Social media platforms
| Someone is wrong on|
“”In 1976, Stephen King published a short story, "I Know What You Need," about the courting of a young woman. Her suitor was a young man who could read her mind but did not tell her so. He simply appeared with what she wanted at the moment, beginning with strawberry ice cream for a study break. Step by step he changed her life, making her dependent upon him by giving her what she thought she wanted at a certain moment, before she herself had a chance to reflect. Her best friend realized that something disconcerting was happening, investigated, and learned the truth: "That is not love," she warned. "That's rape." The internet is a bit like this. It knows much about us, but interacts with us without revealing that this is so. It makes us unfree by arousing our worst tribal impulses and placing them at the service of unseen others.
|—Timothy Snyder (specifically regarding the Trump-Russia connection):248-249|
Social media platforms are websites or apps where people who do not possess much of a social life in the real world can blather on to each other about meaningless twaddle that only they care about. Obviously these people are nothing like us.[citation NOT needed] Popular types of social media include social networks, social news sites, and video-sharing sites.
Moving swiftly along, social media platforms help people keep in touch, now that people move around a lot because the tabloids tell them to (gotta keep those house prices up!).
- 1 Major sites
- 2 Non-English language
- 3 Wannabes
- 4 Cancer?
- 5 "Nym wars"
- 6 Social media consultants
- 7 See also
- 8 External links
- 9 Notes
- 10 References
Facebook is a social networking site that was originally founded in 2004 for college students but opened to the general public in 2006. Today, Facebook is known as one of the largest spreaders of fake news and conspiracy theories on the Web.
Google+ was Google's third attempt at a social network, was going to revolutionise the way we communicate and interact online, just like Google Wave and Google Buzz did. Google+'s main selling point was that it wasn't Facebook, but its main failing was that it wasn't Facebook. That is, approximately no bugger was on it, despite the artificially-inflated numbers Google claimed for it (e.g., by trying to force everyone on YouTube to have a G+ login). It could be fun if you happened to have enough people you know there.
Like Facebook, it allowed users to organise their friends and contacts into groups so that information could only be shared with certain people; e.g., what you showed your friends would be different to what you let your parents or your work colleagues saw. Unlike Facebook, however, it effectively idiot-proofed this process by forcing users to use the "circles" feature, where friends were grouped (Facebook's "friend list" feature is exactly the same, but optional, so basically the Great Unwashed out there in internet-land don't know it exists). Some people, mostly YouTubers, complained about Google+'s poor layout and botched integration into all kinds of other Google websites, which may have actually ended up having an impact on Google's later decision to end the forced integration strategy, since it didn't manage to save Google+ after all.
Google+ claimed to no longer enforce the Real Names policy and its jaw-droppingly racist effects. (Google is not racist. It just doesn't think actual proper people could have names like Ping or Elaine Yellow Horse and that people whose names don't fit "firstname lastname" or are written in mixed scripts should have their accounts suspended.) So that's nice.
In October 2018, Google announced that it would be shutting down the service due to a bug being discovered that left private profile data exposed, and clearly it didn't have enough users to bother fixing. It was finally shut down on 2 April 2019. G+ is still available to businesses buying Google Apps.
“”my favorite feature of this site is absolutely no consequences for my opinions sucking ffucking ass and me being 100% wrong about everything
Currently one of the most popular media for whale enthusiasts and celebrities to embarrass themselves, Twitter expects you to blog in under
140 280 characters!! Yeah… doesn't sound so cool when you tell it like it is, does it? Twitter is also popular with journalists.
It's not even that popular, really. Multiply this by the complete lack of meaningful content as well as restricted access to such content on top of this,[note 1] and you obviously have the makings of the greatest website ever...
Nevertheless, the short soundbite-esque nature of Twitter and the fact that mobile devices suit these short messages has made it very popular with social networking nerds. Its heavy users are really heavy, often posting, *ahem* "tweeting" dozens of times per day. It is most popular with celebrities or public figures who wish to interact with their fans — many "tweets" are actually posted by the people themselves, rather than managed by PR companies as typically on a relevant Facebook or MySpace profile. Though, to manage the flood of replies and mentions popular accounts may receive, which may include rational critiques or personal abuse, Twitter provides a range of mechanisms to filter out notifications about some replies. These range from the relatively benign, such as filtering out replies from suspiciously simple accounts with no profile picture or that were recently created (targeted at trolls and bots), to the extreme, such as filtering out all replies from people the account does not follow (presumably targeted for use by people who want to live in a hermetically-sealed filter bubble — let's hope no politicians are using this "feature").
BBC technology columnist Bill Thompson raved about the site before it was seriously big, Ben Goldacre once had a spat with Gillian McKeith over a Twitter comment, and Brian Cox likes to constantly rant about science funding (and where his next Wonders filming spree will take him) via the site.
It was also Donald Trump's social network of choice, at least until January 8, 2021 when he got permabanned for inciting violence at the US Capitol insurrection. The Southern Poverty Law Center has argued that:
“”Twitter gave far-right extremists the platform they needed to plan an attack on the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, and the website, if it maintains its current approach, will likely enable politically motivated violence again in the future.
Jack Dorsey is a real-life friend of insurrection ringleader Ali Alexander ("Stop the Steal").
Twitter's own analysis of its platform found that in 6 out of 7 countries that it studied, right-leaning tweets are algorithmically amplified more often than left-leaning tweets.
"Woofer" was an inevitable jab against Twitter's 140 (seriously, what the arse can you say in 140 characters?!?!) character-limit; the key point of Woofer was that you must have at least 1400 characters to make a post, leading to tl;dr all round — although one Woofer post per day would represent fewer characters and content than most serious Twitter users make in a month. In case you're wondering who came up with that stupid idea of a 140 character limit, it was Dorsey: Dorsey wrote software for dispatching taxis, which was transformed into Twitter.
As with all major social media networking sites, Twitter has done a thoroughly shitty job of policing itself against trolls, bots and hate campaigns. Twitter admitted to a Senate Intelligence Committee in 2017 that Russian "fake-news" outlet RT purchased "$274,100 to promote 1,823 ads directed at followers of major media outlets" during the 2016 US presidential election, but nonetheless Senator Mark Warner was deeply disappointed by Twitter's presentation to the Committee regarding Russian influence, a presentation that was "inadequate on almost every level". Twitter moderators are powerless, and are bound to decisions made by a ideologically-driven libertarian leadership.
Nevertheless, Twitter officially bans its users from, for example, "affiliat[ing] with organizations that — whether by their own statements or activity both on and off the platform — use or promote violence against civilians to further their causes".
On October 30th 2019 (perhaps to contrast current Facebook policy, who not only allows political ads, but refuses to take down political ads with known false content), Twitter announced that they would be banning all political ads on the platform.  Predictably, this decision upset previous propagators or beneficiaries of this propaganda, such as Russian "fake-news" outlet RT and 2016 US presidential election winner Donald Trump.
Instagram (IG), acquired by Facebook in 2012, is a social networking site centered around pictures and videos. It is famous for its requirement that all content must be uploaded from a mobile phone, encouraging photos to be taken "in the moment." It is also known for its previous requirement that all photos be square; however, photos may now be uploaded in any aspect ratio. Instagram also offers filters to make the images appear more beautiful. Content ranges from posed self portraits ("selfies") to nature photography, and some accounts upload Internet memes. It is not uncommon for people to have hundreds or thousands of "followers", and some users make multiple accounts.
People can "like" photos on Instagram with a double tap, and they can leave comments. Users on Instagram often upload for ego boosts and self-importance. People tend to channel only their "best" moments, including very dramatic ones. Its reputation as a place of positivity and good vibes (in comparison to Facebook or Twitter) means it has become a place where everybody appears to be perfect and people obsessively post and tinker with photos attempting to get likes, endlessly comparing themselves not only with their friends' best moments but with superstar influencers photoshopped to look like mannequins. Research has associated it with a string of psychological problems from preventing sleep to body image issues and "fear of missing out" (FOMO), leading to it being termed the worst social media site for mental health. This was only made worse by revelations in the Wall Street Journal in 2021 that its owner, Facebook, knew about the damage it was causing to teens' mental health but kept it secret.
Despite its reputation for positivity, it has also become notorious for trolls and racist abuse. In short, you're kidding yourself if you think that being addicted to Instagram is any better than being addicted to Facebook or Twitter.
Facebook's own leaked research showed the potential for negative mental health effects for children using Instagram, though Facebook has publicly tried to downplay the research.
Tumblr is a "microblogging" platform that fits somewhere between Twitter and traditional blogs, with a particular focus on posting photos and short messages, and a "reblog" function that creates nested comments. At its moment of popularity in the 2010s, over half of Tumblr's users were under 25 and 55% are female, leading some to joke that Tumblr was the "obnoxious young woman" website to go with 4chan and Reddit's "obnoxious young men."
Tumblr attracts various subcultures, including a great many television and movie fandoms, Japanophiles, artists, writers, foodies, hipsters, otherkin, and social justice
warriors activists. The latter range the full spectrum from progressive liberals to outright Marxists and anarchists, but are often stereotyped as thin-skinned, judgmental, politically correct to a fault, vindictive, and prone to knee-jerk ("triggered") reactions, with an incomprehensible jargon of postmodern neologisms ("demisexual", "cogitogender", et cetera). Even people who are generally on board with the 2010s progressive/feminist/social justice memepool tend to find some of these folks to be extremists, and agreeing with some of them can range from being a bit of a strain to downright impossible. For this reason, Tumblr frequently comes up as a boogeyman among MRAs and like-minded people, who tend to cherry-pick the most egregious or hypocritical posts and pretend that the Tumblr community has a monolithic userbase. From time to time, these posts end up coming from troll blogs run by the same people mocking Tumblr in the first place.
The aforementioned reblogging system, which makes it difficult to track down post edits and replies to particularly popular posts (and thus corrections, responses, and factual rebuttals), has also led to cases of misinformation spreading like wildfire, which doesn't help the stereotype at all.
In December 2018 its owners announced a ban on adult content (previously it was home to a wide range of porn from the misogynistic to the queer and trans); as a result 30% of users left by March 2019. It had been bought by Yahoo! in 2013 for $1.1 billion dollars, with Verizon merging its internet stuff into Yahoo! in 2017 to form a new company called Oath, later renamed Verizon Media Group. In 2019, Verizon decided to sell Tumblr, with PornHub suggested as a potential buyer, but even reinserting the dick pics probably couldn't save it. In the end, Automattic (the company behind popular blogging platform Wordpress), bought Tumblr for an undisclosed price, but reported by several sources as $3 million dollars (a little under .3% of the original purchase price). 
The LiveJournal engine is open source, so anyone can create a fork. It turns out it's rather expensive in terms of server resources and bandwidth, the code has rotted badly, and most sites making the attempt have failed or become notorious for unreliability. DreamWidth was founded by ex-employees of LiveJournal with a mandate to be less stupid and evil than the various owners of LiveJournal and to take care to expand in a sustainable form. So far it's holding out quite well.
They've lured a lot of fanfic authors, as well as members of minorities thanks to their friendly diversity policies. Their extensive work to make the software suck less has been adopted by most of the LJ forks.
- See: Reddit
- You can find the RationalWiki subreddit here
In 2012 Reddit was known for having the largest jailbait forum on the internet (not to mention user ViolentAcrez's legendary outing and interview with CNN), and in 2014 it was known for celebrity nude leaks and Gamergate. Now it's a mixed bag of stupid, angry fascists (r/The_Donald) and rational, decent people — though the former are increasingly being kicked off the site and migrating to alternative sites.
Remember those halcyon days when teenagers didn't want everyone reading their diary?
The English-speaking LiveJournal community is far too full of furries, neopagans, the sort of science fiction fans and role-playing gamers who confuse the difference between in-universe and real life, dragon and vampire wannabes, and other kiddie fantasy-land subculturists. Again, nothing like us. Their mascot is a goat, though, so they got that going for them.
LiveJournal pages are also mirrored and archived by at least two different (probably unauthorized) websites, making it a privacy risk to post anything there (same as with all other social networking sites), regardless of whether you set your LiveJournal account to block search engines from your page - everything will wind up on Google forever anyhow because of these mirror sites.
Though founded in the United States, LiveJournal proved surprisingly popular in Russia, to the point that it has become the standard Russian blog host, with high-profile Russian politicians and authors hosting their personal blogs on the site. The site was bought by a Russian company and Russian users now make up the majority of its base. The English- and Russian-speaking sides of LiveJournal are, for all intents and purposes, separate communities and rarely interact.
