Investigating Internet Freedom & Digital Democracy with Nicole Scott and Simon Morgan

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16 Feb 2024
In this AMA, we discuss who controls the Internet, how the Internet's physical infrastructure impacts our freedom online, if our perceived online freedom makes us complacent, and anything in the Digital Democracy and Internet Freedom realm, really!
Meet our guests - Nicole Scott has been a cutting-edge video journalist, idea engine & woman in tech since 2006. She is a journalist who is focused on uncovering innovation, the future of mobility, renewable energy, and consumer electronics. She began her career in New York and after a few years decided to move to where technology decisions were being made. She relocated to Taipei, Taiwan for 9 years. As co-founder of German and English technology website Mobile Geeks has given her first-hand experience identifying technology trends. In 2021 she produced an award-winning documentary called, Discovering Hydrogen and has been a segment Producer for BloombergTV Global鈥檚 Beyond Innovation.

Nicole will also be joined by Simon Morgan, a marketer leading all marketing activities for professional users like devs or IT experts at IONOS.

This Slogging thread by M贸nica Freitas, Nicole Scott (Nicole Scott), John T., Valentine Enedah, David Smooke, Asher Umerie, Adrian Morales, Simon Morgan, Sidra and Jose Hernandez occurred in slogging's official #amas channel, and has been edited for readability.
M贸nica FreitasFeb 12, 2024, 7:03 PM
Hi Nicole Scott (Nicole Scott)! Thanks for joining us!
Can we start this AMA by asking you to tell us a bit about yourself? And your professional journey? What brought to tech?
Nicole Scott (Nicole Scott)Feb 12, 2024, 7:06 PM
I got my start as a tech journalist in 2006 covering telco infrastructure and was doing smartphone reviews pre-iPhone!!

There is actually an article on Engadget for their Growing up Geek series back in the day! https://www.engadget.com/2012-02-24-growing-up-geek-nicole-scott.html
Nicole Scott (Nicole Scott)Feb 12, 2024, 7:07 PM
Yes....it really dates me, the first website I cofounded was called Netbook News! Obviously, that had to change and it evolved to Mobile Geeks which is now shut down. I sold it over Covid and moved on to be a global TV producer for a show on Bloomberg called Beyond Innovation.
John T.Feb 12, 2024, 7:11 PM
Hello Nicole Scott (Nicole Scott), nice to meet you! What are your thoughts on web3 and the democratization of all internet spaces? And DAOs for that matter. Are you on the team of decentralization?
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Nicole Scott (Nicole Scott)Feb 12, 2024, 7:20 PM
John T. Love this!

I'm a supporter of Decentralized Networks, but don't think the technology as it stands today is ready for the mainstream. It has high hopes that it solve big problems like censorship, data ownership, and unequal access to resources. Removing intermediaries and creating trustless systems, web3 can lead to a more inclusive and open internet. But I think that there needs to be different/better/not yet thought of solutions for how we make this move.

New technologies or inevitable, but we can't break the system completely...thought it might be nice to have a reset, I'm not for anarchy! haha
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M贸nica FreitasFeb 12, 2024, 7:14 PM
Quite a journey! From journalist to TV Producer and co-founder - what made you leap to producing? Do you still hold space for journalism even today?
Nicole Scott (Nicole Scott)Feb 12, 2024, 7:28 PM
M贸nica Freitas About the career moves...I love journalism! And today I'll be the first to admit that my industry is broken. It was so hard to maintain an independent media outlet when companies were asking for so many compromises in integrity. Hats off to Hackernoon for pulling through the media consolidation that happened during covid, I actually sold my German website to a US company that obviously couldn't make it work! It's a similar story to what happened to a lot of tech blogs over the last 2 years.

I'm really lucky to be independent, to be the lead producer on a TV show that airs on Bloomberg TV globally and have Bloomberg's journalistic standards to back me up. I was feeling disheartened by what was happening online and needed to feel that journalism had standards.

