America is tired of Silicon Valley. Be it Apple’s anti-competitive behavior, Amazon’s destruction of small and independent businesses, and the relentless censorship from the likes of Google, Facebook, and Twitter, millions of Americans are now looking for any kind of alternative to our Big Tech overlords.
For years, conservatives and libertarians have been working on projects aimed at providing these alternatives, ranging from social media networks all the way through to blockchain technologies aimed at replacing fiat currency. Here we will take a look at some of the most prominent of these developments.
Social media platforms
There are an array of social media platforms built out as free-speech alternatives to Facebook and Twitter. The first of these was is Gab, a platform with a high level of functionality yet a reputation for hosting more extremist content. Nevertheless, it boasts over four million users, while its creators have developed other products such as Dissenter, a tool that allows users to comment on any web page using a third-party forum.
There is also Parler, which was founded as a more credible and mainstream alternative to Gab. Following Donald Trump’s suspension on Twitter, the platform began to explode, although this momentum was sadly stopped in its tracks when Amazon decided to take it offline by pulling access to its servers.
More recently, former Trump adviser Jason Miller founded Gettr, a platform that also promises never to censor its users and which claims to be the fastest-growing social media company in the world.
Privacy, security and decentralized ecosystems
Clear United, a tech company founded by the Utah-based entrepreneur Michael Proper, is planning to build an entire decentralized technological ecosystem capable of rivaling Google. This ecosystem will offer many of the same products, including cellular devices, browsers, email, instant messaging, and many others, yet all with the promise of complete privacy and security.
Among the products offered by this company include the Freedom Phone, a privacy and anti-censorship device designed by 23-year-old Bitcoin millionaire Erik Finman. The device has received endorsements from the likes of Candace Owens, Dinesh D’Souza, and many other major political figures.
Meanwhile, established browsing alternatives like the search engine DuckDuckGo and the web browser Brave also offer people the opportunity to break away from Google and protect their data when surfing the web.
With YouTube becoming another hotbed of censorship, the alternative video-sharing platform Rumble has experienced rapid growth since July 2020, rising from 1.6 million monthly users to 31.9 million by the end of the first quarter of 2021. It has received backing from the likes of PayPal founder Peter Thiel and the prominent venture capitalist J.D. Vance.
Although the platform is mainly used by conservatives, including former President Donald Trump, it has also announced partnerships with figures across the political spectrum including former Democratic representative and presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard and the left-wing libertarian journalist Glenn Greenwald.
Creators are allowed to monetize their videos, while users can win a daily cash prize earning tickets by watching videos and providing feedback. The more tickets a user has, the greater the chance of them winning the daily prize.
Fundraising platforms such as GoFundMe and Patreon are notorious for banning people from their platforms when they don’t like what the money is being raised for. Patreon has banned numerous conservative creators from their platform, while GoFundMe has shut down fundraising projects they disapprove of, including an effort to raise money for the recently acquitted Kenosha shooter Kyle Rittenhouse in the run-up to his trial.
The creator crowdfunding site Locals, founded by journalist Dave Rubin, has raised millions in investment since its foundation earlier this year. Notable users of the platform include the artist Scott Adams, political commentator Paul Joseph Watson, investigative journalist Andy Ngo, and comedian and Fox News host Greg Gutfeld. Last month, the company announced that it had been acquired by Rumble.
GiveSendGo, a fast-growing Christian fundraising platform has also raised significant sums for individuals such as Lieutenant William Kelly, who lost his job for donating $25 to Rittenhouse’s defense fund. Another campaign involves raising money to hire attorneys to challenge mask mandates imposed by the LaPorte School Corporation in Indiana.
Every day it is becoming easier to embrace the benefits of blockchain technology as merchants make it easier to send and receive payments using different cryptocurrencies. Major companies and payment processors including Tesla, PayPal, CashApp, Venmo, and Microsoft have all started accepting payments in various currencies, while the continually bullish outlook on the price of crypto assets all points to a bright future for crypto.
Many great minds and innovators have already built out the technology that will provide us all with digital freedom; the onus is now on us to support them and help build a world centered around digital freedom.