Black voices are underrepresented in America, especially in the long-form narrative. Get Out and Living Single actress, Erika Alexander, is launching The Blackness, to rescue marginalized groups from the sunken place. “It’s like a Vice, but for those communities,” Alexander explained on Fast Company. She and her co-founder Ben Arnon will tap the National Association for Black Journalists and historically black colleges to build a distributed network of journalists.
While the mission of The Blackness is noble and important on its own, the novelty of this story is that Alexander and Arnon didn’t choose Medium, they chose a new blockchain-based journalism platform called Civil, currently in the process of raising money from a sale of its CVL Token.
Civil is both a new platform for journalism and ramping up for a Token sale. If you buy a minimum of $10 worth of Tokens, you become a “Participant,” allowing you to vote for or against newsrooms that are having their credibility challenged; a minimum of $1,000 makes you a Contributor, allowing you to start your own newsroom or challenge a Newsroom; or, for a minimum of $10,000, you basically become the George Soros of the platform—a Benefactor—allowing you to “exercise significant voting power.”
For example, The Blackness is a Newsroom. If a Contributor or a Benefactor disapproved of what Alexander and Arnon were doing in their Newsroom, they could “challenge bad actor Newsrooms” ($1,000 per challenge) and The Blackness’ would be at the mercy of the “yes, bad actor” or “no, good actor” vote by the Participants, the Contributors, and the Benefactors, though I assume the Benefactors had an extra helping of democracy. One interesting thing, however, it that it seems that if you’re a Contributor (or above), you can throw yourself at the mercy of the Civil Council to take a bullet for The Blackness—it’ll only cost you $1,000.
There is an infinite number of ways blockchain has been interpreted. One essential part of any blockchain is the incentive piece, usually called Tokens. In many interpretations, Tokens are votes. And, based on how each level of membership on the Civil platform, some [people] are more equal than others. Money is a form of free speech, after all; and you do vote with your dollars.
Let’s hope that Color Farm Media has nothing but success with its new publication, The Blackness. Civil looks like a promising platform and a novel and exciting use of blockchain. My only obvious concern is that the more money you have, the more influence you possess; and, by money you have, I mean, the more CVL Tokens you buy during the Token sale that’s going on now—or based on how many Tokens you’re able to acquire (and their valuation).
May all the Contributors and Benefactors on the Civil platform be endlessly gracious, wise, kind, loving, and benevolent, so that all the powers conferred to the wealthy on the Civil journalism platform will never be unduly abused.