"Decentralized" YouTube Alternatives on Steem? Nope, Not Yet | A Detailed Look at 3Speak and Dtube

in steem •  2 months ago  (edited)

Screenshot 96.png



With the current "YouTube Purge" news, the crypto community has been up in arms and it seems to be all anyone can talk about. It makes sense, as this is a space that prides itself on individual freedom and censorship resistance.

Sure this isn't the first time YouTube has removed specific content or perhaps all of a creators work, with little to no warning. But this time it affected the crypto community specifically,and it was pretty wide spread.

Due to this, many influential people in the space were calling for decentralized alternatives.

Which is great.

This is a wonderful time to highlight the decentralized social alternatives, like Steem (or the apps built on it), as we are solving part of this problem already, and working through the many obstacles that come with trying to build a decentralized social platform.

I have seen many doing so, sharing the name of Steem in conversations etc, our strong community is valuable in many ways.. and being a force of Steem promotion is one of them.

But there is one thing I have also noticed that I felt needed to be addressed;

Steem Is Not A Decentralized YouTube Replacement

No, it's really not.

Why Not?

Because Steem does not store videos on the blockchain, like it does with the text put into "posts". I say this as I am not sure many users know that. Which is ok, and to be expected.. as a user of a platform shouldn't have to understand every aspect of it to use it.

But I know for sure the many here do understand that, including individuals running video platforms on top of Steem. They most definitely know how it works.. they build on it after all.

You see the video platforms on Steem (like 3speak and Dtube) must store videos some way off chain, as the base blockchain storage does not work for them. Video is completely different than text.

The individuals who made these platforms, market them, and moderate them for sure know how they work, and therefore I find it quite baffling to see them stating anything to allude to the fact that they do provide a "Decentralized Alternative to YouTube"

Saying our name is great, attaching it to false claims is not

This is a great time for platforms built on Steem to show why they are a better alternative to centralized platforms censoring their users, 100%. But lying to them isn't a great way to start.

If we had a truly decentralized alternative to YouTube then there should have been a proposal put in for a massive budget to the SPS to get funding to advertise it on any site we could.. I would fully support this.

I mean what a time to have a complete decentralized option to the most talked about problem in the space currently...

But we don't have one, not yet.


I find saying we do, as some sort of marketing attempt, is irresponsible for a few reasons -

  1. Steem has a tough reputation in the space, and throwing out something that is completely false (for attention), only confirms what many already think. Steem is not a scam, let's stop giving people a reason to think it is.

  2. There are content creators that have lost their life work, as it was all wiped from YouTube when they were removed. This is a time where many are encouraging and educating on how important it is to back up ones work.. and they still need to do so on steem, as the same could happen here. Video is not stored on the chain.

  3. It's false advertising, and a damn lie.


But What About 3Speak and Dtube?

3Speak and Dtube are two video sharing platforms that have integrated, or built on top of Steem. Both offer many alternatives to video content sharing platforms like YouTube, but there is nothing decentralized about them.

While I do NOT think a platform has to be decentralized to be valuable (in fact there are many positive aspects to user experience that can be more easily achieved on a centralized platform), I don't think people should advertise it as such, when it's not. And that is exactly what they have been doing.

Neither of these services are decentralized, and that can be seen by simply looking at the data on their sites.


-Let's Take a Look-

3Speak

The project managers of 3Speak repeatedly imply that 3Speak is a decentralized, censorship free video platform on the Steem Blockchain. It is marketed as such all over twitter and elsewhere.

This is a message that many users of the platform have now picked up and ran with. I have even seen them censor people who try to point out that it is in fact NOT decentralized. Or better yet, when someone points out the facts or asks a question.. they are sent to the projects "roadmap" which states that some time in the future the platform would like to be decentralized, something they are working towards.

That's great, then they should be clear and honest about that. As right now, they are very much centralized platform, and saying anything else is just wrong.

So that this post is not just purely speculation or opinion, here are some code level points that prove it. Which can be verified by anyone, as this is all open to the public.

Video Upload

When you login to the 3Speak Creator Studio platform and begin uploading a file there are some very interesting AJAX requests being made. The first would be to: /api/upload/prepare and it returns some JSON like:

{
  "signed_url": "https://s3.eu-central-1.wasabisys.com/v--03-eu-west.3speakcontent.online/tPAiPWPtCUMKfLLPvHYWZoLBAzVvrolRLZCloYNUTFZiNwVXZjMVLRWVUamfxOrB.mp4?Content-Type=video%2Fmp4&X-Amz-Algorithm=AWS4-HMAC-SHA256&X-Amz-Credential=ICQE6DC2QSX9KQ6G1LUA%2F20191229%2Feu-central-1%2Fs3%2Faws4_request&X-Amz-Date=20191229T172554Z&X-Amz-Expires=25920&X-Amz-Signature=bbc3511dfbb8607ff2baf592518e35aeb7c53321bbde1885de38747c6f10486b&X-Amz-SignedHeaders=host",
  "filename": "tPAiPWPtCUMKfLLPvHYWZoLBAzVvrolRLZCloYNUTFZiNwVXZjMVLRWVUamfxOrB.mp4",
  "duration": "2.229116",
  "original_filename": "3speak_exposed.mp4",
  "status": "ok",
  "video": {
    "encoding": {
      "360": false,
      "480": false,
      "720": false,
      "1080": false
    },
    "updateSteem": false,
    "needsBlockchainUpdate": false,
    "status": "uploaded",
    "encoding_price_steem": "0.050",
    "paid": false,
    "encodingProgress": 0,
    "created": "2019-12-28T22:46:49.500Z",
    "is3CJContent": false,
    "isVOD": false,
    "isNsfwContent": false,
    "language": "en",
    "category": "general",
    "firstUpload": false,
    "community": null,
    "indexed": false,
    "views": 0,
    "hive": null,
    "upvoteEligible": true,
    "_id": "5e08e1a2d393d54348d29874",
    "filename": "tPAiPWPtCUMKfLLPvHYWZoLBAzVvrolRLZCloYNUTFZiNwVXZjMVLRWVUamfxOrB.mp4",
    "originalFilename": "3speak_exposed.mp4",
    "permlink": "nngzpbgw",
    "duration": 2.229116,
    "size": 98588,
    "owner": "null",
    "__v": 0
  }
}


What Does That Even Mean...

