|MeWe believes in the Right to Privacy|
Social Media That Respects Privacy and Free Speech?
I stayed up way too late last night reading a really great book. Hoping to have the review for that up soon. But for today, picking up from yesterday's post about Twitter censorship, I want to talk a bit about social media.
Social media is like cell-phones. Once upon a time no one had cell phones and we were perfectly happy. Nowadays we won't leave the house without one. Today we are in a similar situation with social media. Honestly I'm not really a fan of it - the privacy trade-offs of being on Facebook hardly seem worth, and yet when my kid started college she found that unless she had a FB account she would have a hard time finding out what was going on. So she got a FB account. Then so did I, because I wanted to be there for her.
Now for me being on FaceBook is like being at a cocktail party full of people who have completely opposite opinions from me. I can talk about the weather and puppies and other non-controversial subjects. I can't talk about conservative topics because it of the very real danger of getting swarmed by angry leftist activists, not only online but in real life, since FB requires real identities.
Twitter doesn't require real identities, although for some prominent account holders it would award a coveted "verified" status to show that person was really who they claimed to be. Twitter also used to be pretty much a free speech arena. Anyone could say what they want. If you didn't like what they said, you could block them. You could report spammers. It was wonderfully disorganized and loud and basically a free-for-all. Then this year, around a week after the White House met with Silicon Valley executives, Twitter created that censorship council I talked about yesterday. Yesterday the Justice Department had another summit with Silicon Valley Executives to "discuss ways to counter the use of cyberspace by militant extremist groups like Islamic State and support strategic counter-messaging campaigns." Which sounds great, until you learn that FaceBook prohibits talking about the refugee crisis in Germany and Twitter bans users who attack feminism. All dissent is terrorism.
A month or so ago, one of the writers in an online group that I'm in suggested an alternative social network. It's a fledgling platform called MeWe. They claim to value privacy above all else, to never sell your information, and that they are ad-free. After looking around it for a while, I decided to sign up. So far it seems legit - still a small user base, and most of the action seems to revolve around groups. They are somewhat similar in set-up to Facebook. A lot of the groups seem conservative and libertarian. So I'm optimistic about it. If you join be sure to look me up.
I'd be interested to learn about other social media companies that are for privacy and free speech. Let me know what you think.