Tag Archives: Social Media

How Social Media Is Becoming an Arm of the State, by Jose Nino

The “Is Becoming” in the title should be replaced with “Has Become.” From José Niño at mises.org:

Say the wrong things and you might get kicked off of your favorite social media platform.

Tech titans Apple, Facebook, and YouTube have wiped out talk-show host Alex Jones’s social media presence on the Internet. But the social media crusades weren’t over.

Facebook recently took down popular pages like Liberty Memes and hundreds of other prominent libertarian-leaning pages . In the wake of the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting, social media network Gab was on the receiving end of suspensions from payment processors like PayPal and Stripe and cloud hosting company Joyent. Although these companies did not provide clear explanations for their dissociation with Gab, the media had a field day when they learned that the synagogue shooter, Robert Bowers, had an account with the social media network.

Should libertarians fear social media de-platforming? Or is this a case of private actors exercising their legitimate property rights by excluding those they wish to no longer do business with?

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Censorship and Gun Control Will Not Make Us Safe, by Ron Paul

The desire for an unattainable absolute safety only paves the way for repression and tyranny. From Ron Paul at ronpaulinstitute.org:

Sadly, but not unexpectedly, the mass shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh is being used to justify new infringements on liberty. Of course, opponents of gun rights are claiming this shooting proves America needs more gun control. Even some who normally oppose gun control say the government needs to do more to keep guns out of the hands of the “mentally ill.” Those making this argument ignore the lack of evidence that background checks, new restrictions on the rights of those alleged to have a mental illness, or any other form of gun control would have prevented the shooter from obtaining a firearm.

Others are using the shooter’s history of posting anti-Semitic comments on social media to call for increased efforts by both government and social media websites to suppress “hate speech.” The shooter posted anti-Semitic statements on the social media site Gab. Gab, unlike Twitter and Facebook, does not block or ban users for offensive comments. After the shooting Gab was suspended by its internet service provider, and PayPal has closed the site’s account. This is an effort to make social media websites responsible for the content and even the actions of their users, turning the sites’ operators into thought police.

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Why Is Social Media So Toxic? by Charles Hugh Smith

Contrary to initial expectations, social media doesn’t bring us together, it tears us apart. From Charles Hugh Smith at oftwominds.com:

The desire to improve our social standing is natural. What’s unnatural is the toxicity of doing so through social media.
It seems self-evident that the divisiveness that characterizes this juncture of American history is manifesting profound social and economic disorders that have little to do with politics. In this context, social media isn’t the source of the fire, it’s more like the gasoline that’s being tossed on top of the dry timber.
My thinking on social media’s toxic nature has been heavily influenced by long conversations with my friend GFB, who persuaded me that my initial dismissal of Facebook’s influence was misplaced.
Our views of all media, traditional, alternative and social, is of course heavily influenced by our own participation / consumption of each type of media.Those who watch very little corporate-media broadcast “news” find the entire phenomenon very bizarre and easily mocked, and the same holds true for those who do not have any social media accounts: the whole phenomenon seems bizarre and easy to mock.
As for alternative media, many people accustomed to traditional media have never visited a single blog or listened to a single podcast.
Part of my job, as it were, is to monitor all three basic flavors of mass media, and do so as objectively as I can, which is to say, seek out representative narratives and commentaries across the full political and social spectra of each media.

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Murder in Pittsburgh and the Targeting of Alternative Social Media, by Kurt Nimmo

Now an alternative media site is being ostracized because the Pittsburgh shooter used it. From Kurt Nimmo at theburningplatform.com:

Robert Bowers, the suspected shooter at a synagogue in Pittsburgh, is being used to denounce social media not on the corporate reservation.

Bowers had an account on Gab, the free speech social media alternative to Twitter and Facebook, where he posted antisemitic content, and this is now being used to portray the site as a haven for antisemites.

Gab posted the following on Twitter:

I don’t believe this will work. Gab, often described as a refuge for alt-righters bounced from corporate-government social media, is targeted for destruction.

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More Independent Media To Be Shut Down Prior To 2020 U.S. Presidential Election? by Arjun Walia

In the land of lies the truth is the enemy. From Arjun Walia at collectiveevolution.com.

