We’ve seen a significant increase in online censorship, to the point where people are starting to feel that there are things they want to say, but can’t.
A fundamental tenant of scientific study is to question assumptions and hypotheses. To use statistics in a responsible and accurate way – so that you’re not adding bias and distorting the figures for your own gain.
Albert Einstein said, “Science can flourish only in an atmosphere of free speech”.
Dave Asprey says: “You see, when you cannot challenge an existing belief, you cannot do science”.
Perhaps, I should have seen the red flags. Here are some examples:
A few years ago, an alternative and qualified medical practitioner emailed her followers with the news that her partner had been booted off MailChimp. As a result, he moved to a more open-minded option called Ontraport. (https://ontraport.com/).
We understand the need to put a stop to misinformation. For instance, YouTube has started to block all anti-vaccine misinformation and content. Let’s face it no one wants to see the proliferation of misinformation.
Recently a popular yoga teacher posted on Instagram about her honest reaction to Britney Spear’s documentary. It was removed and was threatened with a message that her account may be deleted. It said her story didn’t follow their community guidelines. Other females commented that they had stopped following yoga-related hashtags as the images were increasing just ‘gym porn’.
Some account owners preempt being blocked on Instagram and create multiple accounts with similar usernames. Their followers just need to follow along or follow their friends in the close-knit community. This account hopping is a way of beating the moderators and paid trolls.
In the last month, Instagram has introduced a pop-up warning notice that says:
Why this post is covered. We use technology or a review team to identify content that should be covered. This post doesn’t go against our Community Standards, but may contain images that some people might find upsetting. We cover sensitive or potentially graphic content so people can choose whether to see it.
There is also a popup window called ‘False’.
The same false information was reviewed in another post by fact-checkers. There may be small differences. Independent fact-checkers say this information has no basis in fact.
Instagram has snuck in a new feature. You can go to Settings then Privacy and toggle on and off your Hidden Words. Instagram has automatically decided the default will be a PG version where some comments are hidden.
On Pinterest, if you search on a phrase like ‘foods that help flu’. There’s only one recipe for chicken soup. The other pins are bad clip art, smoothies and Pharmacy sponsored advertising. I even found a pin for Halloween cake! You’ll be greeted with a big blue obtrusive warning banner that says:
“Pins about this topic often violate our Community Guidelines, which prohibit harmful medical misinformation. In some cases, we may choose not to show any search results for this topic at all. If you see any content that you believe violates Pinterest’s guidelines, please report it to us. Our policies and enforcement guidelines are informed by internationally recognised institutions, including the CDC, WHO and AAP. If you’re looking for medical advice, please contact a healthcare provider.”
With the recent tech blackout of Facebook, Instagram and WhatsUp, Telegram’s creator, Pavel Durov said that “over 70 million refugees from other platforms” joined his messaging service.
There is a large group of nurses and front-line workers who are posting on Telegram about their personal experiences and their patient stories. Unfortunately, these qualified professionals are concerned about the current practices and fear losing their jobs and livelihoods.
I started to wonder:
- Who decides what is classified as scientific misinformation?
- Are they consulting with qualified professionals working in the industry?
- How is this content peer-reviewed?
- Who are these gatekeepers and moderators?
So perhaps it’s time to reconsider where we are getting our sources of news and who funds their advertising. Maybe it’s time to break up with some of these over-zealous social media platforms and technology companies.
Alternative Online Platforms
It might be a good time to explore alternative online platforms like these:
Bitchute: BitChute is a peer-to-peer content sharing platform and associated services. BitChute aims to put creators first and provide them with a service that they can use to flourish and express their ideas freely. Bitchute website: https://www.bitchute.com/
Brave: The Brave browser is a fast, private and secure web browser for PC, Mac and mobile. Download now to enjoy a faster ad-free browsing experience that saves data and battery life by blocking tracking software. Brave website: https://brave.com/
Brighteon: All content posted on this website is commentary or opinion and is protected under Free Speech. Brighteon website: https://www.brighteon.com/
Gab: A social network that champions free speech, individual liberty and the free flow of information online. All are welcome. https://gab.com/
Oydsee: Odysee is a video sharing app that’s built on the open-source, decentralized, blockchain-based LBRY network. The use of this LBRY network as a foundation gives Odysee several distinct advantages over centralized video sharing platforms where a single company controls the data. These advantages include greater resilience to censorship, lower fees on tips and donations, and more transparency. Oydsee website: https://odysee.com/
Parler: Parler is a free speech social network. An unbiased social media focused on real user experiences and engagement. Free expression without violence and no censorship. Parler website: https://parler.com/main.php
Proton Mail: ProtonMail is an end-to-end encrypted email service founded in 2013 in Geneva, Switzerland by scientists who spent time at the CERN research facility. ProtonMail uses client-side encryption to protect email content and user data before they are sent to ProtonMail servers, unlike other common email providers. Proton Mail website: https://protonmail.com/
Rumble: Rumble is your rights management video platform. Host, distribute and monetize all your professional, social and viral videos. Rumble website: https://rumble.com/
Telegram: Telegram is a cross-platform, cloud-based instant messaging system. The service also provides end-to-end encrypted video calling, VoIP, file sharing and several other features. Telegram keeps your messages safe from hacker attacks. Telegram website: https://telegram.org/
You might like to consider changing your default browser to Opera (https://www.opera.com/) and change your search engine to DuckDuckGo (https://duckduckgo.com/).
I’ve not joined or tested all of these platforms, so I encourage you to do your own research. Sure, I’ve seen some fake information and spam – but sadly I’ve seen plenty of that on mainstream media too. As a result, you do need to be wary and sceptical. But I think it’s important to read other people’s viewpoints (even if you don’t agree with them) without judgement, so you’re not creating an echo chamber.
If you want to enjoy and view a more balanced view of content and news, then I encourage you to vote with your eyeballs. Start with just one new platform and test it out for a while – you’ll soon know what’s genuine and resonates with you.
Please leave a comment and let us know what alternative platforms you’re using: