Let’s revisit the permanence and governance concepts, with a bit more Civil-centric context:
For journalism, this means that archives can be stored permanently — not suddenly taken down at the whim of a billionaire or limited group of actors overseeing a centralized server on which the entirety of a publication’s data lives. Civil uses the Ethereum blockchain to ensure that data is distributed across a giant network, and that no single party is in control.
Blockchain also provides a mechanism that allows communities — in our case, individual Newsrooms — to govern themselves without a central authority, and to assure the long-term independence of the platform. So, Civil’s model of open governance grants Citizens who participate (via sponsoring Newsrooms, fact-checking articles, attracting new readers, etc.) a variety of enforceable voting rights. If there is a dispute — i.e. if someone has committed violation of ethics, people can challenge an action and a vote will occur, resulting in a decision that will be enforceable across the entire platform.
This is a big deal, and marks a significant departure from the norm. Under journalism’s current model (and most businesses’, for that matter) all of a given network’s profit and power is concentrated within a single company, or even individual. As Coinbase cofounder Fred Ehrsam explains the importance of blockchain’s governance model:
… you’re either inside or you’re outside. It’s important the networks we live in serve our best interests. With blockchains emerging as the new global infrastructure, we have the opportunity to create vastly different power structures and program the future we want for ourselves.