, esp if the big banks want it that way.

The privacy rules that require permission to gather and store personal information are a good start. But why not extend it to everything in one’s online environment? In other words, Facebook, you can’t do anything at all with me or what I say on your platform without my permission and you have to create a tool set that gives me all the control I think I need. Because while I am not paying you money, I am paying you with my attention and while you might benefit from the illusion that this is a “free” commodity, in fact it is so valuable that you are now one of the biggest richest and most powerful companies in the world.

My point here is, how is it ever going to become human-centered if things don’t become that stringent?

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As an aside, the Code of Practice, that industry put together as a set of voluntary practices, is pretty much a farce, according to the “Sounding Board” written by a group put together by the EC specifically to critique the Code.

As they write in the critique, “As outlined by the Sounding Board’s previous written feedback and comments, the “Code of practice” as presented by the working group contains no common approach, no clear and meaningful commitments, no measurable objectives or KPIs, hence no possibility to monitor process, and no compliance or enforcement tool: it is by no means self-regulation, and therefore the Platforms, despite their efforts, have not delivered a Code of Practice.”

The issue of pressure from Google and FB, stems from the fact that some of the orgs and companies involved in putting together the Code are significantly funded by Google and FB, and thus do not want to offend their benefactors to the point that they withdraw their funding, which it has been reported, they did indeed threaten to do. So, don’t look to such Codes as being any help in bringing about a “human-centered Internet.”

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With the emergence of blockchain, Holochain, Scuttlebutt, mesh networks and more, it seems clear to me that along with user control, much more decentralization is also necessary. But right now most data gets stored in gigantic centralized data centers and servers.

In reading some of the logs from the May 11 Workshop in Stockholm, decentralization was one of the main themes expressed by participants. I wonder if @jonas or @Andrusha would consider elaborating on your concerns about the need for more decentralization?


Decentralization is being discussed in other parts of this forum, such as: