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MINDS PRO Pt 1e: "You hereby consent to the use of your name, likeness, blog name, and any associated content or logos by Minds in connection with advertisements, articles, and other similar communications conducted by Minds relating to The Program."

GailMcGowanMellorDec 2, 2019, 2:17:13 AM

Remember Minds in Beta, so true to its dream? I do. Arriving in 2016, I've been for years such a booster of-Minds, so quick to explain and defend it, to rhapsodize about its dedicated staff, that I've been accused of being volunteer PR, but there's a line that should not be crossed. Compared to The Dream that we were sold, deeply believed in, and briefly experienced, Minds is beginning to feel like bait and switch. 

Payment for work? Not tricking users into furnishing its content for free, as Facebook does, was a key tenet of early Minds. Payment for Work was part of The Dream. Minds however now pays for virtually none of the actions and contributions that it promised to reward -- and once did reward. Indeed it pays for little at all. Meanwhile as users furnish content almost for free, the amount that users are asked to pay for subscriptions steadily climbs. 

Anonymity? Anonymity too was a key promise on Minds. Originally, I adopted the pseudonym @authorpendragon. A professional reporter, accustomed to writing always out in the open, under my own byline, I loved being just 'dragon. So when I began writing a history of Minds two years later, I started another channel under my real name Gail McGowan Mellor with a photo of me as a logo, but did not link the two channels, prizing the luxury of diving back into that 'dragon anonymity.

Thanks to a never-fixed Minds bug, the two channels however kept bleeding into each other, so that I'd post from @authorpendragon but the logo on the post would unpredictably show @GailMcGowanMellor. 

A big shot user on Minds with a burr under his saddle about me noticed, and started doxxing @authorpendragon all over Minds, acting as though it was nefarious that I had an anonymous channel, although he himself does. Exposure of my real name is no threat to me: he was throwing me into the sunshine in which any writer is at home, but a doxx could have been dangerous to someone else. It's hard moreover to describe the loss of an avatar's anonymity. It's a bit like the loss of a pet. Anyway, I reported it privately to a founder. Perhaps because the doxxer was the Minds version of a whale, the urls that I sent as proof of the doxx were without my permission erased by the Minds founder, and there was no sanction. I was less angered by the doxxer's acting out in a pique than by how quick a Minds founder had been to brush off a major founding principle: anonymity.

Meanwhile, for its Minds Plus program, Minds required users to give it an entry to -- and for each user to advertise Minds on -- the user's profile pages on two other social media sites, a demand that I saw as anathema to anonymity. 

Now in Minds Pro, Minds demands as a matter of contract that
you connect your possibly-anonymous username to your real name and face?????? 

Anonymity is valued here on Minds in what sense? 


After years of promises, the Minds blog software still remains primitive. I've worked with Minds staff, grateful for their kind and effective effort, but
 I still can't even publish an interactive table of contents, and fonts keep changing spontaneously on random parts of my texts. With the blog platform and streaming still shaky, the Minds Pro project, while very tempting, seems premature. More importantly, Minds as part of the Pro deal [see Part 1 e] now like Facebook, demands to have blanket rights to use my work output for its own ends, however it chooses and without compensation!! 

Minds even requires blanket rights to use our faces, names and thus our professional credentials for free, and in whatever way it chooses, in order to advertise itself!!  Legally that's quite clearly what Pt 1e says. It's wise never to sign something simply because you trust that the lawyer who wrote it, who works for someone whom you very much like online but don't know f2f, "really didn't mean it". Even Facebook does not go that far....  

I still believe in The Minds Dream. What's happened to it? It almost physically hurts to see this switch toward just another social media site, using our hard work as its content for free, while charging us, and digging out every ounce of personal information to employ at its discretion. May Minds pause to rethink.