#015 - Is DeSo really Decentralized?

DeSo News - en
8 min readNov 24, 2021


It’s been about a month since 7 representatives of the DeSo community were elected. Their role? Be the spokespersons for the community — hence their name @DeSoVoices — so that their demands are heard by @Nader and the core team.

These elections being an initiative coming from the community (read our article « Who are the Reps? And what are they for? »), we were wondering how Nader was going to react and welcome these representatives. Answer: Silence. Nader has not yet made any anoucement on this matter. Not a word. No public statement, no private message to the “Reps”. This lack of reaction is nevertheless one. By this “no comment”, the founder of DeSo clearly seems to pass the message: « I am not interested. »

Questions that DeSo News asked to the Reps.

Answers by @kerstineymers

1. It’s been a month since you were elected. Did Nader make a statement (either in public or by private message) to comment on this election?

No, Nader did not contact me in public or private.

2. In case he has not yet recognized this election, does that change anything in the way you view your mission?

I am here to serve the community and will keep doing that, also if there is no official recognition by the core team. But I don’t try to hide the fact that talking (and listening) to your customers is essential for long-term business success. It can make — or break a project, especially when the product is community-centered as it is in social media.

3. How do you choose the subjects on which you are going to work?

We are currently working on a feedback process that will define the working agenda. The topics that cause the biggest pain should get my attention so that we can find solutions for that — together. My expertise is in marketing/communication and leadership.

4. So far do you have the feeling that the community is interested in the mission of DesoVoices? Do you observe an active participation of the community through proposals and other feedback?

Yes, I see active participation and support.

5. So far what topics have you worked on and where are you at in advancing each topic?

My priority is creating an (unbiased) feedback loop and comms initiatives with the voices team — and our extended team: the community!

6. Do you already have an idea of ​​the other subjects that you are going to cover later?

My focus is the key pain points of our community, if all of them are solved I am happy to come back to this question!

7. Do you think that 3 months (the duration of your mandates) are sufficient to complete the topics you have selected?

It depends on many factors — and the overall productivity. You can complete the same topics within two weeks — or five months! But one thing is clear: I am here to push things forward.

8. What would it take to make your mission more effective?

As long as we keep on helping each other, communicate in a respectful way, and stay optimistic we can manage everything.

Some have justified his silence by the fact that only about 300 members voted for this election. Which represents barely 10% of the 3,000 daily active users of DeSo.

However, Nader could have said, « I take note of the desire of part of the community to have representatives. I promise to listen to their demands and I hope that for the next elections there will be greater participation so that the reps are more representative. » Something like that. It wouldn’t have committed him to anything — who pays controls — and the community would have felt heard and valued. Nothing.

We tried to get in touch with him to ask him a few questions, but the fact is he’s hard to reach except if you belong to his close circle.

Not enough community involvement

So, the representatives, whose role of volunteers is not an easy one, for lack of an interlocutor, are all over the map.

They didn’t get discouraged though and began to set up a group on Discord to collect suggestions from the community and discuss solutions among themselves.

« This is how I see my mission, » explains @Randhir, one of the reps. « First, collect and prioritize the concerns of the community. Then communicate those concerns. A few days ago I did a post and @AlexValaitis [DeSo Foundation member] acknowledged it and admitted that there were gaps and that he’d bring it up to Nader. »

Representatives are starting to have fairly clear ideas on how to proceed.

« What we need to do is Create a post asking people what are the main points », says @kerstineymers, « then ask people to vote. Create the ranking, summarise the areas, take action (working groups, hackathons led by community leaders) and share with the core team. »

On the other hand, one of the difficulties they encounter is to involve a significant number of members of the community in debates and votes so that the process becomes more and more democratic.

« We have a 100+ members in the Discord group, » says Randhir. « It’s not enough to represent the community. »

« We are currently discussing the modalities of an election process that motivates more people to participate. This is all going to take time. We’re just getting started. »

We asked what it would take to make their mission more effective.

« It will help if the Core Team engages with us sooner rather than later », replied Randhir.

Lord Nader vs DesoVoices

Will Nader be interested? Eventually. But for the moment, his priority is clearly with the developers and not the mere members.

When Nader says that « the platform will be built collaboratively », he means collaboration with the developers. His vision, he has repeatedly asserted, is « social apps developed by thousands of independent entrepreneurs all over the world working together rather than by centrally-planned companies with layers of bureaucracy and middle management. »

Lord Nader Master and Commander of the @DesoWarriors

When there are thousands of nodes offering a wide range of feeds specializing in all kinds of topics — politics, sports, culture, the arts, alternative living, and all kinds of other niches that are not necessarily politically correct, then the network will truly be decentralized. This does not mean that the management of the network or of the nodes will necessarily be democratic. It means that the developers will have full control to surface whatever content they want, and that the members will be able to choose the apps according to the feeds that speak to them. This is not currently the case since the two main nodes — Bitclout and DiamondApp — offer almost identical feeds and features.

« And that’s what the Octane Fund is going to help achieve », says Nader.

Of course, he is aware that the interaction with the community is an important point and that so far the core team has not really done it. « We’ve been doing a very weak job of this, » says Nader. « We have extremely active Discords and a highly-engaged community, and yet we don’t have anyone from the team with deep experience on how to manage it. Our hope is that we can hire someone very talented to fill this role full-time. »

Nader will keep the community informed by publishing reports on the State of Decentralize Social.

A promise of complete transparency?

Often accused of lack of transparency in the management of the platform, Nader published a post on October 21 where he said:

« What if we could have complete transparency on how social media companies make decisions. We could solve problems collaboratively.

That’s why I’m proud to announce State of Decentralized Social DeSo’s First Status Report. “

A promise of complete transparency? We’ll see…

Last question to the Reps

Is it utopian to think of a node project where the DesoVoices suggestions would be put into practice? DesoVoices would have their own node which would be the showcase for the community’s proposals.
If the community demands are implemented into a node, then the community should eventually move to that node because that’s were things are done their way.
Obviously, it will take time until the community gets consistently involved into making suggestions and voting. But that could be a roadmap.

Answer by Randhir:

That’s actually one of the options I was seriously considering and have spoken to several people about it. Not really a DesoVoices node. But, a real compete node (and I’ve been speaking about the topic quite a lot in my posts).

It could actually be any of the existing nodes too as long as they agree to be administered by a DAO where say they have some extra rights because they started it and invested resources to bring it to where it is today. But, I feel like it will run into the same challenges if we don’t put a DAO equivalent in place. What if we create a node and then a section of the community doesn’t like the way we/node-owner work(s) or the way we/node-owner verify(ies) users or the way we/node owner manage(s) the hot feed or the way our own / node owner’s projects/friends get highlighted (e.g.). How will that be different from the current issues?

Mister Deso Discovers Decentralization

This episode of the aventures of Mister Deso is available in NFT on @MrDeso.


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DeSo News - en

DeSo magazine by Philippe Meunier. Also in French 🇫🇷: https://desonews-fr.medium.com/, and in Portuguese 🇵🇹🇧🇷: https://desonews-pt.medium.com/