'We Will Never Sell-out or Compromise Our Principles. That Would Be Like Murder': The Slashdot Interview With CEO and Founder of Minds.com Social Network


Question, by anonymous reader: So Minds uses karma points. This could potentially have a real consequence where some might find a way to trade these points for real money. People with loads of money might then arrive and use this trick to to gain influence. Have you thought of this? And if so, how are you tackling it?

Bill: Ultimately you have to ask, would you rather the community be rewarded for their contributions or not? We believe people deserve to be rewarded for successfully participating on Minds. Of course certain users will try to game the system, but we have some pretty good tools in place to minimize this such as rate limits and parcel limits on buying tokens.

Tokens can be used on advertising via token and boost. Being able to purchase influence isn't inherently a negative thing, you just don't want it to dominate the network. This is why we also allow users to earn, and we are committed to maintaining balance so that those with money cannot drown others out.

Question by sinij :How are you going to sell a combination of microtransactions (i.e. points) and social media, two least consumer-friendly trends in tech, to users?

Bill: Our crypto-token system is extremely popular along with the ability to tip and subscribe to others monthly on recurring bases. People love earning tokens and then boosting posts with them. 1 token gets 1,000 impressions extra.

Social media focused on transparency, privacy, reach, rewards and monetization is becoming very popular as people are disillusioned with the digital rights abuses of big tech.

Question by anonymous reader: How many monthly or daily active users does Minds have?

Bill: Around 250,000 MAU.

Question by anonymous reader: How does minds make money? Is it hoping the cost of the token will go up?

Bill: We sell tokens which are used to buy our products, Minds Plus, Boost, Wire, or even to launch your own social network nodes.

Question by anonymous reader: What coins/tokens does Minds use? Does Minds.com use its own token? If so what is the name of it? Bill: Yes, the Minds token is an ERC-20.

Question by anonymous reader: Minds.com sounds like a good idea. What kind of reception are you seeing from users? I have one more question: What's the philosophy behind this points based system?

Bill: Here are some recent user testimonials -- 1, and 2.

Please check out our whitepaper [PDF] for more philosophy, but it's all about contributionism and giving people a way to have their voices heard.

Question by anonymous reader: The problem I see with many startups and companies these days is that they have a good idea and strong principles. But eventually the big shark in their category buys them. What would you do if Facebook offered you a billion dollar tomorrow?

Bill: We will never sell-out our and compromise our principles. It would be like murder.

Question by anonymous reader: What differentiates Minds.com from Steemit?

Bill: Minds has many more features and mobile apps https://minds.com/mobile. Additionally, our reward system doesn't give you more voting power for having more tokens. Everyone's vote is the same worth and your daily rewards are based on the total unique engagement you are receiving from the community, not getting the attention of large token holders. We also don't run everything on a blockchain, which has scaling issues.

Question by anonymous reader: Fundamentally speaking, won't you say Minds is basically just Reddit with crypto?

Bill:It's much more than that. We are entirely free and open source which Reddit is not. https://gitlab.com/minds. We host many more types of content, we have video conferencing, blogs, videos, etc. That being said we do have similarities with ranking feeds, voting and categories, but hashtag categories on Minds aren't moderated by individuals. Groups are.

Question by anonymous reader: What will prevent Minds.com from becoming the next Facebook? I mean, do you have things or procedure or guideline in place to prevent your site from becoming a capitalist dominated data aggregation tool for those who have money to use as a tool to control/subdue the mass? What will prevent Minds from being taken over by a CA or Board that will dictate new rules aimed at making Minds the next Facebook?

Bill: Good questions. First, we are working on a fully decentralized network at gitlab.com/minds/nomad and gitlab.com/minds/nomad-mobile. We share the goal of putting as much control in the user's hands as possible. We don't require any personal information. We are community-funded via WeFunder and have partial community ownership. The best we can do is be as transparent as possible, share our code and work closely with the community to develop something that is symbiotic.

Question by anonymous reader: It seems like Minds incentivizes quality over quantity, at the end of the day. I can see how quality can be beneficial, but what de-incentivizes someone from pumping out tons of quantity in order to achieve the same rewards?

Bill: We have rate limits to prevent this type of behavior.

Question by anonymous reader: Were you aware of Slashdot's comment moderation and meta-moderation system? Did it inspire Minds moderation/incentive system at all?

Bill: No, but we are about to roll-out a community moderation feature where juries of users can vote on reports and appeals, which is very exciting for digital democracy.

Question by pecosdave : I've noticed that most new social media platforms based on crypto tend to attract crypto people. Steemit, for example, is so cryptoed up there's almost no one talking about anything else - and that drives people away.

Minds, so far I've liked, it doesn't appear to be a crypto fanatic hangout like other crypto based sites are, but it still has the issue that it's going to confuse average users. What kind of users are you hoping to see on your platform? Optimistically, how many users are you hoping to see on Minds by end of next year?

Bill: We want as diverse a community as possible, and obviously want to appeal to mainstream. I think the reward system to increase your social reach is something all social app users want. People want to be heard. We also are working on simplifying the crypto system to demystify it and make it feel like a game. It's not really worth throwing out numbers. We want orders of magnitude growth.

Question by anonymous reader: It sounds like a permanent record of down-/up-votes. How is this different from a credit history or a criminal record? Where's the right to be forgotten, or at least, have historical stupidity discounted? Will Minds.com have some means of flexible content-filtering of posts I see?

Bill: I don't really see the connection. We allow users to delete their accounts. And yes, we have filters for NSFW and the ability to subscribe to hashtag feeds.

Question by alternative_right : Open discussion standards are those which protect the user from censorship and deletion of their work on the site. They generally permit removal of illegal material or grossly offensive images and slurs, but do not permit censorship by content type or topic.

Will Minds.com adopt one of these, and if so, will that make it hard for it to become a popular social network since most people "seem" to want a steady stream of inoffensive palaver and kitty pictures instead of substantive issues, debates, articles, discussions, etc.?

Bill: You can read our Bill of Rights. We allow most anything lawful in the US and want to be as uncensored as possible while obviously not risking user safety at all.