I know that is just a lot of code most cannot read, but it tells us a lot about the nuts and bots of the platform.

Video Storage

From that returned JSON we learn a lot of details. First of all we now know that they use https://wasabi.com for their video storage, a centralized cloud storage provider.

This is how all the videos submitted to the platform are stored. Remember, video is not stored on chain, so it has to be stored somewhere and then can be viewed on the front ends. This specific storage method is common and many are probably familiar with the term "cloud storage."

This server is not owned by 3speak, it is simply a service they pay for.


Censorship Abilities

Another interesting return, in my opinion, is that in the returned video object you find fields like: "indexed" and "upvoteEligible".

We can only assume what the first one is used for, but my best guess is that it allows them to filter out videos from their platform. Perhaps that break the TOS, etc. Most front ends have something similar on Steem, as each front end is private and has their own rules or laws they must follow.

The big difference is that on Steem, we can access the information from another front end (if one removes it) or build a front end that access the chain (as it is all still readily available on chain). BUT video is not stored on chain, it is only stored in their rented cloud server, and therefore it cannot be accessed any other way.

The second field speaks for itself. They have built in the functionality to exclude specific videos or creators from their automatic curation. This is something they can do at code level.


Meta Information

There is one last very interesting thing that can be seen in this JSON response. Which can be seen in the "_id" field. Which simply points us to what database is used, which is MongoDB. We can see in the the offical MongoDB documentation:

The field name _id is reserved for use as a primary key; its value must be unique in the collection, is immutable, and may be of any type other than an array.

MongoDB is simply a centralized database for storage. This differs from the Wasabi cloud as it does not store the videos themselves, rather the meta information. Which includes the title, length, views, likes etc.


TDLR:

  • Wasabi.com is used for centralized video storage, there is no back up.
  • MongoDB is used as their centralized database.
  • There are ways coded in to disable rewards, as well as remove certain videos/channels.
  • Even though they have stated there are future plans for back up and decentralization, currently it is simply a centralized video sharing platform.


The SPK token

On 3Speak you will find a "Donate" button below the each video. If you click that you can donate SPK to the creator of the video. SPK is a token that they offer, and can be bought through their site. But what exactly is it? From the way it looks I can only describe it as the token of the 3Speak platform itself. As while there is one listed in the same name on Steem Engine, there are apparently only 40 SPK in existence there.

https://steem-engine.rocks/tokens/SPK/richlist?sort_field=balance&sort_order=desc

The SPK seen on their site is simply a token centralized to their platform and sold on their site (completely different than the one seen on steem engine). One core entity has control over where they go, and how many are in supply at any given time, there is no public decentralized ledger. Perhaps they have future plans for it though to become decentralized or convert to a SMT. But that is what it is currently.

Video Streaming

When you are on the site to watch a video this code can be found:

const player = jwplayer('player').setup({
                file: 'https://v--03-eu-west.3speakcontent.online/hbzwwofj/default.m3u8',
                image: 'https://img.3speakcontent.online/hbzwwofj/poster.png',
                playbackRateControls: [0.75, 1, 1.25, 1.5, 1.75, 2],
                autostart: true,
                advertising: {
                    preloadAds: true,
                    skipoffset: 6,
                    skipmessage: 'Skip this ad in XX',
                    tag: 'https://advertise.3speakcontent.online/www/api/v2/vast/?zone=6',
                    "client": "vast",
                },
                abouttext: "Powered by 3Speak",
                aboutlink: "https://3speak.online/?utm_source=player_context",
                cast: {},
                floating: {
                    dismissible: true
                },
                logo: {
                    "file": "https://s3.eu-central-1.wasabisys.com/data.int/logo_player.png",
                    "link": "https://3speak.online/?utm_souce=player_brand",
                    "hide": "true",
                    "position": "top-left"
                },
                sharing: {
                    code: '<iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://3speak.online/embed?v=clixmoney/hbzwwofj" frameborder="0"  allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen></iframe>',
                    sites: ["facebook", "twitter", "reddit", "email"]
                }
            });

Ok, so this simply tells us the source of the videos in a way.

The very first thing we can see is that they use the JWPlayer to show their videos. Which just simply means what is playing the video for you, nothing unusual about that at all.

Then if we look we can see that the player has a setup function and gets various parameters. Such as file: https://v--03-eu-west.3speakcontent.online/hbzwwofj/default.m3u8

We can see here that the URL here starts with what looks like a CDN Url followed by the permlink of the video followed by default.m3u8.

Using a Google Tool that allows DNS lookups through the browser we now know that their CDN (Content Delivery Network) provider is Cloudflare:

As we already know they use wasabi.com for storage. If we now check the given signed_url from the video upload we will find that CDN hostname in that URL: https://s3.eu-central-1.wasabisys.com/v--03-eu-west.3speakcontent.online

That simply means that the videos being viewed on the platform are being delivered from the wasabi cloud storage service.

They are using single, centralized providers.


Which makes them 100% and undeniably centralized.


Why Does Any of This Matter?

First of all the way 3Speak handles videos, video streaming and the SPK token is not bad or wrong. Many platforms are centralized and offer great products, as I said.. sometimes centralization actually is needed for a better user experience.

The Issue Is Misleading Users

3Speak is simply a centralized video platform that just auto posts video links to Steem.

No matter what they have planned for the future, what they have in their roadmap, or what they want it to be.. Right now it is centralized and they are lying to each and every content creator every time they say something else.

The only part of the platform that is actually decentralized is the comment section, as that is stored on chain (but can still be filtered by each front end). The 3speak platform is also one of the many who filter out comments from accounts on the "irredeemables" list.