What is great, and I know I'm so lucky and in a unique position. Is that between seasons I get to work with GREAT brands like Ionos on content series like this one. They felt like this was a conversation that needed to be had....and they're right, it's such an important discussion. They had an idea and let me have an editorial space to tell that story. They were really supportive of wanting to be a part of an honest discussion that was led by the people I interviewed. I let them tell their stories and weave them together into this series!
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Valentine EnedahFeb 12, 2024, 7:14 PM
Nicole Scott (Nicole Scott) Amazing!
What are some emerging technology trends that you believe will have a significant impact on digital democracy and internet freedom in the coming years?
Nicole Scott (Nicole Scott)Feb 12, 2024, 7:42 PM
Valentine Enedah Uff there are so many interesting ones! ok..top 3! 馃檭

Web5 is one that I bring up in the series. The convenience of Web2 and the decentralized promise of Web3. Is it marketing, maybe, but it's this kind of thinking that we're going to need to bridge to a world where privacy and online ownership are less focused on corporate profits and more beneficial to your average citizen.

Digital Currency and Central Bank Digital Currencies: I think it's important to call out CBDCs specifically because we need the world's economic structures to make this move. Digital currencies and CBDCs can impact financial inclusion and create new opportunities for online transactions, potentially reshaping economic structures and promoting financial freedom. To put things into a global perspective, the overarching challenge for the future is to integrate the 1.4 billion unbanked adults worldwide into the financial system. According to the World Bank, that means harnessing digital payments, as one-third of adults globally still receive state benefits in cash or through methods other than direct debit. We have the chance to create an inclusive system based on digital currency and CBDCs, it's easy to see crypto bros that forget that's really the point of this technology.

Not Blockchain, but a technology that makes blockchain accessible on mobile. A blockchain is huge! Terabytes in size, we need a way to be able to easily access it. We're all waiting for blockchains ah ha moment! For me, that's what I'm looking at. Once we can figure out how to make the use of blockchain easier on all kinds of tech, then the killer use cases will come!
John T.Feb 12, 2024, 7:38 PM
Nicole Scott (Nicole Scott) I completely agree with you on that end - I don't think complete decentralization is possible right now as THE only form of web. Can you extend on the censorship point? How do you think technology can help reduce or eliminate it? Also, AI is big right now, we see it everywhere but especially in writing. Should we be opening doors for AI to co-write or protect original copy and writers? And does that even make sense with the continuous growth of AI usage?
Nicole Scott (Nicole Scott)Feb 12, 2024, 8:11 PM
John T. Decentralized communication protocols, like blockchain-based messaging systems or decentralized social media platforms, can enable users to communicate without fear of centralized censorship. *cough...X That's a big one.

For me, in the West we have the illusion that we have online freedom, but really it's controlled by corporations. We need corporations to work with governments on a way forward that protects our privacy. For now, we can have open-source technology step in to at least provide a more democratic way forward for the base technologies. That's a start.

As for AI, journalism is 100% at risk! It's funny I didn't list it as a game-changing tech. I had to reflect on why. I guess it's because we're 1+ years after ChatGPT and it is a part of my workflows. Do I use it to make summaries? Yes, do I use it for brainstorming? Absolutely. ChatGPT is a great writing partner. Do I use it to write my articles? No, but that's because I tend to only write features and it needs to be in my voice. Where it has cut my time in half is creating background packs for the hosts of Beyond Innovation. They're not public and I now get chatgpt to make summaries of articles I want them to read as background. That took my time from 2 hours a pack to 1-1.5hr. I often have to 8-10 at a time, so that's huge and there is no loss in quality.

I think that a lot of journalists will lose their jobs and a lot have. I'm personally not worried. I've grown into a journalist who does heavy research and interviews with experts. BUT, as someone who ran websites for years, the way the internet was going was news churn, so really I can see why a lot of sites are replacing their writers with AI. Do they need to pay someone to rewrite 3 articles into one and add one line of opinion? No. AI can do that because these are the kinds of stories that are all too common. Is this the news the internet needs? No? Is publishing problematic right now and hard? Absolutely!