It was fine until December 2016, when their servers were relocated to Russia. Five months later, they changed the user agreement to
protect the children from teh evil gay menace conform to Russian law, and now, anyone who gets over 3,000 visits to their page in a 24-hour period must reveal their identity, so the Russian law enforcement can imprison re-educate any popular dissenters extremists.
Laughed off as the "Kinkster's Facebook" what many people don't realise is that FetLife is a fully functioning social network site, with many of the functions of Facebook (but not the annoying Farmville spam), with almost 3,000,000 members. In addition, while people wait to see what Diaspora's open-source project is like, FetLife is written entirely in open-source software, which they make freely available on their site. They have also delivered presentations on their software at various conferences.
The site is free to use, relying on advertising revenue and unsolicited subscriptions from its members (supporters receive additional, but non-essential functionality) and actively discourages — indeed has not enabled — meat-market-style searches by age, gender or kink. Unfortunately, their privacy rules make it difficult for people who have been victimized by others within the community to warn people or call out their attackers.
Although it membership has swelled over the past few years, much of this can be attributed to curious "tourists," who have read 'Fifty Shades' and want to see what this is all about. This, of course, pisses off the old guard, who are leaving the site.
MySpace (now streamlined to just Myspace, with only one capitalization) was one of the first major social networking websites to hit critical mass and go mainstream. Launched in August 2003, at its peak, it was the most popular, with over 250 million members and described practically as some sort of nation state in its own right. In 2009, however, it was overtaken by Facebook in terms of membership and page views and popularity has steadily declined since, with its ranking on Alexa dropping from its peak in the top 5 to nearly 35 over the course of eighteen months; as of 2017, it has fallen outside the top 3,000. Many think this decline is from Rupert Murdoch's News Corp buying it in 2005. While Facebook was rising dramatically, instead of changing MySpace to be with the times, they squeezed every last penny out of it, making the service like one of those pages full of ads you see when you're one letter off from a popular website. MySpace once required new users to fill in tons of personal info in order to join, info that would then be publicly shared with a million people they didn't know; of course, it was easy to fill in false information, as indeed many did (tons of profiles had their age listed at 69 years old and their income as over a million dollars). Nowadays, all they ask for is your gender, date of birth, and ZIP code. Also, your inbox will be filled with spam and "friend requests" promising you free porn if you add I_LIKE_KID_SEX_4 as your friend.
MySpace was famous for its association with the scene subculture, with a stereotypical profile often featuring scene pop-rock that played as soon as you entered. This auto-play feature could also act as an open invitation for viruses and other malware to just walk straight into your computer. Furthermore, as users had the freedom to heavily customize the layout of their page, most profiles appeared to have lime green text on purple scrolling backgrounds, or something similarly gaudy. Prolonged exposure to this dangerous combination of psychedelic text, whiny music, and potentially fatal HTML errors (even the homepage had enough errors in it to make the W3C lose sleep at night) led to mass defection to rival social network Facebook once it emerged as a viable alternative.
The Washington Post Magazine of March 16, 2008 listed MySpace as obsolescent, alongside such things as cassette tape mixes, rotary dial phones, answering machines, making cigarette ashtrays in kindergarten craft projects, and computer paper with holes in the side. Funny thing, print newspapers were somehow not on their list. Clearly then, MySpace is a thing of the past; after all, the Post is America's Newspaper of Record and would never jump the gun on a thing like this.
Viant, formerly known as Interactive Media Holdings and Specific Media, bought it from News Corp for $35m in 2011. In 2013, MySpace relaunched with a shiny new image and working system. Predictably, despite the several years' work and untold truckloads of dollars poured into the relaunch, it was still shite. Just in a different way. And they pissed off their remaining userbase by deleting most of the old versions' user-generated content. This may be for the better in the long run, though, as it's likely that many former users are secretly glad that all record of their obnoxious teen years has been wiped off the internet.[citation NOT needed]
Its parent company Viant was purchased by Time Inc in 2016, mostly to get control of its user data for advertising purposes, rather than to continue Myspace as a going concern. Myspace continued as an internet Mary Celeste, but in 2019 it was reported that its owners had "accidentally" deleted all content uploaded before 2016. Some conspiracy theorists speculated that it was trying to save on server space by deliberately dumping it, but few people cared.
Friendster was the original social networking site, or at least the first one to become really popular. Its peak years were from its founding in 2002 to around mid-2004, when MySpace supplanted it in the US and made it the original joke about a fallen social network. Since then, nearly all of its popularity had been in East and Southeast Asia, where it evolved into a "social gaming" site (i.e. hive of "free-to-play" games that sucker you with microtransactions). Friendster was shutdown in 2015.
From the historical record: annoying little chavs like to announce at high volume who they've just "met" on Bebo whilst using a public library computer.
Bebo was founded in 2005 and in 2008 AOL bought it for $850m, but by then Facebook was already on the rise and its membership plummeted. AOL sold it in 2010, in one of the most embarrassing business fails of a company that's not short of idiocy (remember the AOL-Time Warner merger?). Bebo went bankrupt in 2013, and its founders bought it for $1m (they had personally made $595m from the sale to AOL). Since then it has attempted to reinvent itself as a failed messaging app (wanna Blab, anybody?) and an e-sports hub.
Quora is both a question-and-answer site similar to a more informal version of Stack Exchange and a social media platform. The social media platform is very popular in the United States and India, to such a point where jokes about India being how you became well-known are found across social media or on blog-style posters. 
- You can find RationalWiki Discord server here
Discord is a relatively recent social media platform that has quickly risen in popularity with over 200 million users. Touted as "by gamers, for gamers", it is an online chat client not unlike the IRC chats of old. Users can join various servers that host a wide variety of subjects, from videogames, to tv shows, or even just certain popular subjects. Of course, the intuitiveness of the client means that a lot of servers with... nasty subjects end up popping all over the place, with entire servers dedicated to CP, grooming, and many others. The website was utilized heavily by the alt-right and neo-Nazi groups with Unicorn Riot and other outlets such as Montreal Gazette leaking chat logs.
This British site was one of the first social networks, launched in 2000. Initially it focused on allowing people to connect with former schoolmates (and post libellous comments about former teachers) but gradually it added more social network features, while becoming famous/notorious for people (often married people) hooking up with their childhood sweethearts. Unlike most social networks, it charged people to contact other users until 2008. It was bought by British commercial TV network ITV in 2005 for £120 million ($208 million), and in 2009 sold to DC Thomson (Scottish publisher of newspapers for elderly people like The Sunday Post and legendary kids comics like The Beano) for £25 million, before shutting in 2016.