TDLR

The way 3Speak is currently set up they can:

  • Remove your videos (there is no backup)

  • Remove your comments (filter them from front end)

  • Edit your videos (Title, description, etc)

  • Comment and vote on anything on steem with your account (you give them permission)

  • Ban you from the platform (Simple, as there is only one entity displaying the videos)

  • When blacklisted, you can't even access their creator studio (https://studio.3speak.online/blacklisted?u=steem)


Remember -Their whole platform could be taken down by the providers they use to supply storage. They have TOS polices after all as well, that anyone who uses their service is held accountable to.



I believe they want to create a platform like the one they describe, but it does not exist yet.. and leading people to believe it does is just irresponsible.


What About Dtube?

Dtube is easier to explain actually, as they use a IPFS storage method. Which means they run a server and it stores the videos. Currently Dtube is providing the majority of storage, but creators do have the choice to pay a couple outside services to store them, but most don't. Perhaps they don't know they need to, don't know it's an option or just don't see the point in paying for it.

Also due to the high cost of IPFS storage, Dtube doesn't keep the videos stored longterm, and therefore videos need to be backed up, or you risk losing all your work... just like on YouTube.

If you go back to old posts that included a dtube video, many will not play.. as the video is no longer stored. If the creator did not back that video up or post it elsewhere, it's gone.

BUT Dtube does have the potential to become decentralized

As well as any other project. Anyone can set up an IPFS node (a computer running a specific program) and "pin" or "store" your own videos, or perhaps all that are uploaded to dtube. Then, if one server went down.. the videos would still be online, as there is more than one node contributing to the network.

The more nodes taking part in the network, the more decentralized it becomes.

But this requires massive storage and the cost is quite high, therefore longterm it may not be a viable option for decentralized storage of video content.


Final Thoughts

This post is not intended to bash any project, simply to bring to light exactly how these platforms work, as I feel content creators have a right to know. And quite frankly I find it quite baffling that these projects are being sold as "Decentralized" by those who know, without a doubt, that they are anything of the sort.

Both projects show promise, and I think we are lucky to have them building on Steem, but think they should be honest with their current and future users.

As I would love to be able to say that Steem has a Decentralized alternative to YouTube, but we don't.

I hope one day we will.


Today what we have are some great projects that have expressed they are working towards that, that is a good enough slogan.. no need to throw in completely false claims. They will only backfire.

For content creators I suggest getting a hard drive and backing up your videos to that (any you wish to keep longterm). Then you can post on whatever platforms you want.. but you will not lose the videos in case of an issue with the platform itself. This is the best practice currently in my opinion.

This protects you, your work, and gives you a way to avoid losing your content for one reason or another due to 3rd party sites.

Justine

ALL REWARDS ARE BEING SENT TO @SBDPOTATO THROUGH BENEFICIARIES

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And here they are sucking up a shit ton of rewards...

Yep and Steem-Engine is super centralized

Makes me sick.

Hmm, feels a bit like nuance trolling to me. Everything you said is technically true, but if you want to dive into the weeds of every little thing you can also point to the fact that images aren't stored on chain, on DSound, those music files aren't stored on chain, basically if it's not text it's not stored on chain. Some people know that, some don't. I honestly don't think most care, especially people coming from Youtube.

They care about being censored and demonetized. That's all, and to that problem Steem DOES have a solution, (although you can be demonetized by other users, more details)

I dunno, I guess this just doesn't feel like constructive criticism. Especially with the whole "gotcha" feeling of posting code like you're outing the big bad liars of 3speak or something.

How can’t they be demonetized and deplatformed if all their content can be wiped as it’s stored on one centralized cloud server?

Not outing anyone, I’m showing how the platform works.. as it seems many are confused.. Including their own FAQ section (which says they store it on the Blockchain). Other platforms you mentioned aren’t doing that.

Not saying don’t use, I’m saying back up your content as it can easily disappear.

That may not matter to many.. but those coming to Steem because all their content was removed on YouTube might need to know that.

Simple - let’s back it up until we have a true solution. We don’t have one yet, but hopefully we will soon.

I meant to put that in my comment, but yes I agree 100% on letting people know(which they should already but wvr) that they should back everything up, because a meteor could hit the servers we use or whatever.

Yes I think this is important best practice that should be taught, and then creators can use what platforms they like.. including 3speak (as I do like it).

I simply included the code to make this as impersonal and not opinion based as possible, which it seems I still failed at.

BUT I have overheard many conversations tonight about possible solutions to storage that would put Steem way ahead of the rest and I hope they continue. As I think having this solution would be totally kickass for Steem. And 3speaks core vision is something I’ve always agreed with.. I just think the misrepresentation of what they actual do was confusing many.

You must be one of the smartest girls in the world, (for sure smartest one on STEEMIT). Including code to prove your points - doesn't get much better than that. You are kinda brutal though but that's good. Wow i'm impressed - upvoted - thanks!

Because Steem does not store videos on the blockchain

Bitcoin SV has gigablocks! LMAO Bitcoin SV is the decentralized video platform of the future! Soon we will all be streaming 4k video off the SV chain! Long live Faketoshi!

  ·  2 months ago (edited)Reveal Comment

Nah, if I wanted to shit talk Steem.. I would do it out there 🙂 stop making everything so personal butterfly, again.

I own a decent stake in STEEM and have worked on it for almost 2years. Why would I want it to fail? That’s not very logical.

This is not something “everyone knew” in fact many steemians have been shilling it as so all over twitter due to things they saw the team saying.. and the fact that their faq states they store it on the blockchain, therefore creating a false narrative.

If you knew, awesome.

Others didn’t, and they need to know to back up their stuff.. and not get people here on fake pretenses. False pretenses are a sure way to make Steem look bad.. way more than this post you seem to think is meant to do so.

