top of page

Which Online Platforms Don't Censor Content Creators?

Updated: Sep 17, 2023

In case woke censorship has de-platformed you or otherwise taken you down, or could if you don't watch your mouth


People jumping out of an airplane, seen from beneath the plane in flight
Bye-bye! Photo by Tom Fisk on Pexels


Updated 07/26/23: CounterSocial is moved to the list of ‘woke’ deplatformers. My account got suspended and everything I had on there was ‘irreversibly’ wiped off. They didn’t tell me why, of course; I’m guessing they didn’t like this article that I posted there yesterday. It’s A Sign Of The Apocalypse When The Right Supports Science And The Left Doesn’t.


Update 08/17/23: Putting Mastodon on watch for taking down two of my articles; if or when they ban me for speaking out too much against the trans aggression and authoritarianism we’ve come to see with them, I’ll move them to the ‘woke shitholes’ category. Sad to say but Elon Musk’s X-Twitter is the most free-speech-friendly Twitter-style platform available right now.


Glenn Loury is a black intellectual I subscribe to on Substack. He and his guests’ dialogues/trialogues are always thought-provoking.


I especially favor one recurring guest, linguistics professor John McWhorter. While Loury is a bit more conservative, McWhorter and I are level-headed libs. I highly recommend his book Woke Racism: How A New Religion Has Betrayed Black America. McWhorter doesn’t ‘do’ victimhood racism, like I don’t ‘do’ victimhood feminism.


Recently, YouTube took down one of Loury’s talks allegedly for violating ‘hate speech’ standards.


As many have learned by now, ‘hate speech’ means first and foremost anything that offends, upsets, or challenges transactivists and no surprise, guess what triggered this takedown.


Loury and McWhorter had studiously avoided discussing transgenderism, until Loury hosted both McWhorter and journalist, theologian and educator Mark Goldblatt, who’s recently written a book, I Feel, Therefore I Am: The Triumph of Woke Subjectivism. He’s who I sleep with at night! At least until I finish it.


A few days later, Loury’s YouTube episode went down like You-Know-Who in a Miami federal courthouse.


Goldblatt had floated the provocative, and as far as I know, fairly new idea that one element driving transgender growth is that gender dysphoria is a mental illness, possibly akin to schizophrenia.


I found Goldblatt’s argument interesting but unpersuasive, especially since he didn’t address what has already been widely noted - that ‘gender dysphoria’ may be a haven for those with unrelated, untreated mental illness. If that’s what he meant he didn’t make it clear. It sounded like he made a case for gender dysphoria as a mental illness itself, and I’m not ready to agree with that.


Nevertheless, it was clear it was an opinion, not stated fact. And YouTube took it down because, and this is a broad problem across online fora and social media, Thou shalt not speak critically of transgender broads (ar ar!).


The demonstration of this sort of power is exactly why I consider transgenders to be the least marginalized group, ever. And also because it’s almost always biological males behind the power demonstrations. Big surprise.



The woke battle against opinion


I’ve been de-platformed twice for angering transgenders - first on Medium a few years ago and as I understand it, the Woke Reign of Terror continues there with others threatened, downranked, or de-platformed for offending transactivists, however rationally and politely expressed. Medium has a long and well-deserved reputation for being a far-left platform and nothing seems to have changed since I left.


I got de-platformed more recently on Vocal.media, less problematic because thanks to its outworn platform and lack of support for non-fiction writers I was already on the verge of abandoning it anyway. But what’s interesting is they weren’t very specific about why my account was suddenly suspended, and without warning (with Medium there’s fair warning), and when I pushed, the customer support kid (I could tell) cited one article about transgenderism and vaguely alluded to others.


“Then why did Vocal approve these articles in the first place?” I asked since, unlike Medium, one’s articles have to be approved before publication. They never answered, and I didn’t push it since I was done with them anyway. When I joined a few years ago humans approved submitted articles before publication. Then they automated the process and my articles published in minutes instead of a few days. So now, I assume, like Medium, someone has to complain about ‘hate speech’.


And it is, as we will see very shortly, always woke snowflakes behind it.

I’m sarcastic, I’m critical, and I’m without question opinionated, but I have never once said anything indicating I hate transpeople, or suggested they don’t have the right to exist, or they should all be killed, or whatever oppressive fantasy they’ve concocted about their feminist critics. I’ve stated many times the extent of my TERFiness is that male-born bodies don’t belong on female sports teams or places where women get naked or semi-naked. Otherwise, I don’t care what they do, where they go, who they love, how they dress, or what they call themselves.


