DTube 0.2: Faster to serve videos, Stronger to resist censorship

in #dtube6 years ago

First I need to thank each and every person who either upvoted, commented on my article, or used DTube since its launch. The number of reactions I gathered after posting my previous article on steemit.com, is simply staggering. The way this project was released, with the number of users we serve, and the total bandwidth we consumed in the first weeks, was a very good to test for DTube to see how far it can be taken. Thank you all.

Copyrighted and Extremist content

I really didn't want to blog about that, but we have all seen the copyrighted content posted on the blockchain recently, as well as more recently some 'far-right winged' political videos that are usually censored on YouTube. And many people have been asking about my stance on that privately.

For me, these two problems are the same. The community must deal with it. I cannot do anything to stop it myself, I don't control anything but the dtube.video domain. I'm sure STEEM is full of invested people who want the platform to succeed, and they know which contents serve our interests and which don't.

If the upvotes outweigh the downvotes, the video goes up and might be displayed in hot/trending. Otherwise, it ends at $0 and won't be stored. I believe any living thing is able to see good from wrong, and every STEEM account has at least 6 SP, so why not use it? If you think something shouldn't be on DTube or SteemIt, just downvote it!

Business plan?

I intentionally hadn't put any thought into this aspect of the project before launch. After getting the numbers and seeing what we can expect, it is obvious a platform like DTube can become a huge success in the future, and that many people will try to compete with DTube. DTube currently has 25% fees on videos (0% on comments), and it would be easy for someone to compete by simply lowering the fees on the upload.

I believe there is no winning strategy. Most existing video platforms (including porn websites) will be interested in what we are doing. They will eventually end up understanding and copying what we are doing. These companies have been in the video platform business for years, and they gathered a lot of information, did a lot of research, and they have competent staff that have been working with videos for a while. They have existing infrastructure, legal entities, and lawyers. If these people start competing with DTube, DTube won't be able to run as fast as them.

Hence the choice, of not turning DTube into a business. The 25% fees will cover the development costs, for a couple of months, then once the project is solid and we stop working on it, paying the fees will only remain as a defaulted option.

Money, staff, and community

The total earnings of @dtube can be seen at https://steemdb.com/app/dtube/earnings (built by @jesta). As you can see, we are averaging 200 SP per day. That is a lot of income and it is enough to find a competent second developer as well as a designer to help this project going faster. I am already in the process of interviewing and will pick wisely.

We also now have not one but two channels on steemit.chat, #dtube and dtube-promo. Anyone is welcomed. I also created a private discord for the 3rd party providers (@nannal, @thekyle), future staff, and a few content creators doing well on DTube.

Who needs a domain?

Hey @heimindanger, aren't you in some legal risks? Couldn't the domain be taken down just like thepiratebay.org ??

This isn't a real question, but I received the same one at least 20 times. TPB is a traditional website, with a back-end database. When this database gets unplugged, no more pirates. Here, a blockchain is our database, and you cannot unplug it that easily!

The domain is a concern. I could have to shut it down at one point if I receive a DMCA takedown. It already happened to a past website of mine, and there wasn't much to be done. That's bad. But, because there is always a but, DTube can easily be hosted anywhere. I could use GitHub pages, or even my Dropbox to serve DTube to the world. As we use IPFS on DTube already, it makes sense to go with IPNS (Interplanetary Naming System) that allows us to do this. Basically, DTube can be hosted on IPFS, and we don't really need a domain no more. Check it out at this ugly but functional link:

You can consider this link as a mirror that will never die. However, I will keep the domain working for as long as I can. It's more convenient for everyone.

Now let me introduce the changes in 0.2:

Remember me

When you run DTube from DTube.video, you are sure to be on the right page. And no other page can access your locally stored keys.

When using the IPFS-hosted version, someone could easily make another IPFS-hosted website that looks for your keys. This is why the default behavior is no longer to automatically store your keys on login. You just need to check the 'remember me' option on the login page if you use DTube.video. When using the IPFS-hosted version, it is VERY MUCH NOT RECOMMENDED to use the 'Remember me' feature for your own security.