This leads to M贸nica Freitas's question. Why is publishing so hard? A few reasons and I actually blame Google. So I ran Mobile Geeks banner ad free unless it was a sponsored campaign from a brand I'd signed directly. I think this is also HackerNoon's model if I'm not wrong. This is the best way to do it IMO. Sites that ran on banner ad impressions are on a path that leads to clickbait headlines to get numbers up so you could make money from banner ads. Also doing shady things that refreshing the page if it's open in a tab, I had friends suggest that to me multiple times... 馃槖

Even though I didn't run on the banner system for monetization it became harder to find sponsors that valued journalism and started to instead ask for authenticity. As a former very successful YouTuber, I can tell you, that influencers believe that their personal opinion is journalism because it's what they believe to be true. This is what brands started to want from sites that had journalistic integrity and I would say no to deals, even when I needed the money, but in the last few years it was getting harder to say no. And brands can bully to get what they want. This isn't nice.
David SmookeFeb 12, 2024, 7:55 PM
Hey Nicole Scott (Nicole Scott) Thanks for taking the time to AMA here. Digging into who controls the internet - how do you think hosting can become less of an oligarchic market? It's a little disheartening to see more and more decentralized projects launching and then you just see under the hood it's the same old AWS/GCP/MSFT/etc. It's very much a market that favors existing scale/infrastructure as a natural service and price moat. And is IONOS offering/supporting/exploring any peer-to-peer or alternative/exciting hosting technologies? Can't offer a site/app/digital experience without a host, so am curious how it plays out from there to the visitor.
Nicole Scott (Nicole Scott)Feb 13, 2024, 1:05 AM
David Smooke I touched on one of these topics in the content series! Regulatory Advocacy is something that IONOS is active in. ICANN is the governing ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) is a nonprofit organization responsible for coordinating and managing the global Domain Name System (DNS) and Internet Protocol (IP) addresses to ensure the stable and secure operation of the internet. IONOS is active within this organization which actually has a multi-stakeholder approach. Engaging in regulatory discussions and advocating for policies that foster competition and innovation can contribute to a more open and fair hosting market. Outside of this, it would also involve supporting regulations that prevent anti-competitive practices and promote a level playing field.

IONOS also has a history with open-source technologies! And Makrus Noga who is their CTO and came to IONOS directly from SUSE Linux!

Utilizing open-source technology in the hosting industry can mitigate the oligarchic nature of the market by fostering competition, innovation, and community collaboration. The adoption of open-source solutions allows hosting providers to offer diverse services and encourages transparent practices. The security benefits and cost-effectiveness of open source, assume to contribute to a more inclusive and competitive hosting landscape.

It's not easy going up against such behemoths, but I think that being a German company is a big advantage. The country is such an advocate for citizen rights, I think that comes through in their service!
Valentine EnedahFeb 12, 2024, 7:45 PM
Nicole Scott (Nicole Scott) That's fascinating! It's great to see your insights on these emerging technologies. It seems like you're really focused on the potential societal impacts and the importance of accessibility. How do you envision these advancements shaping our everyday lives in the near future?
Nicole Scott (Nicole Scott)Feb 12, 2024, 8:30 PM
Valentine Enedah I am! Not people I have a bleeding heart! haha It's actually just my point of view that technology should be about societal betterment. We're at a point with technology that we should be taking a step back and asking these questions. Schools like Stanford are finally starting to recommend courses like the implications of technology giving founders a stronger base so their tech companies don't have negative societal implications.

Mainstream technologies have so many negative implications that were completely unintended. Who would have thought that creating an infinite scroll would contribute to mental health issues, information overload and a lack of user control over content consumption?

In the near future, honestly, I hope that we get some regulations around AI. Weirdly enough I think that what happened to Taylor Swift pushed the regulation of AI more into the mainstream. So I think that we're going to see some consensus around guidelines that I think will be somewhat homogenous globally.