While you try to twist things here though (I’m sure you’ll get your much needed brownie points for that, don’t worry), we are already working on possible solutions, as this is a problem that needs to be solved.

I know many people like to sugar coat problems and just ignore them, so they get their upvote, others like to solve them.

I would like both groups to get attention right now, even said that above .. great time for steem to be in the spotlight, but let’s not ruin it with false empty shills.. people aren’t dumb, and they will backfire.

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  ·  2 months ago Reveal Comment

HOW DARE YOU! Do you know what these services are doing for the community? Do you have any idea how much this is needed on steem? Who elected you queen of the blockchain? Did you really think that you could just waltz in here and tell people how to run their business and I wouldn't say anything? This is the most outrageous thing I've seen all week, and I cannot hold my tongue. Get off your high horse, @justineh, and come back down to reality where people are actually building things while you try to tear them down.

I'm just kidding if you didn't get the hyperbole.

Funny, people won’t get the joke. 🙂 Including @3speak, who upvoted it. The irony is too much. Many are discussing how to improve the situation, the 3speak team is silent.. but upvoting comments they don’t even understand..

LOL

Way to show me boys 😉 open conversation is cool too.

Oh yeah and this .. from their FAQ

5C309FC2-7C6D-4B50-B67F-E1995C4801F2.jpeg

https://3speak.online/intl/faq

I didn't realise they said they stored the content on the Blockchain. I did'nt even think that would even be possible with the current technology.
Video files are big and Youtube has always run at a loss due to the server costs. Goggle is happy with getting all this data for free hoping that one day they can turn a profit on it but I think that day is far away.
I system like Napster or torrents with a desentralised front end with creators and fans storing the files could be the only alternative to Youtube . Thanks for restarting this very important conversation.

Seniors won't that's like... tiny!

XD 🤣

We are chatting about solutions in PAL discord if you are around @techcoderx

You are too emotional, Bro. It is called constructive criticism, and it might help
Steem and everything around it more, than exaggerated loyalty.
Didn't we learn to question everything ;)

He’s just kidding. We were on a chat discussing possible longterm solutions and they were roasting me for some of the shit I’ll get. All in good fun.

(Check the fine print there 😉)

Nowadays it's hard to tell if it's still humor.... ;)
Good to know, that i missed the fine print ;)
But like i said in my other comment, you made some good
constructive criticism...
Not to mention the view counts on 3speak, is that thing working
or are they/the traffic really that low..?

Yes to be perfectly honest, I’m pretty sure his trolling was too good.. as even 3speak themselves seemed to want to agree with him 🤪 But hey, that’s to be expected.

I did ask about their view counts recently and they were pretty confident that they were accurate, yes.

And thank you for your kind words btw, appreciate you seeing the meaning of the post and all 🙏

Ultimately it's all about users and usage. No matter how decentralized your solution is but the performance is poor like in dtube, no one is going to use it. There's no point to even make this startup. To overcriticized a new startup until you yourself try to startup one. You'll realise how hard it is to get decentralized solution on everything. Something simply doesn't work

Yep and not everything needs to be decentralized.. just back up storage so everyone doesn’t lose their content would be good imo.

Especially if the push is to onboard all the YouTubers who lost their content and are looking for an alternative. Sort of defeats the purpose.. no?

  ·  2 months ago (edited)

Well you got a point. But if they have a roadmap to later show that they will use a tested better decentralized solution on storage then it will be better i guess. It really depends on the commitment of the developer. But for a startup you really have to give them chance to grow first, hopefully when it matures it will switch to a more decentralized solution. But right now people are leaving due to user experience. Blockchain is not mature enough yet.

I gave a small downvote here, only because I don’t really like someone else coming in (the owner of 3speak) to upvote comments at 100% that essentially change the narrative of the comments section here.

Just wanted to explain, as it’s not personal.. just feels a bit over rewarded imo.

  ·  2 months ago (edited)

Well you have your own point of view and i have my own. It's decentralized after all no one should be silenced. no harsh feelings here.

Excellent analysis on 3Speak and its centralization, this is why I have been a critic regarding the platform.

As a DTube chain block producer and co-founder of OneLoveIPFS hosting service, I have to agree on what you said, some creators don't care about decentralization as they just post their videos as a YouTube link, which can be taken down anytime. From my queries, 58.27% of the videos since 0.9 update are not IPFS uploads, which means 3rd party providers can render majority of the videos unplayable if they want to.

And yes, it does have the potential to actually be decentralized and have no single point of failure as anyone can clone the infrastructure due to its fully open source nature. For example, anyone can build (or simple make a clone) an alternative frontend that uses alternative APIs and gateways not controlled by the DTube team.

A Steem proposal to make OneLoveIPFS service free to use might be an idea to explore, but sustainability is still questionable 🤔

Perhaps if IPFS is a solution for this then some of the delegation that both platforms have could be used to incentivize hosting nodes or perhaps discuss how torrents could be implemented and incentive for seeding/downloading could be used to grow the network.

I think this is a great thing if we could solve it, and we already have great teams working towards it. Maybe some collaboration is in order.

Rondom, Aggroed and a few of us were talking about possible solutions. Told him to reach out to you 🙂

I remembered at one point @vaultec ran a contest on IPFS node hosting, but there is no follow up on it...

Incentivizing people to run nodes and have a public way to monitor them (like we can currently with witness or full nodes) would be a great way to solve the problem imo.

I don’t know much about the tech, but if the infrastructure is already here, we just need more nodes ran to make it decentralized and therefore more secure.. I think the projects delegation could be a possible way to do so.

Maybe some other will weigh in.

Yup running an onelovedtube node has been a great way to decentralize my content a little more. Thanks alot @techcoderx for all of your work and help.

IPFS is the best we have. BitChute uses WebTorrent. Seems worth a look. Steem integration of that might work well.

Posted using Partiko iOS

Torrent to me would be the ultimate, with perhaps a reward incentive to seed etc, but I’m not sure how that would be integrating into the current tech. I just don’t know much about it.

