The toxic political climate now existing in 2021 has prompted some people to start investigating alternatives to “big tech” and its censorship. Be forewarned you users of Facebook, Gmail, Twitter, and WhatsApp; big tech has ways of making it not so easy to transition away from using their services and some will find it to be nearly impossible. Our dystopian reality is that the way things are going now it could be only a matter of time before you too are locked out of your accounts, so you might want to at least be aware of some of the available alternatives.
Parler.com (French for “speak”) was signing up thousands of new users seeking to flee the censorship on Facebook and Twitter, at least until last week when the tech giants Amazon, Apple, and Google each took action to force Parler off the internet. This prompted many to use their “C” word.” On the right the C word is “conspiracy” while on the left it is “coincidence.” As of this writing it is not known if parler.com will return.
Gab.com says it is a social network that champions free speech, individual liberty, and the free flow of information online. They also have GabTV which is offered as an alternative to Google-owned YouTube. Please note that some of the social media platforms I mention here are experiencing exponential growth, and as I write this gab.com can be overloaded and sluggish.
Speaking of video sharing sites, rumble.com advertises itself as another free-speech alternative to YouTube. “We don’t censor political debate or dialogue, and we welcome all viewpoints,” says CEO Chris Pavlovski. Rumble has seen tremendous growth in recent months and with that some temporary outages on overtaxed servers.
MeWe.com is another social media network that advocates free speech. Its homepage states: “The Social Network Built on Trust, Control and Love.” MeWe appears to be the most Facebook-like social media alternative offering all the same features found on Facebook, but possibly creating its own C-word problem (can you say “copyright infringement?”).
CloutHub.com is yet another social media site I had never heard of until starting to write this column. This site appears to embody elements of both Facebook and Twitter. When I signed up, the site was just a little slow, which I would attribute to their servers having trouble coping with the demands of thousands of new users.
While all of the social media alternatives I have mentioned here are accessible through a web browser, most if not all of them also have smartphone apps. This could be an Achilles heel because the same Silicon Valley oligarchs who are trying to kill Parler.com by blocking its app from being installed on Apple and Android smartphones could well do the same with other social media alternative sites. Next week I will try to delve a little deeper into messaging apps and associated privacy concerns.
Charles Miller is a freelance computer consultant, a frequent visitor to San Miguel since 1981 and now practically a full-time resident. He may be contacted at 415 101 8528 or email FAQ8@SMAguru.com.