Also, three new technologies you should be using if you value freedom.
Yes, this is a real screenshot from this article, and it serves very well to emphasize the importance and dire need of the people to establish their own media and services rather than relying on the current ones to start doing right by everyone. I’m going to tell you about some new technologies made by people who value freedom and truth, but first I want to explain how we get into the situation we’re currently dealing with in the first place.
First, there’s no money in truth.
Facebook is as big as it is because everyone uses it, and everyone uses it because a group of very rich people put up a lot of money to get it started. Now that it’s the go-to social media service, anything Facebook doesn’t allow on it’s platform (like links to alternative media sites or information about ideas they don’t like) doesn’t get seen. But, it took a lot of money and effort to make it that big.
By contrast, most new media is one person or a small group of people doing what they do for little or no money because they believe in it. Naturally, this solidly limits how much good can be done. If all one can do is do some research and post to their website, blog, or social media after work and before going to bed, how much less impact will that person have vs. a full-time reporter paid to produce propaganda for a platform with a national reach?
Reporters are paid to produce propaganda that supports the narrative of the people who sign their checks. They are full-time propagandists. They have the reach to slander smaller media and shame people from even looking at them. The staff of big social media services like Twitter are paid to ‘discourage’ the wrong kind of opinions through banning, blocking, and harassment.
Second, fighting the system costs money and time.
When is the last time you went out of your way to find a good source of news, or media organization that is doing something you believe in, and gave them money or your time? For most people, the answer is rarely, if ever. How often do you think about the sources of your information, and what their allegiances are?
The reality is, the worst people in the world have a tremendous incentive to lie to you. It’s simple investment-return math; if they can convince you to go along with their plan, they can fleece you and you’ll never know why. That’s why the system is the way it is; it costs too much money for normal people to run for office, so the only people who run are those beholden to a select few oligarchs with a deep, vested interest in getting the table slanted their way. That’s by design.
Ever wonder why the mainstream news is so left-leaning? Even the “rightwing” news like Fox? This is why. For international billionaires, funding a few stations that everyone gets their news from has a huge investment return, because most people are not willing to actively choose the hard path of vetting news sources. You know they are lying to you, but you have no idea to what degree, as you don’t have anything to compare it to. Pretending there are ‘sides’ through infighting allows these oligarchs to control even the things you care about; if Fox isn’t covering something, most Conservatives don’t know about it. They can pick ‘safe’ issues to let rightwingers argue about, while completely ignoring the actual things that are ruining this nation.
Fighting evil is hard. But that’s what we’re here to do.
What follows are
short reviews of three new technologies that you should be watching and using. All of them are in early phases; all of them have small teams supplemented with a lot of volunteers, and none of them have the budgetary backing of the oligarch elite. What they do have is some of the most talented people on the planet, and a support base of people dedicated to making them better than the current options.
In short, if you want to support freedom, these guys are it.
Brave Web Browser
Brave already has a lot going for it for the casual user. Brave has a built-in adblocker that can automatically deal with the problem of laggy, high-CPU, malware-infested ads on any website. It also blocks the tracking infrastructure of many web pages, which means that the consumer databases that create targeted ads can’t get their data.
That’s great! But there’s another benefit; all the code that makes those things happen can be up to 60% of the load time of your web pages. So what happens when you filter out that code? Web pages load lightning quick. They stop lagging out as your memory fills up with junk from Flash ads. Brave keeps you safe and makes your web experience better, right out of the box. There’s nothing to learn, no plugins to install, it just works.
But they go way beyond that.
Have you ever wondered how internet advertising works, and how people get paid?
Internet advertising currently works roughly like this; companies pay an ad service (like Google Ads) to run the company’s advertisements on their service (which is why they can be so laggy and malware-riddled; the company writes the ads). The ad service, in turn, creates a system to embed ads in a person’s web page. A website owner who is using the ad service embeds code into their site that allows the ad service to collect data about the end user, and display targeted ads to that user. That way, if you browse multiple sites that use the same ad service, they know who you are, where you go, and what you look at.
The website owners, in turn, get paid a percent of the ad service’s take per view, referred to normally as CPM, or the cost per thousand views. In other words, the website owner gets a certain amount of money per thousand people that see ads on their page. The more people go to a website, the more money they make in ad revenue.
There are a number of downsides to this system. One, there’s a database of everything you do on the internet. Two, there’s very little control by the end user or site owner; for a site owner, you either run ads or don’t, and for the end user, you either accept being tracked and laggy pages, or block your favorite site’s ability to earn a living. Likewise, the ad service can decide your opinions or content are bad, and pull your ability to run ads at all.
Brave will fix this by creating a new revenue system.