IPFS is currently here and used, so maybe that’s a first step? Not sure.. but I think both projects are very close, they just need some help.

Its all come down to cost, its just too much for them to do it right.

I think making it torrent based should not be difficult at all.
I would definitely connect it with an additional reward system to hold a shard.

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I guess dtube/3speak should press the point that videos are less likely to be removed unless TOS is breached. It's just not quite as catchy in a Tweet as 'decentralized'.

I don't think the average content creator knows or cares about "Decentralized" in that sense. I think what they care about is not controlled by a huge corporation trying to determine which content can be viewed.

I could even take it one step further and say, they just don't want to be demonetized. While that can happen here as well... it would be for different reasons.

Yep I agree. I'd say there is less chance of being demonetized or having your content removed on dtube/3speak, just need something catchy in the advert :)

The funny thing is that while DTube or 3Speak can censor you they can’t demonetize you. Only the community can.

Posted using Partiko iOS

Other front-ends would still display the post but I assume the above could break the link to the video leaving the content absent with less chance to pick up rewards?

Possibly unless the censored author raises a stink about being censored and Steemians decide to support the placeholder post out a desire to support the author.

Actually, if they are the only way to post their videos, they can demonetize you. No one sees the videos, therefore no one can vote them.

That’s the great thing about steem though, access from other front ends.. it’s just I see video differently I guess.

Just the claim that they can’t demonetize or censor you is false.. but maybe I guess they have a TOS that says they won’t.. and that’s good enough for most.

I was talking about a situation where you post a video and the video gets taken down after that. The monetization can still continue despite the video being taken down. That's because all videos on 3Speak are embedded in Steem posts that no one, not even the author can delete. That post can be viewed using any Steem front end even if the video couldn't. It is the post that gets monetized, not the video itself.

Yes that makes sense, even if the video doesn’t work there would be a post (with the broken link) still there that people could support. Good point.

There servers are owned by amazon, pretty sure there is a decent chance considering.

They can show they are an alternative and their TOS would reflect what content will be removed for.. and they could perhaps educate individuals to back up their content or provide back up storage as well.

Depending on one storage company means they don’t even control what happens with the content in the future. They just need to be clear with their users on this.

Many don’t care about decentralization, and that’s total fine.. but I’m not sure how answering the question of “what is a decentralized alternative to YouTube?” With “3speak” is extremely misleading and can hurt content creators long term.

Well, 3speak isn't decentralised but is built on a decentralised blockchain, so that still works out fine in the long run and won't be counted as a "lie" per se.

How? How does it work out? And how is built on a decentralized platform the answer, as the content they are advertising has nothing to do with the blockchain, as it does not store it.

It only is using the chain to post the link, utilize the comment section, and use the rewards. The video content, which is what people are coming for, is stored off chain in the cloud.

The is a discussion about possible IPFS or torrent storage, but tbh I don’t think anyone has solved it yet. I hope 3speak finds a way to improve it, but currently I think creators need to be backing up their content they want saved.

I don’t think I ever seen them say threespeak is decentralized. Got a link to somewhere they said it? Their buzz words are deplatformed and free speech.

When someone asks “what is a decentralized alternative to YouTube” and people respond with “3speak”.. what is that saying exactly in your opinion?

Technically it is an alternative, but surely not decentralized.

Well I’m not trying to attack them but there are plenty of screenshots to show members of the team alluding to it.

I think they have a great project and focusing on citizens journalists and the deplatformed is great, but they should at least be honest about what they actually do.. and most definitely make some improvements with back ups so that the next buzz isn’t about being deplatformed off Steem (via 3speak). That’s all I’m saying.

Steem + Bitchute = ?

Not sure.. many have mentioned a torrent based tech. I guess this is how LBRY does it, but I don’t know the specifics of how this would work.

DTube used to have WebTorrent support but for some reason the team disabled it in 0.6. Could suggest to the team to enable it back since they allow link shares now

that is sad

isn't dtube already pretty similar to Bitchute or was assuming they both used either IPFS or things similar to that?

I thought 3Speak was using or was planning to use the SIA network for storing the content. Maybe they are using both blockchain and centralized storage services to deliver a better user experience?

Wouldn't the use of the SIA network for storing content qualify as a decentralized alternative?

They are not currently using SIA and have not for quite awhile. The only current storage they are using for videos is the wasabi cloud service mentioned above, and there is no backup.

I know they said they are working on decentralized ways in the future, a challenge we all should be wanting solved.. as it would be amazing for Steem. I hope it comes to be.

I did not know that. Thanks for the information and detailed explanation in the post. 3SPeak FAQ section still says this though:

Our system uses blockchain to store the content, meaning it cannot be arbitrarily removed.

Using the same logic, we probably can't say Steem is decentralized either since images are also not stored in the blockchain. Hypothetically speaking, if the storage providers or Steemit Inc delete all the Steem images that would break most of the Steem blog content.

We could have images stored on IPFS, and have only its hash referenced on post article body (no URLs), then interfaces can interpret it as an image and use the hash to load the file from an IPFS gateway (can be selected by the end user).

In theory, you probably could encrypt the files cut them to smaller pieces and store on Steem in custom_json. Then UIs could put the pieces back together as a file, decrypt, and serve to their sites.

Alternatively, someone could build this software and UIs could use the services. Probably will require a lot of RC and may have performance/speed issues.

Cutting up images or videos and storing them on the Steem blockchain would work in theory, but not in practice. The capacity of the blockchain to store data is very limited. If someone tried to do this they would find that the cost of RCs would go up and it would become cost prohibitive, if it weren't already from the start (and I believe the latter would be the case for any real app trying to do it with, say, videos).

that is too bad that it can be so tough from a practical standpoint

That is too bad that
It can be so tough from a
Practical standpoint

                 - joeyarnoldvn


I'm a bot. I detect haiku.

That would be blockchain spam as storing the actual file on the blockchain is unnecessary. Storing the IPFS hash is more space efficient (more than the entire image URL) as the https://domain part is omitted.

