If you wanted to build a trap that stifles conservative voices you’d build a Minds.com. Minds was a con right from the start. As YouTube celebrities lined up to brag about how Minds.com was censorship free while sitting right next to the founder in interviews, there was a different plan afoot.
I have run pages on several platforms over the years so I’m not exactly a noob at building and promoting social media site pages. What Minds does differently than every social media site is they make you pay for exposure. If you want anyone to see what you have posted, even if they are already your followers you’d better get your credit card out.
Right from the beginning, I suspected there was something else afoot but I was so desperate for a new platform as I had been shadow-banned immediately following the 2016 election on Google+ and had left Facebook and Twitter long ago due to censorship issues. What made the hairs on my arms stand up was watching interviews about Minds on YouTube. When it came to the issue of censorship it was the YouTube celebrities who spoke about that while the founder was mostly silent. The celebrities should have been there for support not to dominate the interview.
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Minds is a bait and switch. Indeed in the beginning when the platform needed people like me to supply content my reach on Minds was limitless but once Minds really got going the rules changed. My page The Trump News Network zoomed to almost 5K worth of followers with at least 100 new followers every week (at times in a single day) but for the last few months, my followers numbers have stayed within +20 to -20 range of the same number of followers which is impossible on an open platform. Case in point GAB. I post the exact same content on GAB that I do on Minds and yet GAB which is a very glitchy platform at present still delivers me more followers a day than Minds has in months.
So what happened?
Minds had a reward system where users got points for thumbs ups and comments that could be used to boost ones reach. Why would anyone need to boost their reach on an open platform? Of course, they wouldn’t. I had accumulated quite a few of these points and then one-day Minds took them all away demanding my personal information if I wanted my points back. Not being a complete moron and treasuring my anonymity I declined their blackmail. Since then my number of new followers dropped to almost zero and my likes and dislikes have followed the same pattern. Getting a comment from almost 5K followers is a fairly rare event now with maybe as many as 20 comments a day (usually less).
Minds is a pay for exposure platform. Instead of using advertisers (which are quite easy to get for online platforms) they use their users to fund their site. People are waking up to this as several of my followers have mentioned similar experiences to mine. This would be like YouTube charging content creators for using their platform which as I see it is the future of the internet.
When I first started online more than 20 years ago everything was free and I mean everything but look around at how little is really free online today. Simple public information is being sold by online entities while Google and others bury what was once free and replacing it with vendors. If they can’t get you to pay they sure as hell want your personal information for “verification” purposes which is just a smokescreen for the government data mining.
I write a lot of op-eds and I have never asked anyone for payment nor have I ever asked anyone to financially support any of the pages I have ever run. My reasoning for this is that I don’t want to be a wage slave or have my content based on what my followers are willing to pay for. I really don’t want to end up like Infowars. The future for content creators is that instead of being paid for their work, they will have to pay to use platforms and then beg their followers for funds. It’s already worse than PBS and it isn’t going to get better.
To date, the only platforms for content creators I have found that are decent anymore are GAB and iPartiot (which recently got booted off of Facebook and could use your help). I don’t know how much longer I’ll be posting on Minds but censorship of any kind has always left a bad taste in my mouth so I can’t imagine it will be much longer as I’m starting to dread looking up Minds on my bookmarks list.
I think Minds is a trap to lure conservative content creators to one site to die a slow death. People aren’t going to keep going to a site in which no one sees what they have to share unless they pay and/or cough up personal information. In an age of technology, none of us can afford to play fast and loose with our personal information.
Beware those who demand your cell phone number or credit card number to use their platforms. They do not have your best interests at heart.
The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author and are not not necessarily either shared or endorsed by iPatriot.com.