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Minds in Depth - Privacy

Raymond SmithJun 22, 2018, 12:37:47 PM

Congratulations on checking out Minds and wanting to understand some more of the details! This post is part of a series of posts that explains Minds in more detail to those who want to deepen their understanding of the platform. Please consult the series introductory post Minds - In Depth [Introduction] to find the other posts in this series. The series Introduction also contains links to two Introductory Tutorials.

The present post will explain the privacy aspects of the Minds platform. 


Following the censorship and privacy issues of Facebook, many people have sought out a social network that they feel respects their desire to have a place where they can truly express themselves and that gives them more control over their own privacy. The best way to achieve these goals, however, is not to rely on "trust" at all, but to make the system impossible to cheat. Minds is, in part at least, this system.

Many large companies today make a significant amount of money today through harvesting data, if you are using a free service, the chances are that your data is being harvested, and the "free" service you get is not the product, but rather you are the product.

In contrast to these companies, Minds operates differently and funds development in two ways. The first is by giving all users the opportunity to "boost" their posts or to register as premium users. This means that the business model of Minds is a lot more user-centric, and it does not need to harvest data to sell, as the money comes directly from users, and not separate advertisers, rather, every user is an advertiser and a content producer at the same time. The second way of funding development, is by making the project open source. In this way, the Minds platform gets contributions from users all over the world who wish to improve minds, whether those are hobbyists or businesses that wish to improve the platform for advertising purposes. I do not know the relative importance of these two things for development. The contribution to the codebase of individuals not employed by Minds might in fact be small. But in principle, it is there. 

There is one case where you do need to enter a form of personal information, that is, you must verify your account with your phone number in order to be able to earn tokens. But even then, this phone number is invisible to Minds, as it is hashed and salted(encrypted). This is a necessary step, as without some form of verification, the network would be easy to cheat by creating many accounts and to gain points quickly. Remember, this is completely optional and not necessary in order to use the network.

You are not required by Minds to submit any personal information such as name, age, gender. And there is no clause in their FAQ that demands that you have a single account that represents you as an individual. This was something that Facebook required of its users so that advertisers would be able to target particular demographics more easily. In Minds, there is currently no way to target specific demographics with advertising, but you can pay money to get your content "boosted" to a generic audience. Even due to the fact that Minds does not require you to upload personal information makes the network safer.

Note, the phone number is only required if you wish to earn points, you can use Minds without a phone number.