For example:

![](QmNoa96v5gCfnzsdEbzZtrJvuXH14hS8k8DPPUQbdJMydd)

can be detected as an image stored on IPFS, and it can be used to load the image from any gateway (at user's choice).

We could say that pictures are not stored decentralized on the chain for sure.. as they aren’t stored at all. There is someone who stores the code and then has a program that displays the image.. but that’s above my head.

But yes, I don’t think we should go to individuals whose photos are being censored and say “come to Steem because your photos will never be able to be removed” this would be absolutely false of course.

There are frontends using ipfs for pics

The reason I’m sticking with dtube is that it’s easier to upload via YT mobile app nowadays, the just copy the link to dtube upload. It’s easy when you are travelling. I don’t think all videos have to be on chain (too much cost). Most of my videos and other dtube videos are nothing much controversial to be kept on a decentralised chain, I don’t mind using YT or other video site for hosting.

Dtube has a potential to become decentralised video platform as you mentioned for those who got demonetised from YT and others, I agree mostly with this post.

I largely stopped following 3speak after realizing its centralized model from heimin’s reply a few months back. But more important for me is still it’s not so mobile friendly if you are with ios, can’t upload from phone, they only support mp4, not mov.

happy holidays

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Well YouTube can delete your videos anytime for not being "commercially viable". That's why I created OneLoveIPFS hosting service for a better uploading experience for creators.

DTube supports MP4 and not MOV for a reason, as IPFS network works the best with MP4 for videos.

youtube terminated at least four of my channels

Thank you for this. I am one of those who misunderstood and may have claimed 3speak was decentralized when suggesting it to disgruntled big platform users.
I do still think these two are the best alternatives out there, and I believe they will develop into the vision of web 3.0 that we all deserve.

I totally agree, I just think from a PR stand they could both be promoted for what they are.. without misleading users.

Hell we are so damn close to an actual solution.. heck maybe this will even push it, as I think Steem is the foundation of Web 3.0 and both projects are an important part of that.

But there was some confusion, and I felt that needed to be cleared up.

exactly

Haha. Great post.

In addition, I'd advice content creators to sore more than one copy of their videos - on more than one hard drive in different locations. You can also use YouTube for storage only by setting the videos to Private or Unlisted.

Wishing you the best in the coming year.

Great advice. Didn’t think of youtube private options as additional storage too.

I mean I know creators have different desires for storage here.. and many on Steem may not care to every have some of the videos they post again, but there are many on YouTube who consider it their lives work.. and currently they are scared to lose it (like others), so it seems like an important topic at the moment.

Thank you, to you as well ❤️

YouTube is like a scam in that they pulled people in, like Facebook, to say anything was allowed at first and then they started walking that back over the years. But like you said, like a drug, people become addicted and dependent on the social ghetto networks. YouTube terminated at least four of my channels, meaning thousands of videos, and I know it is tough to deal with. The good news is that the human spirit is stronger than that. We have tenacity.

i tell people this as well

I never understood why dtube or 3Speak not at least have the option to use WebTorrent like bitchute. This would make decentralization much easier, since anyone can easily install WebTorrent Desktop. After this you just need to copy the magnet link to mirror a video. And since its open source it could easily be expanded to listen to the Steem Blockchain and auto mirror videos from specific authors.

!BEER


Hey @fw206, here is a little bit of BEER from @eii for you. Enjoy it!

Learn how to earn FREE BEER each day by staking.

@starkerz there are a 145 comments here discussing ideas.. instead of just upvoting the two that acuse me of trolling or to “not question a start up” essentially using your stake to twist the narrative in comments .. perhaps you could address the actual issue at hand, or maybe just change the damn faq already

DFDF40EF-86B5-4AB6-8EAF-AEF4877A9DCC.jpeg

Show me where anything I’ve said is false. It’s simple - improve the communication coming from your project so it’s not misrepresenting what it actually does.

As I’ve said repeatedly in comments below, I’m a fan of the project and what it’s doing and also don’t think that it has to be decentralized or stored on chain.. but it sure as heck shouldn’t be represented as such, when it’s not.

We ill be issuing a statement. I’m sad to see that you did it this way and did not send us an email to pre warn us about the article. We are running fast and building on the fly in order to try to cater For the new market of disenfranchised creators who are struggling on traditional platforms like YouTube. We cannot do tos updates regularly. You have made a good point and we will be rectifying this issue with a statement and tos adjustment soon. But I think that it is clear that this article generates some negative attention where I think is not due and in order to maintain journalistic integrity, such blogs should be released with ‘we have contacted the threespeak team for official reply via email’ but no such opportunity was given. Alternatively, this issue could have been easily resolved by simply pointing out the issue in our discord or telegram group. I hope that once we release our statement, you will be updating thre content of this blog to reflect the update do situation, or at least referring future readers of this blog (at the top of this blog) with a link to our blog which corrects the issues raised here. It will be positive for all on the chain. Thanks

I’m not a journalist, I’m a Steem user who saw misrepresentation being done by not only the site, but your team members.

I tried to reach out, as I’ve done many times before, and was blocked.

Nothing in this post is negative, it’s literally just explaining what is happening. In the post, as well as many comments, I state that I think the core vision and goals are great and something I support.

On the opposite side stating I am trolling is quite negative, and an attempt to negate the things I’ve brought up. Not to mention what is being done behind the scenes, but I expected that much.

Improve the communication, stop using false claims to create a buzz and of course I will update this post with whatever is needed, including linking to new (improved) information provided by your team.

Very good. We will also be releasing already available video presentations done weeks prior to your claim that we are purposefully doing false advertising / purposefully misrepresenting (which is not a fair summation here at all) in which both dan and I present threespeak to large crowds and clearly state that decentralised storage in in our future roadmap. I refute the claim by you that we were doing false advertising. Ok tos needed updating, fair enough, and we will be rectifying shortly. If you had done your research you might well have seen these videos and your content might have given us the benefit of the doubt while asking for clarification instead of accusing us of misrepresentation. But please just drop a question in our discord group in future (it’s available to all). This issue would have been resolved immediately, without any potential For hard feelings or animosity between us, our stake holders, or members of the community.

