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US Congress Now Aims At Decentralized Services Too

Tim Alper
Last updated: | 2 min read

Two members of the American Congressional Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence have challenged the decentralized blockchain-powered DLive platform to explain why it was hosting “extremist” content that incited Donald Trump supporters to storm the Capitol building early last month, and allowing streamers to earn crypto while doing so.

Source: Adobe/Daniel

As previously reported, groups have claimed that as many as six individuals linked to the incident may have streamed as rioters surrounded the Capitol building on January 6 using DLive, with one believed to have streamed content on the platform while inside the Capitol building.

Streamers on the platform, owned since October 2020 by Tron (TRX) supremo Justin Sun and under the BitTorrent umbrella, can earn the bittorrent token (BTT). And the two Democratic Party lawmakers, Jackie Speier and Raja Krishnamoorthi, wrote to Sun and Charles Wayn, the Chief Executive Officer of Dlive, claiming,

“Your platform live streamed a number of individuals who entered and were around the building. Several of these individuals earned thousands of dollars in DLive’s digital currency that day, and a number received large donations through the platform ahead of the event.”

The politicians claimed that “one individual received USD 2,800 in a live stream on January 5” in which he encouraged his viewers to murder elected officials.”

The duo claimed that Wayn has spoken about DLive’s policy of “tolerating” extremists and “allowing other more popular content producers to ‘dilute’ their reach. “If true,” the politicians wrote, “this is unacceptable.”

And the pair demanded a response from Sun and Wayn by February 12, despite the fact that Wayn has already outlined a series of changes the company wants to make to its user policies.

The committee members challenged Sun and Wayn directly, demanding that they answer if there were “any mechanisms in place to identify foreign-based blockchain donations to users” on the platform.”

They also demanded to know if DLive or BitTorrent had identified “any foreign-based blockchain donations to individuals who were subsequently removed from the platform after the Capitol riots.”

And while the platform claims to be decentralized in nature, the lawmakers did not seek to make a distinction between it and centralized social media and content-sharing platforms, writing,

“We have worked with other platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube to reform their governance practices around extremist content and that work is still ongoing. But it is clear that DLive is well behind its peers in platform governance and needs to take serious reformative actions.”

Learn more:
A Look Into the Trending Decentralized Social Media Experience: Mastodon
Massive Google Outage Shows Why Decentralization Is Better
Trump vs. Twitter Fight Reignites Social Media Decentralization Vision
Major Youtuber PewDiePie Leaves Decentralized Platform and 800K Followers