Author: Simon Black
You probably already know about the purges on technology platforms and social media. Large companies have used the January 6 events at the US Capitol as an excuse to remove users and de-platform enterprises. But the scale of the purge went much further than eliminating incitement to violence.
For example, 147 members of Congress are blacklisted by banks, insurance companies and hotel companies because they objected to the election results.
Social media company Parler was shut down after Amazon banned it from using its servers and Apple and Google removed the company’s app from their stores.
Twitter has deleted over 70,000 accounts.
PayPal has severed ties with the US president, as well as a Christian website that raised funds to send protesters to Washington. Shopify has removed accounts “linked” to Trump, and payment processor Stripe has joined the cleanup.
Facebook even temporarily blocked Ron Paul’s account, after which it stated that it was a mistake. Keep in mind that Ron Paul was an outspoken critic of the current administration’s defense and monetary policy.
It seems clear that your access, your data and possibly your livelihood are not secure in the hands of the biggest tech companies we have had to rely on. Express the wrong opinion and you could be the next victim.
What does it mean?
The good news is there are alternatives, and the purge has only spurred people to switch to alternative platforms.
For example – Telegram, a private messaging app that allows you to enable encryption on private chats, attracted 25 million new users in 72 hours. The app currently has over 500 million active daily users worldwide.
From January 5 to January 12, nearly 18 million people downloaded the encrypted messaging app Signal, 61 times more than usual.
Meanwhile, downloads of Facebook’s WhatsApp dropped about 20% in a week.
Facebook and Twitter simply voluntarily transferred market share to their competitors. From January 5 to January 14, Facebook lost over $ 70 billion. Twitter lost over $ 5 billion in the same period.
Don’t go where you are not welcome.
Spy apps, which constantly censor and abuse their clients, are already facing calls to leave them. But now the critical mass has finally shifted, making it more likely that the amount of content and users will keep people on alternative social networks.
In this sense, cleaning can be considered a good thing.
What to do?
Below are some popular alternatives to mainstream social media platforms. Please be aware that we do not endorse or vouch for the security / privacy of any particular company listed below. The point of exploring alternatives is to ensure that all your eggs don’t end up in the same basket of the tech company.
Social networks alternative to Facebook and Twitter
Gab.com – Similar to Twitter, Gab claims to be a free speech champion. The company owns and operates its own servers, which means that it can’t just be turned off like Parler. But it also means that the website is a little busy right now as there are many new users flocking to it at the moment.
MeWe.com – As an alternative to Facebook, the main advantage of MeWe is that it does not transfer or sell user data. But the user agreement states that it reserves the right to remove users who post “hateful, threatening, harmful” content.
Minds.com is a blockchain-based social network that rewards participation with tokens. Tokens can be used to promote your own content, fund other users, or be exchanged for another currency. The website code is open source for transparency and accountability, and the content moderation policy is based on the First Amendment.
Private messaging alternatives for WhatsApp:
Signal – This messaging app has end-to-end encryption so no one can track your messages. Their technology is open source, so anyone who knows the programming language can make sure it is indeed secure. Signal will ask for your phone number, but that is all the information it collects.
Telegram – Many WhatsApp groups are switching to Telegram for privacy reasons. But it is important to note that only private messages can be encrypted, and even then you need to specifically select the “secret chat” feature.
Alternatives to posting and watching YouTube videos:
LBRY.com is an open source blockchain-based decentralized digital content exchange protocol. This means that anyone can use it to create applications that allow peer-to-peer exchange of digital content. But the main trading feature is LBRY.tv or Odysee.com, which make it easy to share videos and view parts of the platform. Unlike Youtube, you have complete control over your own content.
Brighteon.com – Mike Adams, creator of Natural News, launched this video hosting service as an alternative to free speech after it was repeatedly censored on YouTube and other social media platforms.
In addition, there is the Brave browser to replace Chrome, Protonmail to replace Gmail, and many ways to accept cryptocurrency instead of using conventional payment systems.
It is clear that this list is not exhaustive. And in the future, we’ll talk about other alternatives and explore their privacy and transparency more deeply. Don’t let these tech giants have power over you.
“Elliott Wave Theorist”: in Russian
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