The network that the failed social network Diaspora is considered a part of, the Fediverse is a unique social media platform that is completely decentralized. Whilst it existed since 2008 thanks to GNU/Social, it mainly took off in popularity when the W3C defined the ActivityPub protocol and the Mastodon project (which is one of the projects that provides instance software for servers and aims to mimic Twitter) received media coverage. Unlike other social media, where users are essentially locked in to only talk with users that sign up on the same site as them, users on the Fediverse can instead talk to users on any site that implements the relevant protocols (called an instance) and it's possible to self-host an instance for as low as the cost of a domain name and a Raspberry Pi. While the Fediverse is typically praised for allowing instance users a greater degree of protection against harassment (instance owners can opt to block instances from communicating with them entirely and compared to Twitter there is a more fine-grained control of who can see statuses), this has not stopped the alt-right from attempting to utilize it (notable examples of this include Gab and Kiwi Farms) to harass other users as well as providing a substantial amount of alt-tech sites. The size of the Fediverse, according to a dedicated tracking site (although due to it's decentralized nature, the actual number is likely to be larger) is 4.6 million users as of December 2019.
The latest member of the social media scene is TikTok which offers a series of short (up to a minute) video clips, primarily people karaoking songs or doing creative clips. The service is noted for two things, one is the clips themselves and secondly, it is one of few Chinese-owned social media services that are popular in the West. TikTok is owned by ByteDance, based in Beijing and was originally known and is still known by its Chinese name 抖音 (Dǒuyīn). As the company is based in the People's Republic, it has been accused of kowtowing to the government and performing various forms of censorship over its service. Due to its Chinese connections, many government agencies from English-speaking countries including the U.S. Army, the British Home Office and Australian Defence Forces have banned the installation of TikTok on their devices. 
On June 29, 2020, after a border clash over a disputed section of the China-India border, India banned TikTok. Ostensibly the ban was over national security concerns,  but some analysist saw the ban as a weak tit-for-tat reaction to the increased border tensions. 
On August 6, 2020, Donald Trump signed an executive order effectively banning Tiktok from the United States if the firm was not sold in 45 days.  Ostensibly the ban was about the potential for Chinese spying, censorship, and propaganda. Commentators wondered, however, if part of the reason for the ban had to do with Tiktok trolling a Trump rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma on June 20, 2020 , which was a couple weeks before Trump first began musing about banning the app.  However, after a variety of court cases delaying the ban, Joe Biden came to power and in June 2021 revoked Trump's order.
With the lifting of Trump's ban, TikTok has been like any other social media platform: widely attacked around the world for its cavalier attitude to users' data and failure to protect children.
A Russian equivalent of Facebook, VKontakte (or VK) is notable for having cute cartoons to guide you through the sign-up process, and for happily hosting horrifyingly homophobic groups, allowing them a safe and largely unregulated forum to post videos of their exploits. On a side note, VK began enjoying a surge of popularity in the United States starting around 2013, largely boosted by the attempts of American males to find a Slavic female companion. The network's founder and former CEO, Pavel Durov, is pretty onside with Internet freedoms, but in April 2014, he was fired from the company. He claims he was ousted by pro-Putin executives angered by his refusal to hand over user data to the Russian government. Surprisingly, a large number of Israelis use the site. This may be due to the vast Russian diaspora located there. Starting in 2016, VK began seeing an influx of American neo-Nazis, likely due to the lack of censorship.
A Chinese social media site, similar to Facebook, filling the gap in the market caused by the PRC's blocking of Facebook and Twitter in mainland China. Currently as dead as Bebo and MySpace.
Another Chinese social media giant, roughly equivalent to Twitter. Once tried to ban LGBT content then changed its mind when a ton of people got pissed off.
Another Chinese social media site, which is very similar to YouTube. Know for a quiz during the signup process. BiliBili has 31.6 million registered users according to statistics published in December 2017.
Yet another huge Chinese social media site, this one being similar to WhatsApp. It is owned by the controversial company Tencent. In 2020, this website was known for censoring the COVID-19 pandemic. It has also long served as a radicalization vector for immigrants from mainland China, spreading propaganda about how affirmative action will ban all Asians from universities, how Black Lives Matter kill Asians on the orders of the U.S. government, how Muslims are all jihadi terrorists, and other Q-Anon-tier conspiracy theories. 
Used to be South Korea's most popular home-grown social media network until around year 2010. By year 2015, they became so unpopular that they couldn't even able to maintain services considered as their basic function..
Japan's answer to Twitter. Lets you build an avatar with their Pigg virtual community where you can talk with other people, and play games.
Get Closer was an attempt by UK record chain HMV to cash in on the "success" of social networking sites by making people buy stuff. It seemed to be about encouraging you to become "friends" with as much music and films as you can, by making obscure (or not so obscure) connections between them, then buying them from HMV. Funnily enough, it completely died in the arse.
Gab is a social media network founded by Andrew Torba in August 2016 as an alternative to Twitter that proclaims itself to be for free speech, despite such good intentions it has unfortunately racked up an infamous reputation for being a breeding ground for white supremacists, white nationalists, neo-Nazis, anti-Semites, Holocaust deniers, Islamophobes, cranks, crazy conspiracy theorists, alt-righters, Internet trolls and other unsavory creatures of the web. It was the outlet of choice for the Pittsburgh synagogue shooter Robert Bowers who would go on to kill 11 and injure 6.
Created by Anthony Mayfield as an "alt-tech" alternative to YouTube, PewTube was a dumping ground for conspiracy theorists, neo-Nazis, white supremacists/nationalists, and 4chan users. The site shut down in 2018.