Hashbang router

Also, I had to rewrite the router (the part of the application that chooses what to display, based on the address in the URL bar) for it to work on the IPFS-hosted version. That means all the links to DTube have changed. Boo-hoo. I'm sorry about that, it's something I totally missed before the release. All past links should redirect fine however it's better if you update the links when you can.
Instead of https://dtube.video/v/joeblack1/qye2e7br,
the link would now be https://dtube.video/#!/v/joeblack1/qye2e7br

App settings on the blockchain

Another very annoying thing with DTube was how I had to re-compile and re-minify the source code before putting it on the live website. A simple change of setting would take 5-10 minutes to get published on dtube.video.

Instead, the settings of the app are now controlled through the STEEM blockchain and are stored inside the JSON Metadata of the @dtube account. You can check it on steemd.com/@dtube (built by @roadscape)

Automatic Gateway

Another big part of the past two weeks was to figure out the best way to tune the IPFS network to our needs. At launch, I thought it would be better to have files on every gateway for maximum availability, and that's why the gateway used was chosen randomly. I was so wrong. I realized that after a couple of days where videos were struggling to load.

Instead, an 'automatic' gateway is chosen for each file, depending on its hash. Basically, instead of loading the 50 snaps on the homepage from one single gateway, it will fetch 5-6 per gateway. I patched this two days ago and it's obviously working much better. @nannal is complaining much less about his bandwidth costs.

It's possible this behavior might make some videos 'never load'. Going to the settings and changing the gateway should still do the trick, just give it a bit of time as only @nannal stores the original file and the new gateway will need to download it fully before forwarding it to you.


Wait... did I say that only @nannal is storing the files? Not for too long... :)

Many people have been asking if they can help the network in any way. They now can! IPFS can run on any platform and is only a few MBs download. In order to facilitate the process, I have added a few scripts so that your IPFS node can easily be configured to work with DTube.

I zipped the current windows version of IPFS (4.10) with a script to easily configure the IPFS node to connect with the DTube app.

How to install IPFS for DTube

  • Download IPFS 4.10 for Windows
  • Unzip the zip anywhere
  • Run the config.bat file
  • Allow IPFS in the firewall (there should be a popup)
  • Go through the config, it should ask you for the size you want to allocate to IPFS and pin your first file: the DTube app itself.

Feel free to make a shortcut to the dtube.bat file on your desktop, or even put it in the Startup folder of your windows PC, in order to seed video files through IPFS all day long :D

Linux Install

This part maybe works for Mac users, I did not test it

The IPFS executable in the zip will not work on your system. IPFS is easier on Linux. Just install 'go-ipfs' with your package manager, and then it's as easy as running this config.sh script file graciously made by @brandongiesing (and it's much cleaner than my .bat script)

Pin on upvote

Once successfully installed and connected to DTube in the 'Settings -> Local IPFS' menu, any video you upvote from DTube, will get pinned, i.e. downloaded to your hard drive, and seeded on the IPFS network. It's also a new way to show your support to your favorite content creators on STEEM. Not only you give them money, you also help them by reducing the chances of their file being forgotten by the internet.

Using local gateway (experimental)

When running IPFS on your PC, you can also try using '' aka the local gateway. What this theorically enables, is true peer to peer over DTube. You would download your video directly from another steemian who has upvoted it previously. Sounds pretty cool, right? Too bad it doesn't work really well.

1- It completly destroys the connection as anything you see on your screen gets seeded instantly. Maybe that won't be an issue for someone with more than 2Mb/sec.
2- Videos only start playing in the browser once the IPFS node has fully downloaded it. So let's say someone uploaded a 2-hour long video, you will need to wait 20 minutes to start watching it. Terrible for the user experience.

These two reasons alone are enough to not make the local gateway the default one for people running IPFS. I hope we can change this in the future. True peer-to-peer streaming without gateways would be the best, and I think we are close to it.

