Tech

“Build Your Own Platforms” Is Bullshit

At first, I thought this was sound advice. But as we’ve seen with Gab and now Parler, not to mention what happened to Laura Loomer and the leader of the Proud Boys (both having their Chase bank accounts being shut down simply because they were Trump supporters), this advice is complete and total bullshit.

So Vox Day can take his “boo hoo, nobody cares if you’re deplatformed” bullsht and shove it up his racist ass. Ever heard of Social Galactic? No? That’s his idea of building one’s own platform. The first iteration of Social Galactic failed miserably, and the second one is some walled off, top secret circle jerk that nobody but his little cult members use, and might as well not even exist for all the influence it has (which is to say, absolutely none).

Meanwhile, Gab has been through the wringer – their domain registrar banned them (of which was originally Go Daddy, which was also my old registrar and host, and when they deplatformed Gab I left), then their host banned them (Microsoft Azure), then PayPal banned them, then both MasterCard and Visa refused to process payments for Gab Pro and their merch shop. Now Visa has even banned Andrew Torba himself from their services. Oh, and let’s not forget that even moving from their own proprietary code to a Mastodon fork just so users could use mobile apps didn’t work, as most developers of Mastodon clients decided to ban access to Gab. This, of course, was after both Apple and Google banned the official Gab app from their respective app stores. This whole list isn’t perfectly ordered, but every single one of these things has happened. And that’s just to Gab.

Now the same thing is happening to Parler, of which is absolutely no surprise to me. It’s already been removed from the Google Play store (probably due to rumors that President Trump, after being banned from Twatter, was going to open an account there) and Apple has decided to be total dicks and insist that Parler start censoring conservatives or face a ban from the App Store.

So, unless you’ve got the money to pay for the following, building your platform doesn’t fucking work:

  1. Your own domain registar
  2. Your own server farm
  3. Your own ISP
  4. Your own payment processor
  5. Your own banking system

A payment processor won’t work if the banking system decides to deplatform you.

The only way you can completely avoid deplatforming is to have all of the above, and you’d have to be the absolute wealthiest and most powerful person on Earth to have all of the above.

I’d love to know what Vox Day thinks Parler should have done after all this shit. I know what he thinks Gab should have done. He thinks Gab should have done what Apple and Google and all the others wanted it to do: censor people. He calls it “common sense moderation” but that’s bullshit. Vox was butthurt because Andrew refused to hand over the personal information of a couple of randoms that used his own dumb tactics (the brilliant tactic of calling your opponent a pedophile if they call you a racist, and by brilliant I mean mind-numbingly stupid).

Please don’t think I suddenly hate Vox Day or anything – I still consider his blog and his take on things to be valuable…not his take on everything but most things.

I know that this kind of friendly fire sucks, and I wish I didn’t have to do it, but I feel that I have to call people out when they say stupid shit, even if I respect them otherwise. I’m not an ass kisser.

Anyway. This insistence upon building our own platforms just doesn’t work. We need far more than that. Or something different, at least.

I’m not interested in ending Section 230 as much as I’m interested in ending Apple’s walled-garden bullshit. At least on Android, you can install third-party apps. On Apple, you can’t unless you’re a developer with one of their expensive developer accounts, or unless you jailbreak your device, which will void the warranty. Not everyone is tech-literate enough to jailbreak their phones.

That’s the problem, in my opinion. Ending Section 230 protections might hurt smaller organizations like Parler or Gab. I don’t want that to happen. It should be at least enforced because both Twitter and Facebook are acting like publishers.

I am going to write a separate post on Mozilla’s fuckery. Building your own platform only works if you’re a powerful billionaire. Perhaps someone should convince, say, Elon Musk to create his own social media network. He’s at least got the money, being the richest man on Earth and all.

Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash

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