Anomaly UK writes about some potential alternatives to the virtual news stands / watering holes that are Twitter and Facebook.
Back in 2012, I looked at the concept of peer-to-peer blogging. It is definitely time to revisit
Back then, the main threat I was concerned with was state action directed against service providers being used for copyright infringement. Since then, my political views have become more extreme, while the intolerance of the mainstream left has escalated alarmingly, and so the main threat today is censorship by service providers, based on their own politics or pressure from users and/or advertisers.
Actually publishing content has become easier, due to cheap virtualised hosting and fast residential broadband, making a few megabytes of data available is not likely to be a problem. The difficult bit is reaching an audience. The demise of Bloglines and then Google Reader has been either a cause or a symptom of the decline of RSS, and the main channels for reaching an audience today are facebook and twitter. I don’t actually use facebook, so for me twitter is the vital battleground. If you can build up a following linked to a twitter ID, you can move your content hosting around and followers will barely be aware it’s moved. Last week’s Chuck Johnson affair defines the situation we face. We require a robust alternative to twitter—not urgently but ideally within a 12–24 month timeframe.
From an economic perspective, at least, you would expect the impetus for this sort of censorship to come from nonstate actors in advance of such actions by the state itself.
The state, after all, has an institutional interest — and its administrators have a limited personal interest — in protecting tax revenues. If people begin to feel that the state has lost legitimacy and that it no longer guarantees their rights or interests, they may become uncooperative when it comes to generating revenue for that state. This is one of the reasons as to why governments like that of Greece have trouble keeping regular operations going.
If we look at the American government like a corporation, we see one with a relatively secure position over its own territory, which is losing some measure of its influence internationally.
While the American bureaucracy is, generally speaking, leftist, that doesn’t mean that it’s immune from attacks from other leftists trying to drive the country further to the left.
With the suspension of Chuck Johnson at GotNews, we see the asymmetry between the left and the right when it comes to the media. Chuck is essentially a ‘right wing journalist.’ The person whom he was trying to expose — left activist DeRay Mckesson — was able to curb some traffic to Johnson’s site by getting him banned from Twitter.
That’s Twitter’s prereogative, of whom they decide to permit or forbid to use their service in any way.
From the Times’ account of Mckesson:
One protester was DeRay Mckesson, a 29-year-old former school administrator who has spent much of the past nine months attending and catalyzing such protests, from Ferguson, Mo., last summer and fall, to New York City and Milwaukee in December, to North Charleston, S.C., in April. Mckesson, who is from Baltimore, had returned to his hometown not long after Gray’s death to join the protests. Now he stood in his usual pose — his slender back straight as a ramrod, phone held in front of angular face, camera lens pointed directly ahead.
Naturally, it’d be interesting to find out more about this, since that sounds a lot like the incitement of violent riots which have done enormous amounts of damage to both people and property throughout the US. The Times portrays him as heroic, even though it tangentially connects his ‘activism’ to the murders of two policemen in New York City.
It’s important not to count too much on ‘social media’ or the ‘internet’ as an equalizer in politics. It’s not. It’s just another political tool. Many tools which appear to be decentralized actually aren’t. In the case of Twitter, everything routs through the service that they run, and they can and do ban people for arbitrary reasons.
Astute Observer says
Digg Reader functions quite well in place of Google Reader for those who like aggregating blogs and news. Twitter as a medium for reaching the intelligent never seemed to offer much promise.
The “soft” censorship model that the left seems to be accepting is not to forbid you to speak, but to shame and/or threaten anyone who listens.I can imagine a near future where irritating the “wrong person” could lead to an RSS feed/browser history being publicized, and suddenly being fired from a job for reading Henry Dampier in non-working hours.
Mark Minter says
Twitter is a business, and a public company. In end it will do what its stockholder believe is necessary for earnings. Supposedly its usage had been declining and I have seen tweets from my favorite shitposters that concur that “everybody” is leaving twitter. I have heard statements that the ideal twitter user is female because she spends more average time on the service and overall has more say over the disposable income spent. And it is obvious that “she” is to the left, if not the very left of the spectrum, and also more prone to desire censorship and muzzling of any views contradictory of her positions.
I have long thought there was opportunity is forging parallel “clones” of private internet stuff specifically intended for alt-right and manosphere uses that provided the anonymity and lack of authoritarian control that many users in the sphere might like as well as sweep the money made by the big boys from advertising and payment services into services ran by us.
Anahita is an open source facebook like platform that I did some research on. I was going to implement it but I took the simpler more known to me path of implementing Joomla for a blog site I created last year. I was becoming disillusioned with the manosphere and didn’t feel like administering and paying for a facebook style site. I thought it could be sort of a “blogging social network”. The three main features were posting, creating notes which are equivalent to tweets, and some like photo albums. There are users and groups. A user can join a group. And users can follow other users. There are associated permissions on anything a user may create such as viewed by public, registered users, group members, or followers.
You can see the software implemented at
In the menu the option “Tribes” will allow you to see the “groups” funtion by selecting “featured groups”. There is a tribe called “Atrium”. If you select that you can see the typical look. It is mostly users on the project posting “notes” an equivalent to a tweet. Each user has a profile with some avatar or photo. It is a clean interface and it can be customized by the implementation.
If you choose the main page menu option of “Blog” than you can see the “stories” function and how blog entries would look.
There are also several clone-copies of twitter available in open source. Here is a version of one that is implemented.
I didn’t create an account on the thing to drive it. So I can’t see what it does and how it looks. The point is that the stuff to create parallel things exists.
The question is “Is there a will to do so?”
Would the new ruling regime of NRx deem it important to work together to create a function tech ecosystem that is in parallel with what already exists and has shown to be somewhat hostile to the alt-right?
To me it is just a matter of doing it and putting our commitment to it. I could have working sites for both of those functions in a matter of days on Rackspace because I already have accounts there and have a running ubuntu with SSH access. It would take much to get a re-branding agreement with a VPN group that allows us to have our own front page for a commercial VPN site or even to create our own. We could create our own adsense. There already is a parallel publisher. I am sure once it started other people might think of other parallel thing like stores, whatever.
So what do you say Henry? What more do we need other than CJohnson getting banned for trivial shit to read the writing on the wall?
There are people working on similar projects (raptros in particular with chatless). You should hit him up on Twitter. Don’t think it’s on the same technology but he’s working in the same problem space.
It would be good to get an alt-internet ready to go, because censorship is liable to screw up a lot of the existing platforms like Twitter and Facebook at least from a business perspective for them. So far, though, people are more moving to private communication channels than public ones.
I would also say that men are an under-rated advertising audience. Men make big purchases like cars and certain home goods.