Decentralized Social Networking App Damus Removed From Chinese App Store

Damus, a social networking product based on decentralized protocol Nostr, announced via Twitter on February 3 that, according to the requirements of the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC), it would be removed from domestic app stores. The decision was reportedly made because the platform contains illegal content and does not meet app store review guidelines.

Nostr contends that it has created a restriction-resistant global social network that has been long sought after, describing it as “Notes and Other Stuff Transmitted by Relays.” Users can broadcast messages to the protocol by connecting to the relay and signing messages with their private key. Anyone can send messages to specific users through their public key.

Damus commenced internal testing in April 2022. On February 1 of this year, Jack Dorsey, the co-founder of Twitter, tweeted that Damus has been launched in the Apple App Store and can now be downloaded by anyone. At the same time, Dorsey praised Damus and disclosed his Nostr public key in his personal social media signature, claiming that it was “a milestone of the open protocol.” Once the product was put into use, it instantly triggered heated discussion across the global crypto community, and many members shared their personal Nostr public keys on social media.

Damus’ interface is clear and simple – similar to Twitter – and is divided into four sections: home page, private message, search/square and message reminder. According to the official introduction, private messages are end-to-end encrypted private message transmissions. There is no server in the process, and messages are distributed through decentralized relays without running any infrastructure. Damus is currently located in ninth place among social networking apps on the App Store, and it has been downloaded more than 56,000 times.

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William Casarin, the core developer of Nostr, stated via a Twitter comment that he would launch a keyword filtering function in response to a recent robot spam attack on Damus.