Policy & Partnerships Lightning Talk | Regulating Decentralized Speech: Content Policy on the Decentralized Web

As Web3 developers work to build a more decentralized internet, user-generated content will play an essential role in many decentralized applications (dApps), from social media, to streaming sites, to NFT marketplaces. However, dApp developers face a series of difficult design, policy, and engineering challenges related to Trust & Safety. For example, not only must they create systems to remove and in some cases report illegal content, but they must craft policies to deal with “lawful but awful” content such as hate speech or misinformation without compromising their commitments to decentralization. This research provides one of the first systematic analyses of the content policies and enforcement strategies of a broad sample of Web3 apps that incorporate user-generated content. Comparing the Trust & Safety policies of more than 30 blockchain-based apps, this project provides a snapshot of the state of the field and offers five key findings: • Most of the apps we analyzed have minimal content policies; we could not identify any public content policies for 19% of apps. • Some dApps index content policies to what is legal, likely presenting significant compliance challenges. • For some dApps, short, over-broad policies restrict more rather than less speech. • Broad content policies likely complicate enforcement; however, most dApps provide little transparency about their enforcement approach. • Few dApps incorporate decentralized approaches to content policies or enforcement.


Lightning talks are 5-7 minute talks grouped with other 5-7 minute talks across a 50 minute session. There will be time for Q&A after all of the lightning talks in a session.

Location Name
Seacliff B
Thursday, July 13, 2023
11:10 AM - 12:00 PM
Session Type
Lightning Talk
Session Themes
All TrustCon attendees
Will this session be recorded?