Using local API for upload

If you are running IPFS, you will also now be able to upload directly to your IPFS node. The uploads will look instant, but will in reality happen after, when someone tries to watch your video. Just keep your IPFS node running and this should be perfectly fine. If your PC has to go down and you are afraid that some of your files might be unavailable, just use the normal upload ;)

Minor changes

  • All avatar pictures should now load from steemitimages.com
  • Fixed search suggestions bug
  • Limited max snap file size
  • Displaying video bitrate in upload page
  • Slightly changed the way DTube videos are shown on steemit.com (with now a direct link to the IPFS video)

Final words

Last two weeks were still not holidays. I guess I won't have any this summer. As you can see a bunch of work was done, and it was mostly focused on optimization of the IPFS network and security. I don't think we will see as many bandwidth-related problems like we have seen in the first week with videos completely failing to load or loading very slowly. I wish I could provide an update with more 'eye-candy' features, but priorities are priorities.

Don't hesitate to comment with your bugs/problems, feedback is always appreciated. Also remember about the #dtube channel on steemit.chat if you are looking for help or want to socialize with other video creators on STEEM.


It will be interesting to see if this platform can catch some market share in the media content creation area.

Not only this one, the idea and the use of IPFS is really great... I did not know before that one can host websites this way... this is the logical evolution...
DTube might be the best implementation for the moment, but this will also spur competition and other people trying to outcompete it by using Steem as a platform... This is something Youtube can only be jealous of... I think that as Linux outcompetes Windows in many areas (look at Android), there might be even better Website designs... But DTube at the very least will get its place in history, as the first really decentralized video website.
With this I agree with Jerry, that Steem should go to a 100 bucks in the next 2 years...

DTube is a decentralized gushing video stage connected to Steemit (the decentralized web-based social networking) which enables clients to transfer recordings effortlessly and profit (or cryptographic money) by means of the upvotes or likes on their post. As YouTube acquires the Anti-Defamation League to demonetize substance and mark it as "detest discourse", DTube couldn't have come at a superior time.

So clear something up to me and the few I can outreach to... Down vote #1= someone disagreed. Down vote #50 = content that should and will be removed? #1 & #50 being generic terms as an example?

censorship is never a good idea.

Censorship is mental illness

I think the team behind DTube is definitely capable of having a lot of impact in the media content creation area. Just imagine all steemit youtubers would move to dTube and earn money through it. The fact that they already using IPFS is awesome.

Great post! The project is interesting . At this point I agree with you.

Yeah it was laggy at start, but getting better

Do you think that the price of 1 dogecoin is just $ 0.0000042, and for the next one or two years, the price of dogkine will come when the cost of Bitcoin comes at just $ 42.276 or one or two The price of 1 dogkine in the year will be at least $ 10.56. Now, what you do not understand from the price of dogkine, I want to tell the people that if you believe in a bitcoin, Dog coin kim So much so $ 10. 56 will be increased when the cost of bitcoin can increase, the price of dog coins will also increase

dtube.video will be the 100 top sites in few months. I am sure this platform is capable to get biggest market share in media content and also capable to get listed in top 100 alexa sites.

Give it time I think it will. I feel like this site is more for the people, than youtube is

every marketing media has his own market value this media has his own value every social market need traffic of peoples to attract

I think this will doing great and decentralize the market due to which small business men also get some profilt. I like it...


It is looking like this platform will do amazing things and shock a lot of people.

Help to collect 1 million for the travel with the likes xD

Interesting post, I really liked it!

I think so...

with the collaboration of the whole community this platform can become greater than youtube over time because it is decentralized and because it helps to grow all users, it is a matter of patience.

yep lets see what comm etc this clone get

It will catch some market share for sure ,,,,Because thousands of steemians are interested in using it,, nd thi is only the beginning,.

On Copyrighted and Extremist content:

I think it is best for this platform if we let this content exist in it's own bubble by filtering it by default, but not censoring it.

Due to the lopsidedness of the SP distribution it makes it very easy for one person or a small group of people to police opinions they personally don't agree with.

Down-voting will make steem a circle-jerk where only the most sanitary content can be rewarded. How boring will the content on steem be if we start forming down-voting brigades for anything slightly offensive?

Let's not ruin the ultimate censorship resistant platform by policing content we disagree with.

From a game theory standpoint, I actually disagree. With two different types of 'reactions' to a content, instead of one, it's much easier to control the quality.

