Democracy vs Anonymity

A problem with any sort of Liquid Democracy system is that it will be possible for parties to manipulate the system by creating false identities if the right of anonymity is given. How do we address this?

//also in a couple of months i’m going to build a facebook-like web based platform for liquid democracy and test it out; because I’m concerned that blockchain is too complicated to be adopted by the public. To install a whole new app makes democracy a burden instead of a part of everyday life, which social media is. Comments & suggestions welcome!!

Make a decentralised social network using blockchain, that would be interesting

Fair voting will require some form of real ID for authentication purposes to prevent vote duplication (whether malicious or otherwise)


In general, the state of smartphones means that if you’re relying on an “app” for serious wide scale democracy then you’ve already lost. Security/privacy on those things is a joke.

On the one hand, self limiting due to transaction processing issues, and on the other, forking doesn’t matter since it’s just social media crap… Probably extremely wasteful with electricity in any case.


You’re about 4 or 5 years too late. It’s already been done and as I recall it was a waste of both resources and effort. It was so unmemorable and pointless that I can’t even recall what the damned thing was called.

Open Bazaar is a little more useful, but is entirely dependent on Bitcoin and thus relies on a rather large installation (you need to be running a node to launch the software).

I realise that the whole blockchain concept makes you feel all gooey, but anything which either requires in excess of a 100GB to install or requires that kind of room to expand in is never going to become popular enough to take off in the way you want it too. Especially when it’s for something that doesn’t dangle the “get rich quick” carrot in front of people. As for things specific to social media; decentralisation and federation are definitely things to work towards, but if it can’t install on a mobile or tablet then it ain’t gonna fly.


There’s a reason why the Taiwanese nickname mobile phones “Little Brother.” They all report to Big Brother.


It was @acenturyandabit own idea of what he wants to do a an experimental project, good on him, I was just giving him encouragement. I don’t know why you’re directing your comment at me or if you are trying to discourage him from working on the project he wants to work on his own time as well.

Personally I find the idea very cool, very interesting. It doesn’t need to be a successful or practical social network, it’s valuable learning and could be a proof of concept if he manages to pull it off

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I had some ideas not too long ago on how blockchain voting ‘could’ work over here: Electoral System Reform Policy discussion

Some food for thought to help you with your ideas.

I could imagine you building the next except secure. Just send a secure voting token to each poll participant which then becomes anonymised.

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Hey guys, thanks for all the ideas and encouragement!
Here’s my plans in a little more detail:


  1. a national forumpage which allows anonymous contribution but is member moderated (like wikipedia!).
  • front page contains a list of issues sorted by recent interest (views/day or sth) and anon can add to the issues list
  • for each issue there’s a page with 1) a neutral descriptor of the issue + relevant policies the govt is trying to implement 2)FOR arguments and specific counters 3) AGAINST arguments and specific counters which are, again, anon editable but user moderated
  • No voting system here; this is simply an Inform Thyself page
  1. a swarmwise group of forumlets which are integrated into the current political system
  • Each forumlet connects people in the same electorate
  • the head of a forumlet is verified a real person based on a valid driver’s license etc
  • heads can add or kick people from a forumlet and ensure that these people are real people whom they know
  • in the forumlet there is a discourse-style forum (like what we have here) with the aim to reach local (electorate) consensus about issues.
  • When consensus/majority within the forumlet is reached, heads contact their local MP’s via email (or hopefully if i can get some backing) a more personal mode.

The aim is for our politicians to be voted in not because they represent certain issues we care about (though that is a plus) but because they listen to their electorate and respond in an informed manner.

So yeah. Representative, informed democracy, without the bulk of blockchain. (unless @Simon can convice me that blockchain for 2. is more secure and hence practical - thanks for the support mate)
@jedb any recommendations for more secure/private platforms? tho few credentialed votes here so perhaps there’s less of a security issue?
@Ben got any practical get rich quick carrot-esque ideas? maybe get-represented-quick?

Thoughts/comments appreciated!

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Address this with pseudonymity. The system knows who you are as a unique identity, but uses that to allow you to present yourself to the rest of the systems users via a pseudonym or possibly multiple.


Go and re-read the OP. @acenturyandabit’s project appears to be a social media platform built on and/or with liquid democracy and/or liquid feedback features. This is not synonymous with blockchain specific technology. That’s what you’ve latched onto and this isn’t the first thread you’ve raised it in.

The blockchain concept is interesting and for some things it is well suited, but it is not fit for every purpose. A good engineer selects the right tools for each job and does not try to make each job fit their favourite tools. The latter leads to engineering blindness.

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It’s an interesting idea, the trick is leveraging it in such a way that it doesn’t get exploited by either vocal minorities or anti-democratic majorities and/or anti-rights majorities. We’re seeing something like that right now, in fact, with people like Lyle Shelton and Tony “the Mad Monk” Abbott believing that a popular vote is enough justification to deny a segment of the population, in this case LGBTI people, their human rights.

The blockchain is really unsuited to this sort of thing, but there’s definitely a role for cryptographic tools at various points in the process. Selecting which tools to use probably requires more in the way of the project design to be planned first, but there are definitely quite a number of options.

I’d say work out a bit more of exactly what you have in mind and that way you’ll be able to work out what requirements the tools need to meet.

I’m afraid not, if there were then I’d already be doing it; the former for myself and the latter for the Party. :wink:


Ah I thought you were trying to integrate blockchain in the background to prove it to the public. No worries mate, I’m not pushing it one way or the other, I just want to lend my support to you on this project.


Yes blockchain is a natural fit for voting because it offers stronger proof by consensus (via protecting from attacks) that the votes are true and not corrupted by cronies. However the implementation criticisms of a 100 gb wallet and ease-of-use are real but also not unsolvable. When criticisms are ledged at blockchain voting ideas it must be remembered that paper voting booths are not fool proof from stuffing and stealing either.

If your in the business of thinking up holes to dig, then liquid democracy could be one.

Even a less secure centralised open source signalling forum might be useful to guide politicians.
Some countries have adopted such tools to certain extents.

But yes we must remember mob rule can be evil and thus no votes would be able to contradict the Bill of Rights. The Bill of Rights were created by an enlightened group of individuals for the good of ALL, not by consensus of the mob for the good of the few or the many.

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Blockchain is a good exhibit for showing how difficult secure electronic voting really is. It partially solves a portion of the problem (integrity of the vote record after casting) while introducing several major practical issues. Still plenty of ways for widespread subversion given high enough stakes.

Paper ballots, town meetings, mail votes. Physical security is much more of a solved problem than electronic security. Fortunately it sounds like you’re talking about improved ways to inform/involve the population and for politicians to respond to the people they’re meant to be representing, which doesn’t have nearly the same security issues involved.

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