DeFi or Decentralized finance (Digital Currency and Central Bank Digital Currencies under that umbrella will impact developing countries more than developed ones who are right now just using it for, what I think is, unnecessary wealth generation. So it might not be as visible in Western markets in the short term but will be for a big part of the world.
M贸nica FreitasFeb 12, 2024, 8:45 PM
Nicole Scott (Nicole Scott) would you share your YouTube channel? That's massive - you've done some many great things in such different outlets. Your whole career path would make a great case study on how journalism can be adapted to different mediums - and how it has to adapt really. That brings me to the question: how do you think all the tech advances we've seen can support individuals and independent publications? Are we doomed to fall to the big companies to even have a voice and effect on the information industry or do you think decentralization can enhance individuality?
Nicole Scott (Nicole Scott)Feb 13, 2024, 3:12 AM
M贸nica Freitas That's the hope, that decentralized can help to save individual voices and grant us greater autonomy and control over the content we create online. Whether that means hockey mom sharing content of her superstar or websites doing good journalism. If we take a step back, this is why infrastructure matters. Where website hosts their content, and where servers are placed increasingly matters for publications. Content governance, is the strategic management and control of digital content throughout its lifecycle, ensuring consistency, compliance, and alignment with organizational goals and now government regulations.

Boarders are being put up on our boarderless internet which is a problem. How these rules are created could impact how websites are able to monetize, we're already seeing services not be available outside of their host country (BBC Player). But we've moved past copyright and countries are starting to ask deeper questions like what is acceptable on websites hosted in our country (.de for Germany .ca for Canada .es for Spain, ect)

Right now social media platforms have a great amount of control over content governance. And this is where how websites create content generally falls even if it's not where the content is hosted, it's often where the traffic comes from and is shared.

That's actually what makes this slack ama kinda cool 馃檪

Oh and you asked for my youtube channel...lol I sold the websites and the youtube channel near the beginning of covid. Here's one of my videos a few years before I sold. 馃檭 feels like a lifetime ago. Things have changed a lot, which is why I wanted to move on. 10+ years as a YouTuber was enough, also things were a lot different when I started 15 years ago. It became obvious that a successful video had a formula and honestly, consumer tech became highly predictable.
John T.Feb 12, 2024, 8:46 PM
Thank you for your thoughtful answer Nicole Scott (Nicole Scott)! Connecting your thoughts to your own suggested question, who controls the internet?
M贸nica FreitasFeb 12, 2024, 8:50 PM
John T. great question, it ties very well with David Smooke's.
Nicole Scott (Nicole Scott)Feb 13, 2024, 7:27 PM
John T. The comforting thing I discovered is that there is no one company or government that controls the internet.

It's a combination. Learning that ICANN has a multi-stakeholder approach to regulating the assigned names and numbers of the internet (IP addresses, DNS country identifiers like .de, .ca, .tech .com). That governments, private citizens and companies like IONOS have a seat at the table to create consensus about how things move forward.

I actually talk to ICANN and IETF the Internet Engineering Task Force who regulates internet protocols in Episode 2 Who Really Governs the Internet?

Governments do play a role, which is where we have to stay vigilant that their control isn't overreaching.

We need them to ensure that corporations aren't allowed to have monopolies which are bad for consumers because of the lack of competition so the services will suck. We have lots of examples of how monopolies also lead to overreaching in terms of privacy.

It is comforting the know that lots of people are making decisions and because of this we have hope for keeping corporations, and governments in check.

But then again, I'm a glass-half-full kinda gal!
Valentine EnedahFeb 12, 2024, 8:57 PM
Nicole Scott (Nicole Scott) This is so insightful.
Have you seen any promising initiatives or projects that are already addressing these issues or working towards positive change in tech? I'm always on the lookout for inspiring examples!
Nicole Scott (Nicole Scott)Feb 13, 2024, 6:09 PM
Valentine Enedah Honestly, pretty much anything the Mozilla foundation is involved in is great. They've always got their finger on the pulse of what needs protecting with our online freedoms. Also, if you want to feel inspired, Cory Doctorow is a good barometer for when something is off and what initiatives you should take part in.