Also, we want people to be fighting wars over which video will have the most exposure. That's what traditional medias already do. The difference here, is that the one with the most STEEM Power will win, instead of the one with the most dollars.

DTube is a decentralized gushing video stage connected to Steemit (the decentralized web-based social networking) which enables clients to transfer recordings effortlessly and profit (or cryptographic money) by means of the upvotes or likes on their post. As YouTube acquires the Anti-Defamation League to demonetize substance and mark it as "detest discourse", DTube couldn't have come at a superior time.

The Anti-Defamation League will have an even easier time censoring on DTube.
All it needs is to downvote any video it deems "antisemitic" (basically anything they don't like) to 0$ with the power of its jewish bankers backers.
Not to mention there is already a couple of zionist megawhales on Steemit which are downvoting any post questioning Jewish power, Haavara agreement, the bogus gas chambers, the Talmud, the Kalergi Plan etc etc
On Steemit a post only gets grayed out when downvoted to 0 (so it can't be fully censored), but on Dtube it will disappear completely! read what it says : "IF IT ENDS AT 0$ IT WON'T BE STORED"

If the upvotes outweigh the downvotes, the video goes up and might be displayed in hot/trending. Otherwise, it ends at $0 and won't be stored.

all that is prevented is using SP to pay the hosting fees. You can still pay the hosting fees to ipfsstore directly, or host the content yourself.

yes I just read that in one of the replies. that's good. the cost is 0.044$ per GB per month.
Though I still don't see the need for the "downvote to 0= not stored" thing, unless it makes Dtube unsustainable financially.
@heimindanger in one of the replies revealed that illegal content can already be removed from ipfsstore whenever a Court order or DMCA notice is sent to them.

IPFS has some mechanism to block videos actually and if he receives any DMCA notice or court order, @nannal will delete the file from ipfsstore.it instantly, I don't think he wants to go to jail.

Also important will be to setup the nodes in countries that respect freespeech, because France (where @heimindanger is from) is a NWO socialist dictatorship with the strictest "hate speech" laws in the World lobbied by the Anti-Defamation League. Even just questioning the Holocaust gets you 5 years in jail there.
Don't know where @nannal is located but hopefully not in France, or best wait for the creation of nodes elsewhere.

Which political opinion goes to the top is not the issue. The issue is the censorship (aka removal of content). Even if heavily downvoted a video should NOT be deleted.
Dtube is not censorship resistant nor a free speech platform if all it takes to remove a video is downviting it to 0.
Wealthy Elites , Government Agencies or even political mobs will be able to remove inconvenient videos with ease.

The issue is the censorship (aka removal of content). Even if heavily downvoted a video should NOT be deleted.

There won't be any deletion. DTube can't remove links stored in the blockchain. In theory state actors may be able to pursue IPFS hosts, but it doesn't look like deletion will be an easy task.

if a video gets downvoted down to 0$ it won't be stored.

If the upvotes outweigh the downvotes, the video goes up and might be displayed in hot/trending. Otherwise, it ends at $0 and won't be stored. I believe any living thing is able to see good from wrong, and every STEEM account has at least 6 SP, so why not use it? If you think something shouldn't be on DTube or SteemIt, just downvote it!

basically the ultimate censorship platform.
the wealthy elites and government agencies will be able to silence dissenters easier than ever before, they won't even have to wait for Goole...they'll be doing it themselves.

if a video gets downvoted down to 0$ it won't be stored.

It's not exactly true, I think @heimindanger is just using simplified language here. Once a file is put up onto IPFS, there is nothing DTube can do to remove it. Once a link is placed in the Steem blockchain, there is nothing that DTube can do to remove it.

The particular code that is used on DTube can select not to show certain videos, based on whatever logic it wants, but it's just not presenting it, the data is there and it's still fully public. All you have to do is use an alternate client (perhaps simply a modified version of DTube, depending on the license) and you'll have full access to every video every uploaded via DTube.

then we need an alternative client unless @heimindanger reconsiders his "downvote to 0 censorship" stance.

