Facebook, Solid, and De-centralization


I just watched a very insightful conversation about Facebook, SocialMedia challenges, and the Solid Project.

Key Video Segment: https://youtu.be/WGchhsKhG-A?t=861 .


Solid is all about providing a platform that simplifies the development of HTTP-based Read-Write Applications & Services where the Privacy of end-users isn’t compromised, implicitly.

How is that achieved?
First off, it has nothing to do with compute resources. It has everything to do with structured data representation combined with loosely-coupling of the following:

  • Identity (via a WebID)
  • Identification (via a #WebIDProfile doc)
  • Authentication (various protocols e.g., TLS or OpenID Connect)
  • Authorization (WebACLs)
  • Storage (various LDP and WebDAV supporting storage providers or proprietary alternatives from Dropbox, Box, OneDrive, GoogleDrive, Rackspace, AWS S3 etc… ).

A third party cannot offer privacy to an individual. That is fundamentally contradictory. A Blockchain doesn’t address the aforementioned issue either.

The same ingenuity that underlies the Web is what developers and architects need to pay a little more attention re its magical data interaction capabilities.

This issue is about Application Architecture.

This is what Solid Addresses and simplifies for Web Developers.


What are your thoughts on storage providers as third parties?

When you say blockchain doesn’t solve the issue, can you elaborate? I agree, but I’d like to understand what ways you think it is lacking (other than issues such as scalability, inefficiency) and whether you would include a solution like IPFS, or SAFE in this ‘doesn’t solve it’ category.

Really I’m trying to understand what it is you are saying needs to be solved better. I don’t think storage services solve all the problems either, but there hasn’t been much discussion of these issues. I’ve pointed out some of my concerns and would like us to dig into these areas more.

PS I haven’t watched the video yet.


Please help me to understand if SOLID could be implemented in IPFS. For what I see, Solid is a specification that relays both on RDF and some HTTP feature (content negotiation, verbs). Does IPFS matches the minimum SOLID requirements to be considered one of the “loosely-coupling” storage technology? If not what is missing?