I had been thinking about getting back to making YouTube videos, but one thing that held me back was whether I could say anything feminist about transgenderism. Before, I’d never addressed it.


Glenn Loury’s experience convinced me I can’t return to YouTube.

YouTube takedown message for when a video is taken down allegedly for violating their terms of service
This hasn’t happened to me, and it won’t, because I know it will if I say anything critical of the transgender movement.


The public platform Who’s Who of woke censorship (and not)


Of the main Big Tech players, Facebook de-platforms the right just like everyone else but notably also occasionally, for the right. Particularly conservative religious cultures who live as in terror of free speech as Ron DeSantis. Google and YouTube also de-platform.


Twitter’s commitment to free speech prevention has slacked off with its current and somewhat emotionally unstable CEO. It was pretty damning when Elon Musk tweeted photos of the closet full of #StayWoke t-shirts he found at Twitter HQ. The Old Regime had been hostile to critique of ‘marginalized’ groups however protected said speech might be under the First Amendment. It controversially removed a lot of far-right-wing groups and its demigod Donald Trump after the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, but the optics would have been terrible if they hadn’t—the conspirators, after all, plotted it in plain sight on Twitter and elsewhere. And six people died. The Twitterati didn’t want to get caught in that forthcoming investigative shitstorm.


Today Twitter appears more open to unpopular opinions regardless of whether from the left or right, although it’s still pretty arguably a multipartisan shithole for the mentally ill, since Musk’s rocky reign as the platform’s Fearless Tweeter caused advertisers, non-profits, journalists and many influencers to abandon it.


Patreon, the fan-funding site where one can look for patrons to help fund one’s creative work, has banned some of its higher-profile and money-drawing former creators like Sam Harris and Jordan Peterson for saying controversial things that were not to the left of Castro. Censorship may now get very expensive for Patreon: They may be on the hook for millions of dollars in arbitration fees as a new California law argues that Patreon’s practice of banning controversial creators disrupts “the economic relationship between Creator and Backer,” legally considered to be “tortious interference with a business relationship,” and while the snowflakes at Patreon can continue to ban people, their backers can now dispute the decision and request it be moved to arbitration since they can’t support their creators anymore and possibly lose their content.


Paypal may be next.


But make no mistake, it’s the left’s censorship efforts driving the growth of alternative social media and blogging platforms to avoid being taken down for offending the fragile. There are not, to my knowledge, right-wing fora or platforms de-platforming others for political speech they don’t like.


I can now add CounterSocial, a Twitter/X alternative that suspended my account for unspecified reasons but which pretty certainly is my article highlighting the lack of science behind ‘gender-affirming’ care. (07/26/23)


The unfortunate result is that most alternatives are, to be blunt, right-wing shitholes.


What I’m looking for are those committed to adult, mature speech (there are a few) with intervention only if there’s real ‘hate speech’ expressed (‘Kill all the blind pot-smoking left-handed immigrant multisexual plumbers’), as well as those that may have started out as super-right-wing, but may be getting infiltrated by lefties also abandoning platforms or getting banned by hyper-woke censors.


Something to consider as you peruse the following lists. The last 10-15 years have sorely tested the First Amendment and opened debate on whether there should be limits the pre-online Founding Fathers couldn’t have anticipated. I myself, for all my resistance to censorship red-capped or trans-flagged, sometimes wonder whether there should be new limits for the First beyond prohibiting treason or endangering public safety (the latter of which may offer a particularly strong legal argument for it, eventually). So take my snark for what it is, but not necessarily my opinion as to whether these users should or shouldn’t be allowed their free speech.


The list is offered to help navigate where they might want to devote their attention, and to cut through the plethora of right-wing sites many (including myself) would rather give a pass.


Just know the extremists have all flocked to many of these because of the Big Tech purges. Where there is minimal or no moderation, you’ll find right-wing extremism. Other platforms are practicing some moderation in an effort to keep them from turning into hyper-partisan twitholes.


Note that none of these following are censorship-free; and never have been. You still can’t claim you want to kill the President or offer groomer tips for sexually abusing children. These sites, for better or for worse, take a largely hands-off approach to the newer forms of ‘woke’ censorship endemic on Big Tech platforms.