Fighting wars over which content gets exposure is the exact situation i am afraid of:

Since both left leaning and right leaning groups can negate rewards, you are left with neutral white-washed content, no?

We are left with non-political content making all the money. Perfectly fine by my standards.

The STEEM blockchain will always print a certain amount of currency everyday. When you downvote someone for a full $, you literally give cents to all other authors in the trending, who legitimatly are better in your eyes.

It will be a problem for any content that is controversial, not necessarily just political content.

I'm only proposing we need to carve out a space for controversial content. If the masses of users don't see it unless they look for it (like on reddit), then this incentives the maximum amount of people to buy steem.

The alternative, is content contrary to the dominating ideology will be censored and people who want to support such content will be discouraged since their upvotes will be negated by larger accounts.

Ah you are comparing it to how reddit recently filtered some subs from appearing on the front page of the internet. Yes something like that could be possible, like making a greylist of tags like #nsfw, #gore, etc. Maybe logged in users should be able to setup their list of blocked tags though.

I thought it would be an opt in for the poster, something like:

  • Users can create a private tag that opts out of appearing on trending.
  • In exchange posts in that private tag can not be down-voted.

The only way to censor content in a private tag would be if all witnesses decide to not write content from a certain private tag to the block-chain. So you would need 95% of the community to think the content is obscene rather than one person with an agenda before the content is banned.

Expanding on the idea: you could allow people to register, own, moderate, and collect the curation rewards from their owned private tags.

Without a hard-fork to implement private sub-reddit style tags, I suppose an option to not to have your content show on trending, and hope agenda driven down-voters don't bother you would be nice.

I am more than brilliant thanks for participating You really deserve success and I want to be like you and be happy if you followed me and I loved my publications love you

Fuck your standards you fucking tool.... Time for a new video platform it seems.....

No No No, Controversy has value, if you seperate them everything will fall flat.

Good morning DonaldTrumpFan and anyone who reads this comment.

This is my very first interaction with Steemit since joining a few days ago. I couldn't resist this opportunity to add my voice to this crucial topic.

I despise Facebook, YouTube and Twitter because, more and more, they are used as tools to censor views that they deem unacceptable; particularly views that are labeled as: "conservative" or "right leaning" or "hate speech" or "politically incorrect" or islamophobic" or "homophobic" or "racist" or "anti-semitic" or "white-supremacist" or xenophobic" etc.

Let me be clear. There should be no safe haven for anyone that advocates treason and sedition against the United States whether they are American citizens or not. Videos supporting, depicting pornography and coaching viewers on how to do pornography or child molestation or rape or bomb making (you see where I am going with this). Why? Because these actions are against natural law not to mention the Law.

So, DonaldTrumpFan, I share your concerns and position on this matter of censorship.

I will say more in my introduction post on Steemit and in my Dtube posts and video uploads.

hahaha ut SP is just dollars, meaning anyone with DOLLARS can BUY and convert to SP.....

You are really awesome and your posts are awesome. Thanks for sharing. I want to be like you and succeed like you
I am very grateful to you
I will share your posts on my page. You are a hero

Yes but your going to run into the problem of fracturing with this and while that dose not seem like an issue platform dis-adoption at this early stage could happen as a result. In other words people will often choose to be in there own echo chamber/comfort zone rather than compete.

“If this nation is to be wise as well as strong, if we are to achieve our destiny, then we need more new ideas for more wise men reading more good books in more public libraries. These libraries should be open to all—except the censor. We must know all the facts and hear all the alternatives and listen to all the criticisms. Let us welcome controversial books and controversial authors. For the Bill of Rights is the guardian of our security as well as our liberty.

[Response to questionnaire in Saturday Review, October 29 1960]”

John F. Kennedy

Note: The Steemit and Dtube’s of the world today are the open and public libraries of yesterday. There’s no coincidence that once you examine the etymology tree of both the words library and liberty, you find they originate from the Latin root word— liber, which translates as free.

I believe freedom exist first and foremost in the mind. Censorship and suppression are the harbingers of ignorance and slavery.

both the words library and liberty, you find they originate from the Latin root word— liber, which translates as free.

very nice observation

Thank you!

