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Minds boycotts Google, Facebook, Patreon

MindsDec 19, 2018, 8:11:22 PM

Dear Minds,

Over the past few years, countless businesses and individuals have experienced a pattern of unethical and anti-competitive practices from Google, Facebook and other closed-source networks. These unfair practices, that we know of, include excessive surveillance, data mining, algorithm manipulation, subjective bans, inconsistent enforcement of terms and even complete de-platforming.

In response, Minds is suspending our support of all Google and Facebook products until the above mentioned items are resolved. Centralized payment platforms like Stripe (which powers Patreon) and PayPal have also been removed from our monetization systems and we are working tirelessly to evolve the Minds token into a true solution for creators. The beauty of the blockchain is that it cannot be censored.

For Android users, our mobile app can now be downloaded here: https://minds.com/mobile (also located in our footer under "Android"). 

A free and open Internet is our goal, and we urge others to join us. Privacy focused alternatives such as DuckDuckGo, Brave, Minds and many others are emerging and gaining momentum with this strategy. Let’s boycott Google, Facebook and other networks’ manipulative business models relying on proprietary software, censorship, surveillance and unfair monopolistic business practices. The movement to #DeleteFacebook and #BanGoogle is already underway (recently featured on Redacted Tonight and CNET). The platforms we give our energy to will become the future of the web.

Minds is prepared to take any and all steps necessary to protect your digital rights. We are powered by freedom -- the most powerful idea in human history. So we ask for your continued support in the ongoing fight for a free and open Internet by staying active on Minds and inviting your friends to join.


The Minds Team

Update (10/11/2019):

There have been a few changes since the initial posting of this blog that we felt we needed to address.

Our initial decision to boycott Google Play was due in part to the fact that Google suspended our app due to sexually explicit content they found that was posted by a user. While they did not ban us from the Play Store completely, they informed us that the only way for us to get our app listed again was to submit under an entirely new name. This would mean we would lose all of our thousands of installs, ratings and reviews that we have worked tirelessly for. We attempted to appeal this decision but to no avail, and thus decided we would rather boycott their unfairness rather than build up an entirely new app from the ground up. With this boycott, we also decided to make the app available for download on Android directly from us.

We did not foresee the amount of trouble removing our app from Google would cause for our community and growth. Countless friends, investors and creators were constantly unable to easily download the app because they could not find it on Google Play and were not savvy enough to understand how to download it directly from the APK. The unfortunate reality is that Google very much has a monopoly on the Android market (as does Apple with iOS), and not being available on their platform makes it very difficult to grow. For this reason, we decided to appeal to Google once more to let us put our app back up. This time they actually responded to our appeal and agreed to list the app, but only as long as NSFW content was not accessible as stated in their terms of service.

While we disagree with their policy and feel it is extremely hypocritical given the number of apps that they allow on the Play store where such content is easily discoverable (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, even Google search…), we decided that Minds is not yet in a strong enough position to sacrifice the millions of people who rely on the Play store to download apps for their devices. However, we do understand that some of you may disagree with this decision, which is why we continue to keep our app available for download directly from us where you can access all types of content no matter the rating.

Similarly, we have also decided to add Stripe back into our monetization program since the posting of this blog. With it, however, we made sure to also add support for Bitcoin and Ethereum payments to provide decentralized, uncensorable payment options as well. We feel that in our position as a startup, it is essential to be accessible in as many areas as we can, and to provide you all with as many different monetization options as we can so that we are in the best position to grow and accommodate everyone’s needs.

We hope this helps everyone understand our current positioning and rationale.