Will a quickly-growing community-owned social media platform do to Facebook what Facebook did to MySpace?
Facebook has come under fire, especially in the past year, over algorithms, fact checking features, apparent corporate loyalty, and alleged censorship. The New York Times reported last November that Facebook created a tool that would let governments, specifically the Chinese government, censor stories on Facebook.
“Facebook does not intend to suppress the posts itself. Instead, it would offer the software to enable a third party — in this case, most likely a partner Chinese company — to monitor popular stories and topics that bubble up as users share them across the social network, the people said. Facebook’s partner would then have full control to decide whether those posts should show up in users’ feeds.”
Still, the NYT story only added to the growing support for alternative social media platforms that would refuse to tolerate censorship. Minds is not a brand new social media platform but has more recently began growing quickly as dissatisfaction with Facebook mounts.
The creators of Minds say that they have created a social media platform that won’t fall victim to the pressures of governments or advertisers, because it is community-owned and community-operated, the Observer reported recently.
“In reaction to the authoritarian power yielded by social media giants like Facebook, Google and YouTube, Minds has emerged as a viable alternative as a social media platform that grants users democratic control over how its managed.”
“Minds is engineered for freedom of speech, transparency and privacy. Users may choose to be anonymous, if they wish, and free speech is limited only by U.S. law,” Bill Ottman, co-founder and CEO of Minds, said. “The software is free, open sourced and encrypted end-to-end for maximum transparency and privacy, peer-reviewed at Minds.org.”
Ottman is a University of Vermont graduate. He crowdsourced funds for Minds and last month, Minds broke the world daily record for crowdfunding.
Ottman sees Minds as a social media platform that pays its users for popular posts and rewards its users for activity.
“The Minds Boost feature expands reach even further through a system that rewards users for site activity with Minds points, a digital currency that may be exchanged for views on the Minds network at a rate of one point per view.”
“Minds believes that users should be rewarded for their efforts online and pays users points that may be redeemed for views on the network,” Ottman explained. “Minds also pays bloggers for revenue earned by placing banner ads on their content, and any channel may create exclusive content viewable only via paid monthly subscription. Finally, Minds Wire enables peer to peer payments between channels in Minds points, USD or Bitcoin as a reward/tip for posting awesome content.”
Ottman also said that Minds channels can organically reach every one of their subscribers, unlike other social media platforms. He sees Minds as the Wikipedia of social media platforms. He says that Facebook is unnecessarily censoring its users. He says that users should have a right to see all material and decide for themselves whether it’s fake or not. It’s not that Ottman appreciates fake news, it’s just that he sees a clear opportunity for abuse with new article suppression features.
In 2015, Anonymous and Minds reportedly got into an online spat, because Anonymous claimed the network was not as secure as it claimed to be and that they didn’t actually support Minds. Minds said that the early security concerns were completely resolved, according to the earlier RT report.
Have you tried Minds? If you have tried Minds, let us know in the comments how you like this alternative social media platform. How does it compare to Facebook? Have you earned any money by posting on Minds? How secure do you feel Minds social media network is?
[Featured Image by Paul Sakuma/AP Images]