Created by Ray Vahey, also as an "alt-tech" alternative to Youtube, BitChute is notable for claiming -- perhaps spuriously --  to use peer-to-peer technology to avoid the high hosting costs of centralized servers streaming video. The site was founded on the principle of being very concerned about "censorship" at mainstream social media sites such as Youtube, and as such is dedicated to "free speech" and "no censorship" (except, for some reason, "sexually explicit content" is verboten — can't have anything involving naughty bits, no siree!) Consequently, as you might expect from such a stance, it has become a hot spot for white supremacists, white nationalists, neo-Nazis, anti-Semites, Holocaust deniers, Islamophobes, cranks, crazy conspiracy theorists, alt-righters, Internet trolls and other creatures of the web actually unsavory enough to violate Youtube's content policies.  BitChute's official Twitter and Gab accounts are happy to retweet small samples of the content they host, much of which concerns of a lot of complaining about mainstream social media content policies, along with various other alt-right political or paranoid-style topics. Due to the proliferation of extremist content (including one arrest as of 2019 for racist advocacy of terrorism made on the platform), BitChute has had problems keeping payment providers willing to support working with the site.
Created by "libertarian engineer" John Matze in 2018 and funded by the right-wing billionaires Mercers, Parler (originally pronounced "par-lay" like the French word for "to speak," but currently pronounced like the English word "parlor" as Matze quickly figured out the site's audience just can't handle those darn furriner words) is yet another so-called "free speech" "alt-tech" alternative... in this case an alternative to Twitter. The site is very concerned about "censorship" at Twitter, to the point where they even released a "Declaration of Internet Independence", where, using Important Capitalized Words, the site admonishes the "Tech Tyrant" "Technofascists" of Twitter for stepping on "Freedoms", and promises to be a platform of "Free Speech" for "We The People." Indeed, Parler is a place where one is free to post Jewish conspiracy theories, pro-slavery memes, and racial slurs without being booted off for being a racist dipshit. (However, showing their dedication to Free Speech, accounts espousing any left-wing viewpoints or accounts that criticize Parler are likely to be banned. Oh, the irony!) Like Bitchute, sexually explicit content is verboten — can't have anything involving naughty bits, no siree! (Although they recently revised their rules to allow anything that’s legal) As you might expect from such a stance, it has become a hot spot for white supremacists, white nationalists, neo-Nazis, anti-Semites, Holocaust deniers, Islamophobes, cranks, crazy conspiracy theorists, alt-righters, Internet trolls, edgelords creating intentionally offensive parody accounts, and other creatures of the web actually unsavory enough to violate Twitter's content policies. Curiously, for a site full of Islamophobic content, this also includes hardline Saudi Arabia nationalists and nationalist bots.
Rebekah Mercer, who funded the app, said in a post on Parler that one of the reasons they helped start the site was to fight "the ever increasing tyranny & hubris of our tech overlords demands that someone lead the fight against data mining, & for the protection of free speech online". Which is ironic since the Mercers funded Cambridge Analytica that had psychographic profiles of 70 million Americans, and was used in Brexit and the 2016 election to elect Donald Trump (the later because Robert Mercer wanted to escape paying taxes in order to shrink the United States government, possibly according to one source because he's irritated that the social safety net might actually (gasp!) help African-Americans). Of course, Parler is absolutely not doing any data harvesting when they ask for a scan of your driver's license, passport, or other government identification in order to become a verified "Parler Citizen."Do You Believe That?
Due to multiple incidents of posts that incited violence and were not removed by moderators, and complaints that Parler had been used to help plan and facilitate the attempted siege of the Capitol by right wing agitators on January 6, 2021, Google Play booted Parler from the Google Play store on January 8, 2021, due to the 2021 storming of the US Capitol. On the same date, Apple threatened to remove Parler from Apple's app store unless Parler came up with a violent content moderation policy;  having determined that Parler wasn't going to give a shit about moderating violent content, they gave Parler the boot a day later. Likewise, Amazon (who was the web host for Parler) also decided to give Parler the boot on January 10, 2021, for failing to monitor violent content. In March 2021, news reports revealed that Parler made more than 50 referrals of violent posts made by their users to the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation in the weeks leading up to the January 6 riot. Many Parler users were not pleased.
Parler founder and CEO John Matze was fired in late January 2021 by the company's board of directors, led by major stakeholder Rebekah Mercer. According to Matze, this was because he advocated a position that Parler would have to crack down on domestic terrorists and groups that incite violence if the company wanted to succeed in the future — a position Rebekah Mercer disagreed with.
Diaspora was touted as possible competition for Facebook, by offering a "privacy aware, personally controlled, do-it-all, open source social network." Unlike Facebook, which relies on centralised servers paid for by the company's advertising revenue, Diaspora is decentralised so that one could choose which server they use or set up their own. Like e-mail, one could communicate with users of other servers, too. However, it has not seen much success in gaining a big user base, obviously an important thing for a social media service. After its highly successful Kickstarter, one of the four developers committed suicide. As a result Diaspora is a poor shadow of its intended result. In 2012, the original developers apparently concluded that they cannot bear the task of challenging Facebook, and declared Diaspora a "community project" instead.
Touted as a "disruptive Facebook alternative" in early 2018, this social network got quite a bit of news coverage while Facebook was suffering from allegations related to Cambridge Analytica. It claims not to use trackers or algorithms, or collect users data (even though it probably does). The company failed to explain how they planned to make money since their subscription service was shown to be unprofitable, but since they also failed to get any customers, this didn't seem to matter much. Other "disruptive Facebook alternatives" floated around during the same period, failing in every way to gain traction or threaten Facebook, even though everyone hates Facebook.[citation NOT needed] Some of the users of its almost empty and supposedly unmonitored network are pretty dodgy, mainly lurking in the private groups.
Ello is the new Next Big Thing since Google+ and Diaspora failed to destroy Facebook. It seems to be based on fanatically idealistic principles, somehow intending to run a social network, with no visible income stream (besides flogging t-shirts) to support it. As the front page of the site states:
“”Our social network is owned by advertisers.
Every post you share, every friend you make and every link you follow is tracked, recorded and converted into data. Advertisers buy your data so they can show you more ads. You are the product that’s bought and sold.We believe there is a better way. We believe in audacity. We believe in beauty, simplicity and transparency. We believe that the people who make things and the people who use them should be in partnership.
However, Ello has already pulled one over on Facebook, attracting many members of especially the LGBT community, when Facebook decided to selectively apply their "real names only" policy (which they've since walked back) thereby potentially outing, or worse, many members of the community. Ello's "choose any name you want" policy has become their biggest draw card for the time being.
Voat was a Reddit
ripoff alternative founded in 2014 as "a community platform where you can have your say. No censorship". Originally, the website was WhoaVerse by Atif Colo/@Atko and Justin Chastain/PuttItOut prior to its current name. Its name is a portmanteau of goat and vote, the former of which was its mascot.