That’s great Matt, but one video “done weeks before your claim” doesn’t really change what has been actively been being said.

It’s easy to solve - but seriously maybe you and your team need to get on the same page... as saying “we are working on a future decentralized storage option” is much different than what has been being said. If you can’t see that, I’m not sure what to say.

As far as your stake holders, or community members .. don’t worry, this place is still scared to stand up to anyone who has stake and uses it to get what they want.. so your project will be just fine, as you know.

3speak is a great project with a great mission, don’t ruin its potential for a short term win made possible by fake empty hype shills. It doesn’t need that to succeed, your original idea was brilliant enough.

Can you show me examples of the threespeak team purposefully mis representing that we are a currently a decentralised storage system for video. No such technology even exists. No such instruction ever came from threespeak management. And as far as I am now aware, none of our team have been Mis representing threespeak as a decentralised storage system for video content

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I disagree.

90 % people don't care after 7 days payout. And you keep repeating the same two facts ten times in your post. You're right though but as I said; people are here for rewards, like it or not.

Sorry for being repetitive. 🙂

Yes many here are only here for rewards and don’t give 2 shits if the videos are saved or not. BUT many whose content is being lost on YT do care, and that is why I made this post.. as the current conversation does very much care about long term storage and that is something Steem is still lacking for video options.

Sounds like "fake it till you make it" mentality. They are saying decentralized for long enough that it is just an accepted fact. It's pretty obvious that people are ok with being lied to in advertising, just look around you at society.

I think it was just a twist of words that caused a sort of avalanche of users who believe that is what it is.. based on what they read.

I think the platform is great as is, and there is a way to communicate that it is also working to be improved etc.

There is a certain responsibility that needs to be placed on those that continue to further the lie and they need to be made aware of their error. There is also a need for people who understand and can articulate this problem (THANK YOU!) as I had little awareness of this going on.

It's been weird watching the evolution of this place over the years and I have always held a strong hope that it would flourish.

it is like food at a store that says it is organic but is not and some people don't know any better

Very good post reminding community - what we have , what we don't have, and what we need to do. Appreciated.

Thank you for seeing it for what it was supposed to be. 🙏

I notice that one of the share options for videos that are hosted by lbry.tv - which apparently is fully decentralized - is to use embed code. But the embed doesn't work when I paste it into the editor on steemit, steempeak, or busy.

I wonder how hard it would be for Steem's front-ends to activate embeds from lbry.tv.

@steempeak ? 🤗

I'm trying to understand how content is hosted on lbry.tv and this is what I found: https://lbry.com/faq/host-content

From my understanding the content is hosted by the users when they are online, otherwise it's on the website. Not sure this is really decentralized as it still relies heavily on the storage provided by lbry.

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Supporting embedding can't hurt :)

also bittube would be cool too :D

Hi! But maybe you also should mention Vimm tv?

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Does vimm store video now or is it just for streaming?

  ·  2 months ago (edited)

I think what most of us tend to forget is that Steem on the whole is a large failure, having failed to gain any traction beyond few thousand users for years while offering nothing of 'normy' value, including the simple concept of 'signing up'.

Without this mass adoption, very few people care or know about the pedophilic content, the malicious intent, the hate crimes, the publicly accessible extreme porn and so forth that would otherwise gain a lot of attention on a platform such as YouTube.

This means that legally, Steem has a lot of slack so far, but should it ever gain traction (it won't), legal problems are going to be the very forefront of every conversation, and legislation will very quickly follow making someone somewhere responsible and likely shutting the whole thing down in an ongoing FBI battle or something similar to the decades-long battle with Torrents.

Yeah you might say its immutable but so are torrents, and yet famous sites are still getting permanently shut down, owners and users arrested and so forth.

Add a storm of dissatisfied youtubers to the mix and you have yourself a legal nightmare.

My point being, aiming for decentralized video uploading sounds nice, but at the end of the day it's not really viable at a legal standpoint and no nation is going to stand by and allow thousands of hours of child rape getting public, unfettered access, for example.

It'll only end in tears. What would be better is simply a centralized platform whose creators design a pledge or some kind of system that assures nothing will be censored - within legal boundaries. Perhaps they pay the price democratically or they are held to account in other ways. Perhaps they can become immune to the censorship desires of advertisements by having income sourced via decentralized steem-based methods rather than over-sensitive patreon overlords.

These are already in existence and run by and used by pretty prominent people, it's just hard for them to gain traction with YouTube overpowering with their VEVO bullcrap and Zoomer reaction/unboxing videos. They should be supported and worked with, rather than the futile dream of pure decentralization imo

how would you compare steem, legally, with bitcoin which governments try to ban?

Great post! Not Steem related at all, but I've seen a number of people migrate to lbry in the last few days, likely as a result of the YT purge. I myself only just discovered it after all the Twitter postings lashing out about the takedown, some mentioning lbry.

Storage would make it difficult for any decentralized video offering. It would likely have to be built, in part, on storj or BitTorrent or similar where each node must also store videos and provide bandwidth. Then there are the questions about legality of hosting some types of video content.

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Although LBRY is good platform, but not available for Indian people. Still people finding more accurate alternative of YouTube. LBRY has many problems as well. We will see in the future what is the best crypto lovers find the option of YouTube.

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why is LBRY not available.... did you say in India?

Justine for President! 🎩🎩🎩

good idea

great research

Nova time word: Decentralized - is Trend - is Money, if you want money/users, you have to use word Decentralized in promo for your service!
So, we all knows that, where is idea = money there is no truth inside!

