Free “as in beer” blogging and web hosting platforms may be convenient, but should you really rely on them?
Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate the opportunities web services, like Vivaldi’s blog or webmail, presents to it’s users. Obviously, I find some value in it or I wouldn’t be using them. But, anyone who takes it upon themselves to use such services should also know what to expect from them and how to properly handle them. Much like having a bear cub as a pet, if you don’t act responsibly and treat it accordingly, things can go very bad for you very quickly.
What motivated me to write about this subject was the recent news articles I’ve been reading about the “Truckers for Freedom” protest, happening here in Canada, and how GoFundMe shutdown their fund-raiser account and Facebook closed the US “Freedom Convoy” page. Here is a perfect example on how “free” service providers can claim ownership of anything their users do with their services and, for any reason they see fit, can censor everything they do and silence them any time they wish. It doesn’t matter if the activities being carried out are illegal or not. If the service providers don’t like something you’re doing, the rights you thought you had as a free citizen in a free society have no bearing on the matter. They don’t like you, you’re gone.
I know that using well established platforms, like Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter gives the user great exposure to share their message with the world. But, just remember that if your message does not conform to the world view or ideology held by the establishment, you won’t be heard for very long.
This is why I think now is the time for people, who really do cherish freedom of speech and freedom of thought, should consider setting up alternative personal platforms that they can fall back to when the corporately provided ones try to silence them. As the months go on, it seems to me like on-line censorship is getting worse and corporations continue to over-extend their reach and influence.
To do so, you’ll need to spend a little time and a little money to set things up. But, there are so many affordable hosting services (ISPs) out there right now, it literally pennies a day to own a personal blog and e-mail server that you control yourself. Some of these service providers also offer free domain names to go along with your shiny new server space.
Once you get yourself all setup, you can then use the “free” platforms to let your readers and e-mail contacts know where you’ve set up house. So if/when the “free” providers don’t like what you’re saying and close your account, your audience will know where they can find you.
I know that it isn’t the perfect solution, as governments can force ISPs to shut people down there, too. But the process for that is a little more complicated than some Facebook admin. just making a determination and deleting an account. If nothing else, by using your own server account, at least you retain ownership of your content and are not forced to give up publication rights to the platform providers.
Think about it. If you agree with me, but are not sure how to proceed, you’re more than welcome to leave a comment below, send an email to my Vivaldi e-mail address, or track me down on my personal web page, here: https://www.chorusgrove.site If I can help you with securing your web independence, I’d happily do so.
Also, if you have your own thoughts on this subject, please feel free to share them with me in the comments.