The website had seen an influx of former Reddit users not satisfied with how the website is cracking down on hate speech, harassment, and trolling. The website had many racist sections which included but were not limited to: /v/Niggers, /v/NameTheJew, /v/GasTheKikes, /v/IslamHate, /v/IslamUnveiled, /v/HitlerWasRight, /v/altright, /v/Identitarian etc. Voat was one of the websites that made up the "alt-tech" (a cluster of alt-right websites as alternatives to mainstream websites).
A distinction was its view counter on posts. Between 2019 and 2020, an account was required to view content, which was lifted in mid-2020.
On December 21, 2020, Chastain announced that Voat would be shutting down that Christmas, citing an investor defaulting on their contract and the site running out of money..
Clapper is, or was, another one of those "free speech" sites, this one being an imitation of Tiktok. After the collapse of Parler, MAGA hats and QAnoners started using Clapper en masse. However, eventually the platform decided they'd had enough and banned all QAnon related content, citing the anti-vax attitudes common among its proponents as reasoning.
Christian networking sites
At least fourteen Christian networking sites have sprung up, many of which are marketed at Christian-themed versions of popular sites like Pinterest (Godinterest) and YouTube (GodTube). They emphasise their clean, family-friendly nature — which mostly goes only as far as removing "offensive" content.
"If you post a picture on this site, everyone in the picture must be modestly dressed (by our standards), not promoting any sinful activity (drinking, smoking, tatoos, gambling, etc), and not crude in any way (sodomites, abortion pics,[note 2] etc.)," says Big Baptist while Christianblog says: "We have dedicated volunteers who review each and every blog entry to make sure that all content that is posted is family safe and Christian based." — in fact they all say different versions of this, so we won't bore you with minor variations in wording. Of the others, ChristUnion has found an appropriate Biblical quote as its strap — Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ — see, the Bible foretold social networking sites! And therefore, it's true. Ditty Talk allows linking to Myspace, which kind of misses the point. The scarily-named FaithFreaks has "a network of filters and monitors", so they're either control freaks or sound engineers.[note 3] Christian.com is "heavily monitored" and says It’s not "My" space; It’s "His" space! JCFaith's "about us" page is mysteriously blank, except for phone commercials.
Conservative networking sites
There are a few conservative social networking site as well.
Let's Get This Right promises to link to "100's (sic) of conservative resources" and has forums, some of whose posts get up to an incredible six replies. Tea Party Community is the tea party answer to Facebook. Facebook is full of liberals that just love to report conservative pages and get them removed from Facebook (Despite the fact that conservative pages frequently have a higher number likes than liberal pages. However this is clearly a liberal plot to create a bunch of deep cover liberals that are trying to smear the good name of conservatives through the mud. Just ask any conservative!). Another conservative social network is Connect with Liberty. "ReaganBook" was shut down after the completely predictable deluge of Liberal trolls, and came back as "Freedombook", which was invitation only before it fell over and died. An option for mostly gun related talk is gunchannels.com.
In early 2009, during their quest to split the entire inanimate world into things that cause cancer and things that cure cancer, the Daily Mail ran a story essentially entitled "Facebook causes cancer". somewhere.[note 4] This was based on a report by Dr Aric Sigman in the Journal of the Institute of Biology. Noted science writer, blogger, and columnist Ben Goldacre then refuted the claims, stating that Sigman had selectively quoted his evidence and ignored all the evidence that social networking use had no effect — or even a positive effect — on people's social lives, particularly those suffering from loneliness. Ben later appeared on Newsnight specifically to tear Sigman a new arsehole over the scaremongering.
"Nym wars" — short for "pseudonym wars" — is the term applied to the effort by social networks to end the practice of allowing subscribers to use a screen name that is not their legal one. While Facebook discourages the use of pseudonyms, the nym wars really took off in the summer of 2011 when Google's new social network, Google Plus, prohibited the use of any pseudonyms, and Google employees even suggested that everyone start reporting questionable names. Then, to ensure that this policy was not being abused, Google Plus began aborting accounts with screen names that seemed to be even remotely pseudonymous, e.g. not sounding sufficiently white American. This trashed the site's reputation with its initial seed audience of techies, and may have been the factor that crippled it out the gate.
Google claimed that real names encouraged better social behaviour. This is something people commonly assume about real-name policies — but no-one, including Google, has ever supplied actual evidence of this, rather than personal feeling and assertion. In fact, what evidence there is points the opposite way: South Korea required commenters on sites with over 100,000 users to supply their Resident Registration Number (national identity number), and this reduced malicious comments by ... 0.9%. A 2007 UK study showed a real names requirement made people more obnoxious. So if anyone makes this claim, ask for actual evidence: if they provide it, they'll be the first.
While there was an expectation that people would behave better when their activity was tied to their own identity, as that identity is presumably a highly valuable and non-renewable resource to them, the evidence weighed against it: people seem quite willing to be jerks under their own identities.
In practice, the forced revelation of information makes individual privilege and power more important. When everyone has to play with their cards on the table, so to speak, then people who feel like they can be themselves without consequence do so freely — these generally being people with support groups of like-minded people, and who are neither economically nor physically vulnerable. People who are more vulnerable to consequences use concealment as a method of protection: it makes it possible to speak freely about controversial subjects, or even about any subjects, without fear of harassment.
(A classic experiment which you can easily replicate is to change your profile photo to that of a young woman for a few weeks. Change nothing else, even your name, and see what happens to your interaction pattern. I've seen quite a few people run this test and the results are, shall we say, quite visible)
Every issue Zunger notes there was raised internally at Google before Google+ launched in 2011, and ignored by management who were determined to push through a Real Names policy on no data and no thinking it through.
Social media consultants
Social media consultants/strategists/experts/gurus help businesses manage their social networking profile. Since creating a Facebook page and Twitter account and then hiring college students to maintain them isn't rocket science, social media consultants often promote their services with hefty doses of bullshit and techno babble. Although not all social media consultants are scammers, the trend of large corporations spending vast amounts of cash in order to establish a social media "presence" has created somewhat of a Gold Rush atmosphere where snake oil merchants flourish. Social media consultants may also offer a kind of "digital public relations" service to create buzz, spread stories, and polish their client's reputations, replacing the need for traditional PR agencies.
