The EOS community has backed up its associated subreddit to a decentralized discussion board that runs on the EOS blockchain. The board in question (eos-forum.org) was originally created in June but only produced its own content at the time. Now, the board is integrating itself with the rest of the community’s discussions by implementing cross-posting and backups.
The process of backing up Reddit data is fairly straightforward: a bot watches for new content on the EOS subreddit and copies it to the blockchain. This has a cost, but the bot uses developers’ staked resources so that there is no fee for the commenters.
Once this process is complete, users can visit eos-forum.org to retrieve the copied Reddit posts from the blockchain, even if Reddit is down or their content has been deleted.
However, this is not a one-way process: the bot also watches for comments submitted to eos-forum.org and cross-posts them to Reddit. As one commenter on Reddit explains:
“I don’t have even a Reddit account but as you see I’m commenting and that is saved on the decentral[ized] blockchain.”
This means that users on eos-forum.org can post to Reddit anonymously—their comments are simply attributed to /u/eosbot.
Storing data on the blockchain prevents content from being censored or subject to other take-downs. Even if Reddit or eos-forum.org were to be taken down entirely, users would still be able to post and view their comments on the blockchain.
Although most block explorers do not display these comments in a meaningful or convenient way, the front end provided by eos-forum.org is designed to do just that. The site has a layout that resembles Reddit, and it can be hosted anywhere. It can even be run from one’s own computer; it only needs to be downloaded from its GitHub page.
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Copying pre-existing content to the blockchain is not a surefire way to generate popularity, as most users will continue to use the larger native platform (e.g. Reddit) as long as it exists. Sometimes the practice of copying content is looked upon negatively: Steemit, for example, actively deletes copied content.
Nevertheless, decentralized forums do need to compete with mainstream platforms, and integration between the two is a vital feature. Eos-forum.org’s capacity for bidirectional cross-posting offers a level of convenience that will undoubtedly bring at least some users on board.