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Quadratic Funding: Empowerment for Creators & Users in the Age of Social Media



In the fast evolving digital space, social media has become an integral part of our lives, connecting us with friends, family, and the world. However, the majority of social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and TikTok according to Kevin Owocki, the founder of GitCoin are driven by profit and attention optimization, leading to a “race to the bottom of the brain stem.”

The founder at ethCC 2023 held in Paris emphasized the idea of employing crypto economic protocols to create a healthier social media environment.

Further, the current web2 economy operates on the principle of the attention economy, where social media platforms profit from maximizing user attention. Super-powered AIs analyze vast amounts of user data to engineer content that triggers emotional responses, keeping users engaged and generating more profits for the platforms. Kevin stated that this approach has significant consequences, including the erosion of our sovereignty over attention and increased division, hate, and fear in public discourse.

However, the solution to these shortfalls could be the integration of quadratic funding. According to Kevin, it is a mechanism invented by Vitalik Buterin, and being used by GitCoin to offer a potential solution to the effect of the attention economy.

Quadratic Funding: An Incentivized Solution

The fundamental idea behind quadratic funding is that the more support a post or content receives from users, the higher the matching pool for incentive becomes. This means that public goods and content aligned with the community’s interests receive more support, shifting the focus from profit-driven divisive content to content that benefits the greater public.

Quadratic funding, as a mechanism for up-regulating public goods, can revolutionize the way social media platforms operate. According to Kevin, by embedding this funding model into social networks like Lens, creators can be rewarded for contributing to the public good. The outlook is that with enough support, creators may even replace their income by working for the public good, leading to a more high-fidelity information environment, the founder said. He added that this would create a healthier and more democratic digital town square, where public goods are supported by the collective effort of engaged users.

Developers and Quadratic Funding

Developers stand to benefit from quadratic funding by embedding this mechanism into their applications and platforms. By leveraging GitCoin’s Allo Protocol, they can facilitate public goods funding or voting systems, contributing to a more equitable and democratic digital ecosystem.

The ultimate goal of quadratic funding in social media is to align incentives between different memetic tribes, each with its own unique objectives. It aims to encourage positive interactions, promote cooperation and enable social media platforms to support solutions for global issues like climate change, social justice, and public health.

While this model would have been implemented with existing social platforms like Twitter or Facebook, they are not open technologies, hence, integrating with Lens, the founder discussed. Open technologies facilitate the implementation of quadratic funding and other innovative funding mechanisms in social media platforms. Open technologies allow for transparency, collaboration, and the integration of various protocols.

Other innovative mechanisms mentioned by the founder alongside quadratic funding include Retroactive Public Goods Funding, Conviction Voting, and Quadratic Voting.

Read also;

Namibia Enacts Landmark Virtual Assets Act 2023 to Regulate Crypto Sector

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