- Which can be bypassed with a bit of code with the uBlock extension with this code
twitter.com##.r-1upvrn0.r-l5o3uw.css-1dbjc4n twitter.com##div[role='dialog'] twitter.com##[id$='PromoSlot'] twitter.com##html->body:style(overflow:visible !important;) twitter.com##html:style(overflow:visible !important;)
- What an "abortion pic" even is is anyone's guess.
- of course, most sound engineers are control freaks, but we'll let that pass for now.
- I mean, to be fair...
- Night Shift by Stephen King (1978) Anchor Books. ISBN 0307743640. "I Know What You Need", pp. 355-389.
- The Road to Unfreedom: Russia, Europe, America by Timothy Snyder (2018) Tim Duggan Books. ISBN 0525574468.
- A song about it
- "So the other day, my other channel was brutally forced into subduing to the wrath that is Google+. They may as well have just brutally fucking murdered the channel, ripped out its arteries and shot it in the back of the fucking head!"
- Lol fuk u spodermen ur usin googel+"
- My Google+ profile has just been suspended for having an unusual name. (Ping, 23 July 2011). This is where they suspended their own employee because they didn't think his name was white enough.
- Google+ is shutting down, and the site's few loyal users are mourning, CNBC
- my favorite feature of this site is absolutely no consequences for my opinions sucking ffucking ass and me being 100% wrong about everything by wint (9:13 AM - 18 Aug 2017) Twitter (archived from 26 Jun 2019 23:36:35 UTC).
- Twitter hype punctured, BBC News
- Twitter tweets are 40% 'babble', BBC News
- 'We Make Mistakes': Twitter's Embrace of the Extreme Far Right (July 07, 2021) Southern Poverty Law Center.
- Twitter algorithms amplify conservative content more than that of the political left, researchers find: The review covered millions of tweets by elected officials in seven countries, as well as posts that linked to political content from news outlets by Taylor Telford (October 22, 2021).
- Twitter Founders Thrive on Micro-Blogging Constraints by Mark Glaser (May 17, 2007) Media Shift.
- Twitter, what the hell with all the harassment? by Ian Sherr (October 2, 2017 5:00 AM) CNET.
- Twitter finds links to hundreds of Russian-backed bot accounts: Facebook wasn't the only platform being used to spread propaganda during the 2016 election by Andrew Tarantola (09.28.17) engaget.
- Mark Warner calls Twitter presentation to Intel panel "deeply disappointing" (September 28, 2017, 4:38 PM) CBS News.
- "The Twitter Rules". 2018.
- Mark Zuckerberg vs. Jack Dorsey is the most interesting battle in Silicon Valley, CNBC, October 31 2019
- Twitter Will Ban All Political Ads, C.E.O. Jack Dorsey Says, New York Times, October 30 2019
- Trump's campaign is upset Twitter banned political ads. So, oddly, is Russian state media The Week, October 30, 2019.
- Instagram Worsens Body Image Issues And Erodes Mental Health, NPR, September 26, 2021
- Instagram is supposed to be friendly. So why is it making people so miserable?, The Guardian, September 17, 2018
- Why Instagram Is the Worst Social Media for Mental Health, Time, May 25, 2017
- Facebook knows Instagram harms teens. Now, its plan to open the app to kids looks worse than ever, Tech Crunch, September 16, 2021
- It has been too easy to send footballers vile abuse via Instagram DMs for too long, The Athletic, May 3, 2021
- Facebook tries to minimize its own research ahead of hearings on children’s safety: The company is going on the defensive as Congress is scheduled to grill a Facebook executive about the company’s record on children’s and teens’ mental health. by Cat Zakrzewski & Rachel Lerman (September 29, 2021) The Washington Post.
- The Sea of Hoax Tumblr blog
- The Walking Dead scene mistaken for an actual picture of someone dying during an MRI, originally from ruoloc. Note: correction on actual post not visible in reblog.
- "The Statue of Liberty was originally black" myth, naturalbods. See also: Snopes
- Movie shot mistaken as a real photo of US war crimes in Vietnam, originally from angerr
- After the porn ban, Tumblr users have ditched the platform as promised, The Verge, Mar 14, 2019
- Even a Pornhub Acquisition May Not Save Tumblr From Brink of Collapse, Observer, 3 May 2019
- Verizon Sells Tumblr for a Bag of Nickels, Motley Fool, 16 Aug 2019
- Technical debt and the making of payments on it (denise, dreamwidth.org, 2011-03-29)
- Adding examples to the essay on technical debt (foxfirefey, dreamwidth.org, 2012-01-01)
- Chen, Adrian, "Unmasking Reddit's Violentacrez, The Biggest Troll on the Web", Gawker (12 October 2012, 4:00P).
- Violentacrez on CNN, YouTube 18 October 2012.
- Roy, Jessica, "Reddit Made a Ton of Money Off of Those Nude Celebrity Photos". NY Mag (10 September 2014, 1:42 pm).
- "Wikileaks wades into #GamerGate, says Nato as corrupt as video games journalism", New Statesman 16 September 2014.
- Reddit bans r/The_Donald and r/ChapoTrapHouse as part of a major expansion of its rules, The Verge, 29 June 2020.
- Our Lord and Savior WOSH on Reddit.
- FetLife's open source Projects
- On-line versions of their presentations
- Fifty Shades of Grey poses a threat to online BDSM communities
- This BDSM community is furious about 'Fifty Shades of Grey'
- August 2003: MySpace, CBS News
- Alexa - MySpace.com site info
- Time Inc. Buys Myspace Parent Company Viant, Variety, 11 Feb 2016
- Time Inc becomes the latest company to buy Myspace by mistake, The Inquirer, 12 Feb 2016
- Myspace loses all content uploaded before 2016, The Guardian, 18 March 2019
- The Onion. "Internet Archaeologists Find Ruins Of 'Friendster' Civilization."
- See the Wikipedia article on Bebo.
- Teacher wins damages in Friends Reunited libel case, The Guardian, 21 May 2002
- 'I met my wife on Friends Reunited', BBC, 18 Jan 2016
- See the Wikipedia article on Friends Reunited.
