Here's an August 2017 PDF paper, created by the The Center for Civic Media and The Digital Currency Initiative, both located at the MIT Media Lab, titled Defending Internet Freedom through Decentralization: Back to the Future?, along with the related Hacker News thread
The PDF doc is 113 pages long.
Top comment in the HN thread:
(From the document..)
Risks Posed by the Centralized Web
- Facebook and Google, account for 81% of all incoming traffic to online news sources in the U.S.
- Google processes 3.5 billion search queries per day, roughtly ten times more than its nearest competitors
Risk 1- Top-down, Direct Censorship
Risk 2 - Curational Bias/ Indirect Cencorship
Risk 3 - Abuse of Curatorial Power
Risk 4 - Exclusion
Another HN comment:
I wonder how much centralization is due to consumer ISP and computing limitations. What structure would communication channels take in a world of phones with terabytes of local storage, days of battery life under heavy use, and reliable unlimited high-speed internet?
Non-corporate software alternatives are getting there, but the next bottle-neck is operation. A simple static personal website still involves hosting "in the cloud" or setting up personal hardware, and operations. Mass adoption requires a 1-click 0-maintenance app.
And another HN comment:
Regarding payment, I think you must take payment from your users (my recommendation would be donations, like Wikipedia).
This is because an organization's primary objective is self-preservation, and that means aligning priorities with income sources (or when you're designing the organization, aligning your business model with your priorities).
As we've seen with journalism, journalism's reliance on advertising leads to journalism designed primarily to attract viewers for advertisers rather than to serve the public interest (although good journalism does still happen because some journalists care about that despite their organization's priorities).