IN BRIEF

  • The Facts:The massive campaign to label credible media sources as ‘fake news’ has been happening for a while. More social media pages are being deleted as a result of this campaign. Expect to see many more before the 2020 election.
  • Reflect On:Why should an authority figure have to decide what is real and what’s not? Are we not capable of reading, examining sources, and deciding for ourselves what’s plausible? What is going on here, and how is it possible that any justification exists?

The very word “secrecy” is repugnant in a free and open society; and we are as a people inherently and historically opposed to secret societies, to secret oaths and to secret proceedings. We decided long ago that the dangers of excessive and unwarranted concealment of pertinent facts far outweighed the dangers which are cited to justify it. Even today, there is little value in opposing the threat of a closed society by imitating its arbitrary restrictions. Even today, there is little value in insuring the survival of our nation if our traditions do not survive with it. And there is very grave danger that an announced need for increased security will be seized upon by those anxious to expand its meaning to the very limits of official censorship and concealment. – JFK

If you haven’t already heard, Facebook has completely shut down hundreds, if not thousands of Independent media pages over the last year.

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Avoid the Slippery Slope, by Robert Gore

Everything government touches turns to crap.
Ringo Starr

Social media companies, search engines, and payments platforms are excising conservative, libertarian, and assorted anti-government voices. SLL argued in “The Friendly Faces of Fascism” that the largest and best known of these companies were essentially arms of the government. They are mechanisms for conveying information, opinions, and commerce between billions of people. Given their reach, importance, and ties to the government, should these ostensibly private companies be subject to the First Amendment’s prohibition of government restriction of free speech and the free press?

The First Amendment states that: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. By its terms, the amendment applies to one institution, Congress. By necessary implication, freedom of speech and the press must also be the freedom to choose what not to speak or publish.

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The NEW Social Media: Alternatives to Facebook, YouTube,Twitter, and Other Big Tech Platforms, by Daisy Luther

Yes, there are alternatives. From Daisy Luther at theorganicprepper.com:

Lately, I’ve written a lot about the alternative media purge and how Big Tech social media platforms are attempting to control the narrative, the elections, and public perception through censorship and financial blacklisting. Lots of people are ready to leave websites like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube for less-censored pastures. But what are the social media alternatives that are currently available?

Here are some social media alternatives to check out.

Before we get into the alternatives, please understand that all of them will start small. None of them will be able to take on Big Tech without a lot of help and support. We’ve gotten used to free social media because the companies with whom we’ve dealt have virtually raped us, reading our so-called “private” messages, and pillaging our date to sell to the highest bidders. So really, it isn’t that free after all.

You probably won’t find your parents, your best friend from kindergarten, and your Aunt Suzie on these platforms – not yet, anyway. But what you WILL be able to do is speak without fear of censorship. You’ll be able to find your favorite alternative media sources there and find answers that simply aren’t supported by the mainstream.

The only way to change this dystopian atmosphere is to actually make changes ourselves. Go where the freedom is!

MeWe

MeWe calls themselves The Next-Gen Social Network. They raised $4.8 million and launched back in 2016 to take on Facebook and Twitter. They’re about 6 million members strong so far and Mark Weinstein, the founder, plans for it to be 500 million by 2022.

“In the future, MeWe will also revolutionize social media with decentralization, which will render Facebook’s spying and tracking data model completely obsolete,” Weinstein added, a comment that suggests he is indeed trying to replace Facebook. “Awareness around the world has never been higher regarding news feed manipulation and privacy infractions. Government regulations will never truly interfere with Facebook’s data collection model, evidenced in both California’s new 2020 privacy rules and Europe’s GDPR. But the free market can — and MeWe is here giving people great communication technology in a true multi-feature platform, with none of Facebook’s BS.” (source)

Go here to get a MeWe account.

Gab.ai

Gab.ai is a platform that is similar to Twitter. You have 300 characters with which to make your point. It has been called the Alt-Right’s social media alternative and although Gab itself doesn’t censor its users, Microsoft has threatened to take them down due to “hate speech.” A lot of folks who got banned, shadowbanned, or censored by Twitter are there.

Gab founder Andrew Torba feels that they aren’t being portrayed honestly in the media.

We survived a relentless and coordinated smear campaign by the dishonest mainstream media without any outside funding from advertisers or venture capitalists. Our community will continue to thrive and grow thanks to individuals from around the world who believe in putting people and free speech above politically correct corporate agendas.

Gab has always and will always be powered by you, The People. Gab is not just a social network, it’s a social movement. (source)

With any social network, what you see in your feed will depend on who your friends are and who you follow.