Gone will be the trackers, the buggy ads, and the ideologically-driven ad services, and in it’s place a simple system that gives everyone a better share of the action. Brave will use a built-in anonymous ‘micropayment’ system to allow you to directly support sites you like. The future plan is to create their own non-tracking ad network to replace the current options with clean, fast ads, but at present they offer a direct-payment wallet.
You have a ‘wallet’ you put money into each month (say, 5 dollars), and at the end of each month, the sites you select get a share. In other words, you are directly paying a site you want to support in exchange for never having to deal with ads ever again.
best of all, since it uses Bitcoin as it’s medium of exchange, there’s no way to track who pays what to whom.
Now you might not think five dollars will be sufficient incentive for a site to embrace this technology, but you have to understand that the current CPM in most cases is around a dollar per THOUSAND views. So unless you visit a thousand ad-enabled pages on each of your favorite sites a month, they are making considerably less than a dollar from you currently. If you gave your top 5 sites a dollar a month each, you would be replacing almost a thousand views a month per site. That means a site owner would make the same money from one thousand highly devoted fans as one MILLION views currently. That makes niche sites much more viable, since they don’t need to appeal to millions of people to make money.
It also means that you can give people you believe in a much bigger platform, and there’s nothing the big media companies can do about it.
By giving up advertisers’ paying for everything, and paying a little bit to the people you really like and support each month, we can break the monopoly the big companies have over content.
I use the Brave browser currently. My one sole complaint is that their bookmark importing is still buggy. Compared with the benefits, it’s a very minor complaint.
Get Brave here.
Gab is going to replace Twitter. It has a higher character limit, it has an excellent community of free thinkers from across the political spectrum, and this is the CEO of the company:
And an Exodus it is. Gab is Andrew Torba (@a), Ekrem Büyükkaya (@e), and a lot of people helping them find bugs and providing feedback. Like Brave, this project is also funded by donations instead of ads, so that nobody can pressure the company to curb freedom.
Gab actually is a free speech platform. They do not alter trending topics or censor people the way Twitter and Facebook do; if it’s making headlines, it’s trending. Left, right, doesn’t matter. There’s no narrative, just an open and free exchange of ideas.
That being said, they offer individual users lots of tools to customize their personal experience. You can block viewing tweets with certain words chosen by you, so if there’s something making the rounds you don’t want to see or hear about, you just put the requisite word in your filter and you’re done. You can make your account private, meaning only people you follow or follow you can see and interact with you. More tools are on the way.
I can say for certain that the conversation is better on Gab. I can find and engage with people from every corner of the sociopolitical spectrum, from all countries, discuss and debate ideas, find common ground, and generally make the world a smarter place. You can’t do that on Twitter, since they block people, ban people, and gate off sections of the base from each other through manipulation of autocomplete results, trending topics, and shadowbanning.
Sign up for Gab here.
There’s no app yet, but it runs great on the Mobile version of Brave. Just saying.
There’s no polite way to say it; Wikipedia is terrible. It’s running on outdated technology, it’s completely overrun with ideologically-driven editors, and the standard for what is permitted is ridiculous.
The team over at Infogalactic aim to change that.
As their logo implies, their aim is to become the go-to repository of knowledge for Earth. They will accomplish this by having objective standards that weed out ideologues and provide a framework to judge information’s place on the site. Wikipedia’s ‘five pillars‘ make it clear that they are beholden only to the whims of the administrators and chief editors’ opinions of good and bad, while Infogalactic’s Seven Canons make it clear that an ideologically-neutral repository of information is the goal.
A clear example of the difference can be found in comparing Wikipedia’s page and Infogalactic’s page on Mike Cernovich. The Wikipedia section “Media” is nothing more than a list of out-of-context statements with links to make them appear more valid since they are ‘sourced’. The Infogalactic page has a section titled “Controversies”, and omits personal attacks, stating instead facts about various controversies, and has a section titled “Criticisms” where a record of his critic’s statements are presented.
Wikipedia’s goal isn’t to remain ideologically neutral, providing relevant facts, and letting the reader make up their mind. Infogalactic’s is.
The coders at Infogalactic are also rewriting the entire Wikimedia engine to make it run more efficiently. That is quite a feat. Load times currently on never-viewed pages is a result of the inefficient Wikimedia engine, which Wikipedia solved by simply throwing more money at the problem by adding more servers to handle the load. Infogalactic will be leaner, faster, and much cheaper to maintain.
They are also doing this entirely on donations also.
How you can help
Be active. Donate to things you agree with. Volunteer time and skills. You cannot expect the problems to go away just because you say “I don’t like this.” This is a war for the culture, political control, and personal freedom. There’s too much at stake to remain neutral or fail to act.