By Chris Bavender
A Carmel High School graduate has launched a news sharing app called Bloctab, which allows users to post trending headlines, share “hot takes” and participate in the censorship process.
“The entire goal of Bloctab is for users to create/see trending or hot headlines and comments. Bloctab does not aim to be a politicized social media app,” said James Gastineau, a 2021 CHS graduate. “Instead, it strives to be focused on topics like sports, entertainment and humor. At the end of the day, the goal is for users to be curious to see what is happening on Bloctab.”
Gastineau, who studies finance at Purdue University, said the idea for Bloctab came to him during a lifeguarding shift in March 2021.
“It has taken me a little over a year to create the platform. During this time, I’ve created a lot of prototypes to create the best app, and I finally launched the app last month (in May),” he said. “I did have experience coding before I got the idea of Bloctab. I self-taught myself to code when I was a sophomore in high school to create stock market algorithms, create websites and apps and connect to blockchains.”
Headlines on Bloctab can be a subject, question or topic to create conversation.
“This could be a question regarding your favorite restaurant, new TV show, sporting event or new album. The purpose of a headline is to spark conversation for others to share their hot takes,” Gastineau said. “Headlines also tend to be relevant short term. Trending headlines should naturally change in the span of 48 hours. In the end, headlines with the most engagements will be put on the trending page. Under every headline, there is a comment section. This section looks like a group chat so users can share their hot takes in a collaborative environment.”
Gastineau said Bloctab is appealing because other social media platforms have too much power over their users.
“This is bad because they have all the authority over information online and they can do whatever they want with their information. For example, they have the ability to manipulate or hide information without anyone knowing,” he said. “Right now, social media platforms act like a dictatorship and not as a democracy. Bloctab is a democratically run social media platform, where (users) have the ability to join an independent legislature that governs all information on Bloctab. On top of this, all users can see exactly why content is being censored on the app.”
The social media platform is governed by its users, according to Gastineau.
“The users of Bloctab can join an independent legislature called the Bloctab Legislature. This legislature votes on reported content to be censored. This allows all users to have representation on Bloctab’s governance,” he said. “If the legislature votes for a majority rule to censor a piece of content, then they write a brief description as to why it was censored. And this description is public for everyone to see. This legislature is very similar to a democracy and, therefore, Bloctab is governed by the users and there is no such thing as a user legislature on any other social media platform.”
To encourage users to post more and to encourage new content, all headlines and comments on Bloctab are deleted after seven days.
To learn more, go to bloctab.com.