Sorry, but this is only partially correct.

liber as an adjective means free, this is correct. But the origin of library is the noun liber (book) which is used metonymically only. People used to write on bark, which is the correct translation of the noun liber. While this meaning of bark is related to trees and not to dogs, the meaning of library is related to bark and not to liberty...

Damn, langugages are difficult and confusing.


Makes me wonder if we could program an AI to make decisions like JFK would have... could be an interesting afterlife. Would be cool if it produced D-Tube videos as the product! "JFK on Censorship" then a video of a recreation of him, but with a new AI-created speech...

(We may all just be original content for future AI creations!?)

All the better if we each learn and speak with such authority. I've heard he had access to significant information, unlike many other leaders. Perhaps with the most complete data set, we make truly logical conclusions that help humanity.

I also disagree. It is this community's fear of the downvote which is allowing the currently over rewarded advertising and spam to get to the trending page. The point of the downvote is not to censor, but to voice your disagreement in the value of the post to the community at large.

Consider what made people get tired of facebook. People who pay to reach their facebook followers get priority on your facebook feed. Steemit is rather similar, except that we have 2 tools spread across the stakeholders to bring the better content to the top. We have the upvote AND THE DOWNVOTE. And using the downvote to disagree with those who upvote something just to benefit themselves and nobody else, is what your downvote is for.

That might be the intended purpose.. but there are unintended consequences.

I think we need support for something like steem-communities (reddit-style subscribed content) to get people content they find appealing.

Could we have communities like /r/sandersforpresident or /r/thedonald if they are allowed to down-vote each other?

Sure. But their reward pool contribution will be negated, so why would they come here in the first place?

A valid point. And I think reddit-style communities are on the way but as far as I know they won't be preventing people from downvoting.

Dtube is sweet. I hope it can take off..

Had a question I was hoping someone could answer:

I see a lot of videos with $0.00 in rewards that still play. Don't you need to have a reward to pay for the hosting of the video? Why do these videos still play?

Many possible reasons.

  • Someone else than ipfsstore.it is seeding the file
  • The file is in the gateways 'cache', and if the file is popular it will stay in it

ah thanks! so if we cant use SP to pay the hosting fees, we can pay the ipfsstore hosting fees directly or host the videos ourselves.

Great question!

DTube has changed Steemit in that short time it exists. So many people talk about, everyone is excited, new opportunities opened up and even new people are coming to Steem thanks to DTubes new service and the YouTube purge. Ameazing work you are doing and I try to contribute with my daily Steemy show as much as I can.

Cutest avatar on Steemit :)

Thank you, I drew it myself and I am by far no illustrator (yet).

D-Tube best project on steemit

Firstly, decentralized posting; now, decentralized video. The life is great! :)

It has been awesome so far. As for censoring content, that is what is killing YouTube don't do what YouTube did and censor content just because some people think it is "extremist", if it extremist content people will flag and down vote it into oblivion anyways.

It is great to see the platform is being upgraded with the money you are earning. So bravo to that and keep up the good work.

One small bug, the Safari browser is not letting people upload to DTube, when switched to Chrome the upload went just fine, but there seems to be some issue with Safari and Dtube, probably on Safari's end, but just letting you know.

Anyways peace and thanks again for the new platform.

I don't think content can be truly censored. All DTube would be able to do is hide it on certain parts of the website (such as the homepage), or through a settings change (like the NSFW).

Thanks for the Safari tip, I will check it out whenever I have a mac in my hands.

Yeah thanks, for sure.

I don't think content can be truly censored.

Why I love Dtube.

Yeah, I personally don't even have safari on my computer, it was fiancee and she could not upload a film for a day or so, kept saying IPFS upload error, so I made her switch to google chrome and it worked perfectly firs try. It is probably an issue with Safari which is a horrid browser.

It's great to see so much work being done on this. Are the issues with audio/video not syncing now resolved or at least better than they were?

My wife recently tried out dTube for the first time for a singing competition and a ton of people thought she was badly lip-singing the song because the audio and video had a delay even though it worked perfectly on her device and on youtube where she later uploaded it.

thanks for making this

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