You can join Gab here.

Real.Video (Brighteon)

Real.Video was started by Mike Adams of Natural News in response to mass deplatforming on YouTube.

This is the YouTube alternative to give voices and free speech to those who are being systematically targeted and censored by YouTube, Facebook, Google, and Twitter for essentially being a pro-Liberty person, standing up for America, standing up for the Bill of Rights or just basic human rights for that matter. (source)

Adams would know about censorship firsthand, since last year, Google delisted his site, Natural News, from its search engine results.

Real.Video is in the process of changing its name to Brighteon.com and hosts numerous videos that were banned by Twitter. It’s still in the developmental stages, so there’s an occasional glitch but thus far it has been a relatively smooth user experience.

Check out Real.Video/Brighteon here.

Mastodon

Another budding network is Mastodon, which has the tagline “Giving social media back to you.” It’s a free, open-source network, which means that developers can contribute to it because its design is publicly accessible.

Ultimately Mastodon is a decentralized alternative to all the commercial social network platforms, which means that no single company owns it or can monopolize your communication. (source)

I found it confusing to use (maybe you need to be more techy?) and was put off by the fact that I needed to log in via Twitter. Perhaps this is just so you can connect with the same people. It’s always worthwhile to look at your options. Mastodon was started by Eugen Rochko, who was fed up with the changes that Twitter was making that closely resembled the Facebook algorithms.

Last year, after Twitter began moving away from a purely chronological feed, Rochko began building the back end for what would become Mastodon. Instead of building a unified service, Rochko envisioned something more like email, or RSS: a distributed system that lets you send public messages to anyone who follows you on the service. Anyone can create a server and host their own instance of Mastodon, and Mastodon works in the background to connect them. (source)

Here’s a beginner’s guide to using Mastodon, and here’s where you can join.

If you can figure this out, maybe you can explain it to me?

Diaspora

Diaspora is a social network built on three cornerstones: decentralization, freedom, and privacy. To join Diaspora, you have to choose a “pod” which is a group of potentially like-minded people. Each pod is independently hosted which should lessen the likelihood of corporate censorship.

You can follow hashtags that interest you, and you can categorize people by how you know them (family, friends, work, etc.) Then you can control who sees the different things that you post.

Diaspora is decentralized which means no one person owns it. This means that it doesn’t have any form of advertisement and corporate interference. It also does not collect any of your data. When you create your account, you are responsible for your own data and retain the ownership of your personal data.

Unlike Facebook, Diaspora allows you to use whatever identity you want, so pseudonyms and nicknames are fine to display as your profile. (source)

Go here to find yourself a pod on Diaspora.

Or you can join an old-fashioned forum.

I know that personally, I’m not too jazzed about the learning curve of some of these new options and prefer the more familiar layouts of Real.Video (Brighteon), MeWe, and Gab. But honestly, people on social media can just be so horrible that Selco Begovic and I started an old-fashioned forum that is a throw-back to the 90s/early 2000s. I like forums because they’re familiar, comfortable, and they draw likeminded people together.

While there are tens of thousands of forums out there, if you are interested in freedom, self-reliance, and survival, I hope you’ll join ours. For privacy reasons, we ask you NOT to use your real name anywhere on the registration form. All we need is a real email address to send you password updates, etc.

Go here to join The Survival & Self-Reliance Forum with Selco and Daisy.

There are social media options.

Humans are social creatures. No matter how introverted we might be, we all seek connections with others. These days a lot of those connections are online. Thanks to the internet, it’s never been easier to find like-minded people. I personally have friends from around the world who I met online that I never would have crossed paths with otherwise.

Big Tech companies like Facebook and Twitter have taken advantage of our desire to do this. They “hooked” people then they manipulated what the users would see with algorithms. They collected every word you ever typed on social media and made assessments about you so they could sell that information to advertisers. They made a fortune off of every person who ever used their services, and deep down in the fine print, people gave them permission to do so.

Now they’re trying to control the narrative by removing people who dissent against things like war, police brutality, and corrupt politicians.

If you’re looking for an alternative social media outlet, check out some of the options above. They won’t be able to take on Big Tech without us.

Do you use any alternative social media?

Did I leave out any alternative social media options that you’re enjoying right now? If so, please share them in the comments section below.

Coming soon: articles on alternative search engines and alternative news aggregate websites