Thank you, Justine. Real talk!
Good to know more technical details...
First i was "blown away" by 3speak and dtube alternatives..!
Great idea...!
But the more you use it and/or observe (their politics) , the more
sobering it becomes.
But this concerns everything around Steem, since i started here.
Great potential doesn't mean great results, i guess ;)

"Censorship Video content creation platform built on a decentralised network" is the ideal marketing pitch.

Decentralisation isn't the selling point, "censorship free" is.

Agree, then let’s build that.. as they can be censored tomorrow by their one storage provider, which would wipe all content of all creators... as there is no back up.

Doesn’t mean there can’t be one though and I personally love the concept of the platform, just think we need to be clear so we don’t end up in the same situation that content curators on YT currently are.

Also, their info is a bit misleading here as well

88407C8E-4E2B-4C8B-A4E9-4FFB418A9B1B.jpeg

Love the platform, love the idea of citizen journalists etc.. I just think this information is important for creators to know. And hope that these things will be improved upon.

Oh yeah, I see what you mean now.

Isn't that splitting hairs a bit? These are Steem-based applications that used IFPS, right? Isn't that essentially the same?

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Dtube uses IPFS, yes.. but needs more nodes to be decentralized.

3speak does not use IPFS, they use wasabi cloud storage.. as said in the post.

Not sure what you mean by splitting hairs, there is nothing decentralized about them as videos don’t have the “features” associated with it like those things posted in text on Steem.

Agreed. We just need more people actually running IPFS nodes for DTube

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lol

thank you for your thoughts. unfortunately most people trade performance for surveillance. IPFS/decentralized structures have to be way more perfomant (maybe with rewarding nodes?).

at least we have 2 competing plattforms here on steem. If we manage to teach more people the "Private Key" concept, we could bring more people here. Right now everybody moves to bitchute, even though they have a massive funding problem AND no rewards for content creators but the "free" video storage.

You've discussed some good points here. I wasn't aware of this and nobody seem to be, except some steemians.

Still great platforms to use, just be sure you are backing up content you are wanting to save longterm.

And yes I think this is a confusion for many.

I'm glad you posted this as you're Twitter post on the subject actually made me stop and think and consider I wonder if DTube and 3Speak are decentralized as I've never really looked into it and I bet they aren't.

I was going to ask you which projects you were talking about on Twitter, but glad I came here first.

My comments there were in general (and didn’t mention names for a reason), many are doing this. Many of the projects being shilled there as alternatives are in the same boat, as I dug into them too.

But coming here to show ours was in the hopes they would improve them.. as they are the best option currently that I see (they are closest to finding a solution).. but I’m sure as hell not going to promote for people who lost all their content on YouTube to come use our options.. so they can just lose it all again.

We don’t need to twist things, or allude to something we aren’t, we have great projects, and with a bit of improvement they would be even better.

I get why everyone wants to just create buzz and fluff it all up, but that only is beneficial for those in it for the short run and looking to sell (so they want a short pump). I think Steem has the potential to really change things.. but pretending we are something we aren’t wont get us there imo.

but it is a alternative to youtube already. We will see in future how it works out.

i totally agree

Aamzing post there must YouTube alternative.

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woooooow

I think Dtube is better than YouTube in future

What an awesome, objective and insightful post! Thanks for the code references! Finally someone who stated their opinion and dared to set things straight. Many things never really added up to me when it came to IPFS nodes and dtube and then I also never really got how 3speak could have been so fast without a CDN. Then again i never really delved into it. 3speak and their team and how much they believe in free speech reminds me of Orwell 1984 and how important this is for our economic paradigm shift of value micro economical or peer to peer exchange. They really inspire me! I was targeted for stating my opinions many times and took a stand for human rights. I was often met with coercive opposition as in some countries where there is less liberty and one is being forced to conform like live stock at a slaughterhouse. We need a decentralized video platform! Looking forward to reading much more from you. Thank you so much for sharing this with everyone!

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😋

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Steps in the Right Direction:

IPFS is at least a step in the right direction, it is like Bit Torrent, and I believe Bitchute uses something like that. Anything P2P is key. My question to developers would be in regards to how we might store video, photos, memes, files, etc, on blockchains, cryptocurrencies... I've heard people talk about attempting to store video on Bitcoin in a way but more like part by part or bit by bit.

Super Mega Computers

I wonder if quantum computers could help. Well, I take that back as those type of computers can be big and expensive. But I do like to theorize ways for storing video on blockchain without putting too much pressure on blockchain as video files are generally larger than text files. I guess if everybody suddenly had super mega computers, then we all could somehow afford to have bulky blockchains with videos encrypted or whatever.

Honest

And yeah, you're right that 3speak and others should simply let people know like you said that they are probably not decentralized either at all or not in regards to the actual video files themselves.

I tested Dtube - but the upload did not work for me.
Anyway 3Speak all looks to working fine.

~ Comment and vote on anything on steem with your account (you give them permission)

Say What?

Also, how do you do that thick vertical bar to quote each other?

Use the > at the beginning of a line, then a space, followed by the text you want to quote

Use the > at the beginning of a line, then a space, followed by the text you want to quote

A useful tip to be sure

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Well, this post was a real eye opener. Backing up one's content just makes good sense, especially if significant costs and effort was involved in production. And I agee that service providers should be as clear as possible about the tech underpinning their business models and Terms of Service, otherwise false claims and assumptions can arise.

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This is important. Video is difficult to store due to the huge file sizes. If we want it stored indefinitely then there will be a cost and the 7 day rewards of Steem cannot cover that. Maybe the video dapps will find some other way to pay for it.

Apologies if this is a stupid idea, but couldn't videos be encoded to text somehow and then posted to Steemit? This would allow for a truly decentralized platform while still allowing videos to be posted. If you have any criticisms, please let me know, as I'll be looking into this soon.

I was thinking exactly the same.

I think these mentioned video plattforms also need to really consider embedding and sharing improvements. I do not use DTube merely for the fact that they cannot Embed videos into other posts. It might be a small point, but it is serious for me.