I know that doesn't answer your question, but if I were looking that's where I would start. Funny how the places I would go came to mind first over actual programs!
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M贸nica FreitasFeb 12, 2024, 7:55 PM
It's tough out there for any independent publication. Why do you think the industry is struggling so much?

Also, from your extensive experience, what tech trends are you most interested in and which do you think will become an essential part of the web? Nicole Scott (Nicole Scott)
Nicole Scott (Nicole Scott)Feb 13, 2024, 6:31 PM
Actually, if I were you I would actually feel like it's a great time to enter the industry! There is a lot of uncertainty. Correct. But whenever there is transition, there is opportunity. When I started my first website, it was 4 months after 10k journalists across North America lost their jobs. I'm not the greatest journalist, but I knew the way things were working wasn't the way it was going to be.

So I launched a tech blog and now tech blogs are the standard of news. But now they are the problem because they don't have standards. When I started I had journalistic integrity on a blog that was 10X faster than any traditional new outlet.

There are opportunities now to do good work in new formats. For me where I'm at in my career this is the move that makes the most sense.

I think Sophia Smith Galer is the best example of a young journalist who has found a niche of expertise and turned it into a successful micro-learning channel that has fuelled her career in journalism. She's basically the reason I have tiktok (even though I'm more active on Insta) she made me realize that TikTok journalism is a genre that I can respect.
https://www.tiktok.com/@sophiasmithgaler
https://www.instagram.com/sophiasgaler/?hl=en

When I look around at anyone who has been in the industry as long as I have it's because they're always looking at the market and quick to adapt.

In the words of Sun Tzu 鈥淚n the midst of chaos, there is also opportunity鈥

A lot of journalists who probably shouldn't have had jobs are losing their jobs. Sorry to say, just because you can write doesn't mean you should be a journalist. The ones that will stay will have their niche and the industry is changing to need something new. Probably never a better time to enter!
Asher UmerieFeb 13, 2024, 10:47 AM
Hi Nicole Scott (Nicole Scott) You鈥檝e shared some thoughtful insights, so far. Thank you!

Earlier, in response to Valentine Enedah鈥檚 question about emerging technologies that will impact digital democracy, you mentioned Web5鈥攁 technology that will merge 鈥淭he convenience of Web2 and the decentralized promise of Web3.鈥 Could you expand on this a little more? One might ask how the decentralized promise of Web3 can be upheld side-by-side Web2 elements.
Nicole Scott (Nicole Scott)Feb 13, 2024, 7:43 PM
Asher Umerie The concept was so new, that everyone I interviewed hadn't heard of it! lol

Web3, stores data on public network solutions like Filecoin or the InterPlanetary File System (IPFS), Web5 lets users store and control their own data with decentralized web nodes. The Web5 framework also doesn't use smart contracts or tokens to function like Web3 does.

Web5 uses the Bitcoin Lightning Network, a Layer 2 payment protocol operating on the main Bitcoin blockchain. This enables rapid network functionality without relying on tokens, transaction fees, trusted validators, or additional consensus mechanisms.

Using this protocol facilitates a peer-to-peer infrastructure of personal servers, reducing centralized governance. The decentralized web concept, for me feels like a throwback to the Y2K era, with services like BitTorrent, which exemplifies successful open-source, peer-to-peer systems for file sharing, much like the original Napster did for music, albeit illegally.

I interviewed Angie Jones from TBD about Web5! Parts of her interview appear at the start of Episode 4 because they're actively working with their developer community to enable Web5.

Here is a link to TBD's Web5 explainer page.
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M贸nica FreitasFeb 13, 2024, 4:11 PM
Simon Morgan thanks for joining us!!!
M贸nica FreitasFeb 13, 2024, 2:01 PM
Excellent point, Nicole Scott (Nicole Scott)! I think your reply connects to these questions:
Does the fact that Chinese internet users know their internet is not free make them more digitally savvy? Does our perceived freedom online make us complacent?

