🦄 vol. 1
karl and sash chat about bitclout and fake news
what's your worth? 🤑
Early last year, Instagram rolled out a huge experiment fuelled by the negative side effects its platform has on users. They removed likes from the bottom of their pictures to reduce user anxiety and social comparison. Unless you were a stalker on Firefox or using an iPhone 5 with an outdated app, all you'd see was 'Liked by x and others'.
Fast forward to March this year and we have a new platform centred around monetising people's reputation, without an ad revenue model like that of Instagram, YouTube or other influencer rich platforms. On BitClout every user has their own "creator coin" (stock) pegged to BTCLT (BitClout’s cryptocurrency). Go viral on Instagram for something cool - bull run. Get cancelled on Twitter - face a bearish sentiment.
If you believe in a content creator, simply buy their creator coin. Should they grow in popularity, you’ll both benefit financially. But that’s not all, according to their WhitePaper, BitClout will enable a host of different offerings like Stakeholder meetings: only people who own a certain amount of a creator’s coin can participate in their comments section. A tad bit exclusionary 🐸 ☕️, but definitely forces people to put their money where their mouth is and limits negative commentary. BitClout’s decentralised nature also means that just like Bitcoin, applications can be built on top of it, e.g. SoundClout.
Far-fetched? VC backers don't seem to think so; Andreessen Horowitz, Social Capital, and the 'evil' twins from the Social Network, Winklevoss Capital - amongst others have pledged around $165 million worth of Bitcoin in funding to the platform.
This proof of concept screams Black Mirror’s Nosedive episode and raises the question: to what extent will people go to drive up their value, sorry, BitClout? Speculating on someone’s ‘value’ seems like a step back in our journey to mastering self-worth. Nevertheless, if you’re looking for some solid diversification, I’ve got you covered. 😉
reading through the bs 💩
Now that it thankfully didn’t come home, I wanted to touch on a modern day phenomenon: fake news (for maximum effect, read in Trump’s voice).
A couple weeks back, Cristiano Ronaldo (the most followed person on Instagram) was caught on camera removing two bottles of Coca-Cola from in front of him at a UEFA EURO 2020 press conference. He then went on to shout “agua!” while holding up a bottle of water.
The video went viral, but the tournament organisers weren't amused. 😂
What happened next? 🤔
And despite internally debating whether I believed this story or not, I still went on to share the news article on social media.
I have confirmation bias (I’m a CR7 fan, I think he’s influential and this story confirmed it)
The news publications seemed credible
The truth 😯
The news headlines were misleading. It’s true that by the time the press conference was over, the Coca-Cola share price was down 1.6%. But if you zoom in to the minute, the share price had already dropped before Ronaldo moved the bottles (read more here).
It’s also worth noting that online publications are incentivised to share clickbait. If you aren’t paying to read an article, they’re probably making money from serving you ads on their site (the more traffic on the site, the more money for the publisher).
We suffer from chronic confirmation bias and latch on to any opportunity to further perpetuate our beliefs. We retweet, repost and reshare. But do we think critically enough in the moment? Given what’s been happening in South Africa over the past few weeks, I’d urge you to exercise caution before you jump to any conclusions.
sash loved watching the naomi osaka netflix documentary.