Thanks to the Internet, people nowadays believe that they are able to freely express themselves. That is true, partly, but at the same time, it seems like people are tightening themselves up in terms of freedom of speech.
There have been a lot of incidents concerning one’s post on SNS and its unexpected outcome. Many of the photos/videos that went viral were not intentional at first, but suddenly ordinary people become Internet celebrities (or victims). Some journalists got fired for their tweets and many companies look up their applicant’s Facebook profile before hiring.
In other words, everybody is constantly watching each other on the Internet. As there is no material pressure (e.g. law, authority) and no one is in charge of controlling, every member in the Internet community has become responsible of accusing the evil.
Doesn’t it sound like blockchain technology? Its system is decentralized, which means, “managed by its network, and not any one central authority. Decentralization means the network operates on a user-to-user (or peer-to-peer) basis “. This is one of the features of blockchain in order to maintain security .
Letting people keep their eyes on each other and having no central government is exactly how the whole Internet community function today. As a result, there is no apparent constraints of thoughts or restriction of free speech, which is a great thing. However, the fact that everybody is watching each other might prevent people from truely expressing themselves for fear of being accused. No material control means there is no clear guideline of what you can/cannot do. You may be accused of things you did not expect at all. You constantly have to pay attention to whatever you do (you have no idea who is watching you!), you no longer say what you think is right but what OTHERS will think is right.
We might be becoming less and less free to express ourselves, not by the control of an authoritarian government, but under the name of freedom of speech in a democratic society…