How do you think online censorship affects technological advances if at all?
Adrian MoralesFeb 13, 2024, 5:02 PM
Hi there, Nicole Scott (Nicole Scott)! As a veteran journalist who has spoken in this AMA about how the industry is broken in some ways, do you have any advice for budding journalists or writers who may feel discouraged trying to break through in an industry that seems to be a bit shaky these days?
Simon MorganFeb 13, 2024, 8:19 PM
Hi David Smooke
Thanks, you bring up a great question. While I'm not the best person to speak about our (IONOS) technical roadmap, I very much agree with your view of IaaS being a very oligarchic space.
I think it's fair to admit that we don't have any "groundbreaking technologies" at this point to disrupt the power dynamics of the market. But we very much see ourselves as an alternative for big tech, especially for mid-size businesses. Some examples are fairer pricing, designing SLA based on client requirements and a commitment to using and offering open-source technologies (eg. Nextcloud, MariaDB, Alma Linux, Kernel development). We play an active role in sponsoring and co-developing open-source CMS like Typo3, Joomla. Since we come from a more traditional mass hosting background there's still much work to do in the cloud, IaaS space.
One small teaser I can give is that we're actively discussing open-source-based or more favourable alternatives to dominant virtualisation technologies. Something like this could spare our clients from being locked into exorbitant licensing commitments from certain vendors I don't want to mention directly 馃檪
Managed AI/ML solutions would be another area where we very much see the risk of tightening the grip of big tech. This is very much taken into account in our product roadmap in this space.
Valentine EnedahFeb 14, 2024, 2:43 AM
Nicole Scott (Nicole Scott) That's awesome! The Mozilla Foundation and Cory Doctorow are definitely leaders in advocating for online freedoms and raising awareness about important issues. It's cool to hear that you trust their judgment and see them as sources of inspiration. Thanks for sharing! If you ever come across any interesting initiatives or programs, I'd love to hear about them too.
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M贸nica FreitasFeb 14, 2024, 2:26 PM
Excellent point, Nicole Scott (Nicole Scott)! I think your reply connects to these questions:
Does the fact that Chinese internet users know their internet is not free make them more digitally savvy? Does our perceived freedom online make us complacent?

How do you think online censorship affects technological advances if at all?
Nicole Scott (Nicole Scott)Feb 14, 2024, 7:13 PM
M贸nica Freitas Does the fact that Chinese internet users know their internet is not free make them more digitally savvy? Does our perceived freedom online make us complacent?

Chinese internet users are 100% more digitally savvy! They are less attached to apps and move quickly to new services. The fact is that a lot of the elderly population has to use apps for a lot of regular everyday tasks. Which makes a lot more of their population digitally savvy.

Knowing that many sites are blocked and that propaganda is a recognized part of the media landscape, which is a reality everywhere. I do think that our perceived freedom online 100% makes us complacent!

Online censorship affects technological advances, it's most obvious in SEO. I interviewed Lily Ray one of the world's top SEO experts about the impact of SEO. In episode 3 it explains a bit about how SEO can impact how what results surface. What people can find will impact what they think of a topic.

