We on Minds, happily at each others' throats on a long list of issues, share something huge -- a commitment to free speech. Free speech is quite suddenly in comprehensive danger. If you don't count the 1990s AOL nonsense, the clampdown on online speech started in 2016, as Facebook first flushed out those on the Right, and gathered force as Facebook in 2017 flushed out those on the Left.
That was just a warm-up. Many will loudly disagree, but that purge picked up enormous speed when Net Neutrality was repealed, funneling staggering amounts of power from us users and from relatively small outfits into the global corporate Internet Service Providers [ISPs] and big globals like Facebook.com.
ISPs are now legally free to take money from Facebook to speed up its traffic and shift its competitor Minds into a slow lane, where impatient users rarely wait.
Verizon, one of those major cell phone providers, has moreover acquired Huffington Post. On January 18, 2017, Verizon cut off all independent contribution to Huffington Post, although its thousands of independent writers worked for free and had built it. In the same week, January 16, 2017, Mark Zuckerberg reassumed direct control of Facebook and, taking a $3.8 billion dollar beating in the stock market, basically announced a shutdown of its news streams.
Zuckerberg took this action although Facebook had become the main news outlet in the world, as once-respected outlets like the Washington Post devolved into "anonymous sources say" faux journalism, and Facebook users, working for free and crowdsourcing the copyediting, produced news streams which were growing more tightly evidenced and reliable by the day, all without a penny of cost to Zuckerberg, who had been making a fortune off of it.
Certainly they offer rationalizations, but the fact that the FCC, Verizon and Facebook acted almost simultaneously and the globals seemingly against their best interests, suggests an underlying agenda.
What this concerted action does among other things is to push visible news streams into tight, narrow neolib-neocon (corporatist) channels and to force independent journalism back into ideologically isolated puddles where the Right and Left do not discuss, do not compare notes, do not weigh evidence together. Without a meeting place, we on the Right and Left do not even recognize that we have a common enemy -- the global corporations that control our increasingly tyrannical government and increasingly unreliable media.
Minds is an answer. Indeed as free-speech resources swiftly disappear, Minds is perhaps the answer and bracing for the scale that may be demanded.
Still under construction, Minds is a small bunch of brilliant, dedicated coders and organizers with a dream. They are reverse engineering the key elements of proprietary Facebook from scratch and ethically improving upon it, while dealing daily with a million often grouchy users coming and going. Those who run Minds adamantly resist pressure to spy and censor.
Minds is thus arguably the only real game left in town, and the only place where Right and Left have at least started to talk.
We're also talking to other nations. In the last week, we quite suddenly began a conversation with 100,000 Vietnamese freedom fighters as well. United we stand, divided we fall, folks. If you're in the US, chances are good that you think that you don't need "the other side" of our nation, whichever side you're on. Assuming just for the sake of argument though that holding our nation and world together at the popular level matters... assuming just for the sake of argument that free speech matters... how can we realistically protect Minds, this priceless river of actual communication, as dams of silence suddenly slam down all around us?
Practical solutions? Advice?