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The Lions of Zion: Meet the Start-Up Building Censorship-Proof Social Networks

The founders of the Zion social media platform lay out their vision for decentralizing social networks.

As controversy roils over social media companies' relationship to free speech and censorship, YouTuber and comedian JP Sears and developer Justin Rezvani founded a Bitcoin-based social network that aims to address issues with other platforms. They joined Roundtable at Bitcoin 2022 in Miami to discuss Zion, the censorship-resistant social network built on the Bitcoin lightning network.

In this segment, Sears and Rezvani discuss censorship and the future of social networks.

Sears argues that censorship, on social media and otherwise, has taken responsibility out of public discourse.

"Behaving like an adult means if I don't like what you have to say, I can either think about it or I can leave the conversation," Sears says. "When we reclaim the sovereignty of our own being and realize we author our feelings, we author our life experience, rather than being in the position of a child, believing someone else should be responsible for our wellbeing."

Justin Rezvani notes that the centralization of current social media networks lends itself to censorship and other forms of abuse. He explains the six points that he believes key to future social networks, which he lays out in his book Unapologetic Freedom.

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"It should be built on a monetary network. It should be open source. It should allow for permissionless innovation. The creators should own everything. The individuals should have digital property rights through encryption, and it should be censorship-resistant," he says. "That smell test does not pass any centralized network."

Watch the full discussion below:

Roundtable Guests:

JP Sears, YouTube and comedian

Justin Rezvani, Founder, Zion