It's the algorithms that google and other browsers use that are evolving and the tactics around it.
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M贸nica FreitasFeb 14, 2024, 2:27 PM
Simon Morgan Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your journey with tech?
Simon MorganFeb 14, 2024, 4:12 PM
M贸nica Freitas sure, I should have done that earlier 馃檪 Well, I'm a marketer by profession and leading all marketing activities for professional users like devs or IT experts at IONOS. My love for tech began at a young age already when I became obsessed with upgrading and repairing PCs. At some point, I tried getting Linux to run on my computer when you still needed over 20 floppy disks for installation. Ever since then, I have become an advocate and user of open-source software. I'm really glad that I get to somehow combine these things at IONOS and advocate internally for building a more responsible web.
John T.Feb 14, 2024, 2:29 PM
That's good to hear, Nicole Scott (Nicole Scott)! How did you and Simon Morgan come to collaborate?
Simon MorganFeb 14, 2024, 4:16 PM
John T. My boss knew Nicole from one of her previous jobs. During a catchup, the topic of internet freedom came up and we (IONOS) would love to be part of that conversation. I then coordinated our support and engagement on Nicole's project. Mainly because I am so passionate about the topics and advocating for them within our company. It was a lot of fun and a great learning experience for me as a marketer to work with a real video journalist.
SidraFeb 14, 2024, 2:52 PM
Hi, Nicole Scott (Nicole Scott) and Simon Morgan! Welcome to the HackerNoon slogging channel. Glad to have you here, and thank you for touching the topics that are really close to HackerNoon鈥檚 ethos. It was a pleasure to feature your series on our platform. My question is, what鈥檚 your take on the web beyond the realm of ICCAN and regular governance/control mechanisms - the deep and dark web?
Simon MorganFeb 14, 2024, 4:27 PM
Sidra, wow tough questions. I don't think I'm so deep into that topic to have a clear take. But maybe I can say this: I see the realm of the web beyond regulation as playing an important role. Yes, you get all the bad stuff like trading illegal goods or promoting crime but on the other hand things like the tor network are a space beyond the reach of any organisation. And any organisation (no matter how good the work they do today is) could at one point start acting in the interest of one group only and not of everyone. So it provides a counterweight to a communication system that could become essential when other things fail or become restricted.
There could be a scenario, for example where citizens of one country get shut off from the rest of the world in terms of being able to communicate nor doing any financial transactions. And maybe here decentralised systems might then be the only way to preserve some basic rights of individuals such as being able to communicate freely and participate in trade with whomever they want.
In other words, removing everything that could be or is bad is does not necessarily lead to a better world. Things as they are today can change in an instant and then people affected need options and alternatives instead of relying on the decisions of governments or organisations to act in their best interest.
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Jose HernandezFeb 14, 2024, 3:45 PM
Hi, Nicole Scott (Nicole Scott) How have you seen the journalism industry change since 2006, and how much of that do you think was due to the continued rise of the internet?
Nicole Scott (Nicole Scott)Feb 14, 2024, 7:24 PM
Jose Hernandez The internet fundamentally changed the way that businesses run. Though chiropractors can adjust clients without websites, search algorithms greatly impact their digital discoverability and practice growth.

Journalism is the same as any business. It changed with the times, the democratization of access means everyone can be a publisher, but journalistic standards are optional. Influencer culture turned personal truths into journalistic truths. It wasn't just about the technology but the cultural shift that happened around it.
M贸nica FreitasFeb 14, 2024, 6:26 PM
Simon Morgan that's awesome! What's your favorite tech trend?
John T.Feb 14, 2024, 6:28 PM
Simon Morgan great collaboration!!! What side are you on the internet freedom spectrum? Pro DAOs?
Simon MorganFeb 14, 2024, 8:29 PM
John T. I would say I still have a lot to learn to be in a position to take a strong stance. What I tried to express in my other response is that I believe decentralised approaches are an important counterweight to traditional approaches. Because hardly any organisation can always act in the best interest of everyone. That aside, I also have some concerns about DAO in that it isn't always DAO - free from the risk of being influenced by a handful of people acting in their own interest. The only difference is that these people will forever be unknown. With traditional organisations, as flawed as they may be, there are still legal systems and processes in place. In other words, I can sue them. With nameless and faceless groups when things go wrong the consequences could be dire. So at the moment, I am not advocating for any approach nor ideology but I am advocating for digital literacy. We need more people to understand the pros and cons of each side because most people don't! Other than that I see myself more as an open-source advocate which also answers M贸nica Freitas' question.
I've just come from FOSDEM and the big discussions are about the future of open-source in general. We have an age problem and a problem of big tech riding on free contributions without giving back enough. This needs to change, especially with the explosion of LLMs and more and more open-source projects becoming single-vendor shows that could change their licensing overnight and make their project closed.
M贸nica FreitasFeb 15, 2024, 11:16 AM
And that's a wrap for this AMA. Thank you, Nicole Scott (Nicole Scott) and Simon Morgan for your time and thoughtful answers! Looking forward to seeing what you'll do next!