The recent deplatforming of Sargon of Akkad by Patreon has a lot of people very nervous. I became worried we’d get to this state the first time they went after Gab by not allowing their app in the Google or Apple stores.
It became obvious then that we would wind up here today. It starts with saying that certain things are unacceptable based on arbitrary enforcement of Terms of Service and ends with backroom pressure to cut a person off from making money.
Google began demonetizing channels which were politically unpalatable to its senior management. So, a lot of demonetized YouTubers moved to Patreon, asking subscribers to support them directly rather than deal with intrusive ads.
And now Patreon has gotten into the game. But, we always knew that they would. They went after Laura Southern last year.
Alex Jones was simultaneously thrown off every platform and then Gab was taken down over a 48-hour period with no warning over having a particular user on its platform.
Yes, that guy shot up a synagogue. That’s not Gab’s problem.
It didn’t matter that Twitter still hosts all manner of violent and disgusting content or Facebook hosting sites of terrorist groups. Political opposition to the globalist plan of universal serfdom for us and unchecked power for them was to be snuffed out with extreme prejudice.
Alternative platforms needed to be marginalized to blunt their growth. Steemit is in trouble due to poor governance and the crushing of the cryptocurrency markets now that Wall St. can use the futures market to disrupt the actual market.
The truth, however, is that by trying to marginalize these alternative voices and raise their cost of capital for growth all that they’ve done is made them more popular than they likely would have been otherwise.
Gab is closing in on a million accounts now.
Gab User Growth
But, make no mistake, the deplatforming was meant to be unfair. It was done on purpose to inflame conservatives and libertarians to scream for a solution - more regulation, more control over the companies who control the on-ramps to the modern internet.
This was the desired solution all along.
To put the blame squarely on capitalism run rampant and keep making the stupid Marxist arguments for total control over speech and the economy. As well to give failing governments a legitimate reason to arrogate even more power to themselves.
Deplatforming is real. And Patreon’s removal of Sargon of Akkad over flimsy reasons is understandable if it was simply a compliance system gone wrong. But, from what I understand of the situation, it’s well beyond that. Patreon was simply looking for an excuse to axe Sargon.
And the reason to go after his Patreon account is to raise the costs of his doing what he does beyond his threshold of continuing. And it is a stark warning to the rest of us that if once you get successful, you’ll be attacked as well.
So, what do we do about it?
Jordan Peterson talked about this yesterday on his Patreon.
We thought about moving to alternatively crowd-funding platforms such as SubscribeStar, but it isn’t obvious that will constitute a long-term solution. Dave Rubin and I (and others) have been discussing the establishment of a Patreon-like enterprise that will not be susceptible to arbitrary censorship, and we are making progress, but these things cannot be rushed without the possibility of excess error.
But I am seriously displeased about the removal of Sargon (and many other people) and will definitely do something about it.
But, is that enough? Likely not. Because the first alternative, SubscribeStar, has already had its payment channels shut down.
These people are serious about taking us out of the conversation. I’ve been championing people to use alternative platforms for months but inertia keeps them where they are, not wanting to have to rebuild their brand all over again.
But, it is time to embrace the new platforms and find new ways to circumvent these attacks on our ability to make a living. They haven’t gone after me yet, but you have to think in these terms while building a business.
This, to me, is where a cryptocurrency shows its true worth. By being an unstoppable medium of exchange, a cryptocurrency becomes the payment layer that companies like Stripe and PayPal have built their businesses on to this point. But they are no longer serving their customers, they are abusing them.
The problem is, of course, bringing those assets back into the real world to deal with real world issues like paying your rent, electric bill, hosting fees etc.
There are real demands which at this point can only be met with dollars. So, that means a couple of things. The first is that once the payment is made in some cryptocurrency, say Bitcoin, it then has to be converted to dollars, which has become difficult as the same players — PayPal, Stripe etc. — will not exchange cryptocurrency for dollars.
Coinbase will for individuals, but does not do business with companies. The truth is that the solution is in front of us but barriers have been erected to make it difficult or raise costs prohibitively.
And, again, that’s the point. But, that’s where we need to ‘stand up straight with our shoulders back’ as Dr. Peterson would put it and build a supply chain with full U.S. dollar convertibility, even if it means going offshore to do it.
I’ll start with the words from Gab CEO Andrew Torba:
2016: Big Social is censoring, I’ll start my own social network.— Gab.com☃️ (@getongab) December 15, 2018
2017: App Store duopoly is abusing market power to stifle competition, I’ll just build on the mobile web.
2018: wow hosting providers and payment processors are blacklisting alt tech. Guess I’ll start a bank.
This is the face of the future and the means to change the current dynamic. But, it starts with people recognizing the problem and building workarounds which should be unnecessary and in a free society anathema to contemplate, but which are sadly reality.
If it isn’t Torba and his crew it’ll be someone else. Of that I’m sure. The market provides because there is a profit waiting for someone brave enough to build something someone else wants.
But, as content creators we need to recognize that it starts with us taking responsibility for our businesses and building in redundancy to make them anti-fragile.
This story of internet censorship is no different than the one playing out between countries right now. Russia and Iran are openly defying U.S. diktats on their behavior, utilizing the dollar as the preferred weapon of choice. Every day that they survive to bill another good or another service in rubles or rials is another step closer to being free of the tyranny of the political imperatives of U.S. and European oligarchs.
These platforms were built as loss-leaders to reel in customers to collect their data and study their habits. The costs to us were put off into the future. The costs being they could kick us off whenever we were inconvenient to them.
That future is today.
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