- TikTok not approved for use on Australia's Defence devices ABC News
- "India Bans Nearly 60 Chinese Apps, Including TikTok and WeChat" by Maria Abi-Habib, New York Times, 2020 June 29
- "India has few good ways to punish China for its Himalayan land-grab", Economist, 2020 July 2
- "Executive Order on Addressing the Threat Posed by TikTok", Whitehouse.gov, 2020 August 6
- "Is This The Real Reason Why Trump Wants To Ban TikTok?" by Abram Brown, Forbes, 2020 Aug 1
- "Pompeo says the U.S. is ‘certainly looking at’ banning TikTok and other Chinese apps" by Timothy Bella, Washington Post, 2020 July 7
- Biden reverses Trump's effort to ban TikTok, orders broader review of foreign-owned apps, NBC News, June 9, 2021
- Social media giant TikTok sued by former children's commissioner over 'shady' data collection policy, Sky News, April 21, 2021
- TikTok investigated over alleged transfer of personal data to China and child safety, Sky News, September 14, 2021
- archive.is Ukrainin' Men: How American Men Are Using the Russian Facebook to Find Brides] by Adrien Chen (2012 May 15) Gawker.
- Once Celebrated in Russia, the Programmer Pavel Durov Chooses Exile by Danny Hakim (December 2, 2014) The New York Times.
- American Neo-Nazis Are on Russia's Facebook: To escape Facebook’s crackdown and connect with white-power groups worldwide, U.S.-based extremists are joining VK by Olga Khazan (May 20, 2016) The Atlantic.
- How WeChat Censored the Coronavirus Pandemic, Wired 27 Aug. 2020
- China's Most Popular App Is Full Of Hate, Foreign Policy 27 Nov. 2018
- "Bitchute claims to be a decentralized platform—that’s not true", Fredrick Brennan, Daily Dot, 2019-11-27
- Bitchute Community Guidelines, archive 2020 May 9
-  "Conservatives Flock To Mercer-Funded Parler, Claim Censorship On Facebook And Twitter"] by Shannon Bond, NPR, 2020 November 14
- Wikitionary entry for "parler"
- "parlor" definition, dictionary.com
- "Amid censorship fears, Trump campaign 'checking out' alternative social network" by Ben Schreckinger, Politico, 2019 May 28
- "MAGA Social Media Networks Are at War With Each Over a Potential Trump Account" by Will Sommer, Daily Beast, 2019 June 04
- "Parler wants to be the ‘free speech’ alternative to Twitter" by Mike Rothschild, Daily Dot, 2020 Jun 25
- "Parler: Is this Katie Hopkins’ new home for hatred?" by Steve Anglesey, New European, 2020 June 25
- "Social Media App Parler Releases ‘Declaration Of Internet Independence’ Amidst #Twexit Campaign" by John Scott Lewinski, Forbes, 2020 Jun 16
- "A Declaration of Internet Independence", Parler email letter, archived on 2020 Jun 26
- "The Gross Hellscape That Awaits Ted Cruz on Parler" by Tim Miller and Hannah Yoest, The Bulwark, 2020 June 26
- "Free speech app Parler is already banning leftists" by David Covucci, Daily Dot, 2020 Jun 30
- "As Predicted: Parler Is Banning Users It Doesn't Like" by Mike Masnick, Techdirt, 2020 Jun 29
- Parler Community Guidelines, archived on 2020 Jun 24
- "The Conservative-Loved Social Media Site Parler Is Being Overrun With Pornography"
- "Parler, a right-wing social media site, lures conservatives, but Trump sticks with Twitter — so far" by David Knowles, Yahoo News, 2020 June 22
- "This Twitter Alternative Was Supposed To Be Nicer, But Bigots Love It Already" by Isaac Saul, Forward, 2019 July 18
- "Unhappy with Twitter, thousands of Saudis join pro-Trump social network Parler" by Elizabeth Culliford and Katie Paul, Reuters, 2019 June 13
- "Social media platform Parler gets backing from Mercer family - WSJ" by Reuters Staff, Reuters, 2020 November 14
- "Social app Parler apparently receives funding from the conservative Mercer family" by Kim Lyons, The Verge, 2020 November 14
- "Reclusive U.S. billionaire Robert Mercer helped Donald Trump win the presidency. But what is his ultimate goal?" by Keith Boag, CBC News
- "How do I Become a Parler Citizen?", support page for Parler, archived on 2020 November 17
- "Google suspends right-wing app ‘Parler’ from Google Play Store" by Tristi Rodriguez, KRON 4, 2021 January 8
- "Apple threatens to remove Parler from app store after deadly Capitol siege" by Shawna, 9To5Mac, 2021 January 8
- "Apple Has Banned Parler, The Pro-Trump Social Network, From Its App Store" by Adolfo Flores and John Paczkowski, Buzzfeed Nes, 2021 January 9
- "mazon Is Booting Parler Off Of Its Web Hosting Service" by John Paczkowski, Buzzfeed News, 2021 January 9
- Jason Murdock, Parler Users Furious That Site Sent Violent Posts to FBI Ahead of Capitol Riot. Newsweek, 26 March 2021.
- Sean Hollister, Parler’s CEO has been fired. The Verge, 3 February 2021.
- "Parler C.E.O. Says He Was Fired" by Kellen Browning, New York Times, 2021 February 3
- "Parler CEO Is Fired After 'Constant Resistance' Inside The Conservative-Friendly Site" by Bobby Allyn, NPR, 2021 February 3
- Join Diaspora's home page
- Facebook alternative Diaspora rolls out first code
- Announcement: Diaspora* Will Now Be A Community Project. Archived from the original at blog.diasporafoundation.org, 27 August 2012.
- Ello's main page
- "I Can't Keep it Up", Voat.co /v/Announcements, archived on 21 December 2020
- Makena Kelly, Clapper permanently bans QAnon-related content, The Verge 11 Feb. 2021
- As of 17 May 2009.
- The swift death of ReaganBook, the Facebook for patriots
- How using Facebook could raise your risk of cancer
- Ben's face halfway through Sigman talking is especially priceless.
- Kaste, Martin. "Who Are You, Really? Activists Fight For Pseudonyms", National Public Radio (USA) website, posted 28 September 2011, accessed 29 September 2011.
- Ross, Nick. "How much has Facebook just damaged Google Plus?", Australian Broadcasting Corporation website (technology and games blog), posted 14 September 2011, accessed 29 September 2011.
- Social media scammers: be careful who you hire
- Stephen Baker Beware Social Media Snake Oil Bloomberg Business
- Learn Social Media Strategies for Effective Public Relations www.prsa.org