Thanks to the privacy and security invading procedures adopted by most of the popular social media websites, individuals seek for alternative and less intruding options in order to preserve a sense of personal privacy. You have social media giants, like Facebook, constantly threatening to censor individuals with different ideals and/or marking many things as spam or “fake media”, sometimes out of convenience, all while leaving other apparent fake media still up until this date. When it comes MAPs they get censored almost everywhere they go in many different ways, and of course, popular social medias are no exceptions. So how does alternative platforms comes in order to promote our movement? Are those websites who claim freedom of speech actually live up to their standards? Today I will focus on a social media site in particular, one by the name of Minds (Website’s Link).
Minds is an alternative social media site that has been gaining popularity for being a more privacy respecting site, in contrast to the privacy invading tyrant known as Facebook. It combines Facebook, Youtube and Google + to make it’s site work, as well as some other added features, some which are pretty interesting, others that needs improvements, but Minds is still in Beta, so it’s fine in that aspect. The real things to address here is how freedom of speech is convinced by Minds. This website, like many alternative websites, have been adopted by those who are normally censored by other websites because of their controversial views and many who advocates for establishment of violent institutions and/or pseudo-scientific movements. There are also those who merely wishes to socialize without having to sacrifice the comforts of privacy and security.
This particular website called attention to some in the pedophile community, given the stance it had on freedom of speech (or so it had), as they have as recently as 7/19/2017 changed it’s Terms of Services after banning a number of pedophiles from advocating for pedophilia, with the excuse of “inciting to violence against children” (Minds TOS). Among those in such sudden banning actions, myself was included. Unfortunately, this is the second time I get banned from Minds unfairly, so I was already disillusioned with it, but still decided to give it another second try for to this time advocate for pedophilia. As it was common, warm greetings were not the case and hateful comments were directed, but for the time being I was able to post and talk about my views without being exactly censored, because said site promoted freedom of speech. Everything was mostly going good as to propagating the message was until incidents started happening in where individuals were claiming that pedophiles in the Minds community were promoting “child abuse”, while we made it clear in different ways that we advocate for law changes in current society, not promoting the breaking of laws while it still being illegal and definitely not “abuse”, because we’re pedophiles, and that’s not the same.
It is truly disappointing for websites to claim to respect freedom of speech, but then decide to deprive of such things to those groups who actually need them. What would be the point of promoting such a thing in the first place then? (and cowardly change the TOS to cover their asses afterwards?) Is alienating the MAP community from discussion really the right choice? What possible benefits could be achieved in ostracizing a group people into such a situation in where technically not even freedom of speech (nor any type of freedom for that matter) is allowed to them? Is censoring really more cherished than than embracing fierce and productive rational discussion?
“US law is Minds benchmark and all legal content will be allowed. These same channels and content are posted on several social media sites as legal content.”, John Ottman, Co-Founder of Minds. Ironically enough, that was stated by John a few days before we all got abruptly banned for “offending speech”. What is even more ironic were that the hate comments we received were by far more “offensive” and even graphic than anything any of the pedophiles in that platform, during then, ever posted. It is truly sad that even websites that refuses to follow the path of social media giants, when it really comes to it, they also comply with the same censoring procedures as their competitors. Here I will now end showing a few examples of some of the things that were posted to us in that website in general.
There were by far more graphic material posted against us in a lot of ways, but I do not want to make this entry a distasteful one. Anyways, having shown these, it is truly unfortunate being disappointed by Minds for a second time, as it was a website stating to defend freedom of speech but resulted to be telling no more than lies, while letting real inciters to violence to freely advocate for our unjust persecution in their domains. I am also aware that this post has become more than a ranting than usual, but this was something I really needed to get out of the system, as well as my duty to call them out for not really promoting what they advertise and then change their term of services to fit their convenience and not lose traffic. So at the end, they are nothing more than any of the other websites, if anything they’re probably worse from what it seems apparent.