Many of them operate on the ‘Fediverse’, a conglomeration of countless open-source, independently-hosted, interconnected servers for social networking, blogging, microblogging, file hosting and sharing. There’s no central authority deciding what is or isn’t ‘acceptable’ and its decentralized nature makes it less vulnerable to government interference or shutdown. As well as to controlling what users have access to on this network constellation free-for-all.



Still right-wing shitholes


“You should check out Gab,” my conservative trans-man (yes really) fellow feminist writer told me. “It’s not as horribly conservative as you’re led to believe.”


I considered it, out of curiosity, but didn’t. “I’m afraid I’ll wind up on some government shit list,” I told him. Good call, since Gab and other newer Twitter alternatives like Parler came under attack shortly after for their utilization in planning the Jan. 6th insurrection attempt. (As did Twitter itself).


Gab and Parler are pretty much right-wing shitholes. So is Gettr, launched for conservatives by a former Donald Trump aide. FrankSpeech is a social media platform formed by MyPillow guy Mike Lindell. Minds is a darling of the far right, CloutHub is for Christian natonalists, and Telegram, based in Dubai, is a critical app for many far-right groups, and a playground for cybercriminals.

BitChute is also famously far-right and banned from Paypal; London Real was started by American podcaster Brian Rose who became a British citizen and then switched from Democrat to Republican. (No word yet on whether he’s planning to become a woman.) The Wall Street/London banker in a fancy suit provides a platform for conspiracy theorists and started his own London Real Party. Also the LondonReal.tv platform promotes scammy-sounding crypto, bitcoin and getrichquick ‘academies’. Bleah.


FreeTalk 45 was begun by Fox News wannabe One-America News, currently on the Dominion Voting Systems lawsuit list for allegedly lying about their voting devices.


Steemit - This social media site is blockchain-based where users can get STEEM cryptocurrency for publishing and curating content. I myself am deeply suspicious of bitcoin and crypto, but what’s of much bigger concern here is how Steemit helped to mainstream QAnon.


Don’t forget moldy oldies like 4chan with no accountability and famously a haven for extremists and ‘hacktivists’ (double bleah).



Platforms and fora for grownups, including a few left-wing shitholes


Substack - This is one of the few platforms which has a very clear understanding of what constitutes ‘hate speech’ and prefers not to interfere unless one engages in very clear unprotected speech. One will find plenty of right-wing writers but but you really have to look, and it won’t get recommended to you unless you read Trumpily to begin with. It does appear to have a firm commitment to free speech, the way it was before the First Amendment came under attack on both sides by extremists. I feel pretty comfortable that, unless Elon Musk buys it or something, I won’t get shut down here. They’ve already been attacked by and stood down transgender wannabe censors.


Mastodon (ON WATCH) - This decentralized Twitter alternative has been around for awhile and when I joined several years ago, it was super-woke. It was also super-kludgy and painfully slow to use which was why I stopped bothering with it. It’s still a bit kludgy and I find it a bit confusing to use but it’s better than it was. So far, no issues with any of my articles. It did also find itself connected via the Fediverse to Gab a few years ago. But I haven’t seen Gab there myself.


(Update 08/17/23: Mastodon removed two of my posts for ‘violating community standards’ without explaining why, but one can guess on both counts. One was The Left And Right Must Work Together, Or Die, arguing for bipartisanship. Guess what they didn’t like? The passage about the toxicity and lack of science behind the trans movement. The other was Censorship, Tyranny, and Science Suppression on Medium, co-authored with three others. It protested Medium’s anti-science censorship policies with anything critical of the trans movement. Don’t know if someone on Medium (they recently joined the Mastodon network) complained about it. But: Mastodon is also pro-censorship. However, I’m leaving Mastodon here for now, because they didn’t overreact like CounterSocial or Vocal.media and ban or suspend me, until such time as Mastodon bans my account. Which could be soon if they’re reviewing the other articles I’ve written.


diaspora* - It appears not to have much of a right-wing problem apart from, briefly several years ago, having to remove ISIS-related pods and posts after Islamic extremists were kicked off Twitter.


Friendica - Part of the Fediverse, Friendica doesn’t appear so far to have a massive partisanship problem. It appears to be closer to Mastodon than Parler.


Tribel - It’s arguably a left-wing shithole, although I say that tongue in cheek since I’m left-wing. It’s run by Democratic activists, and lefty users complain they’re being infiltrated by more right-wingers. I like the platform. It’s easier to deal with than Mastodon and I like the political mix. Tribel is rumoured to be Elon Musk’s next big acquisition which means one less competitor for Shitter—er, I mean Twitter. Although I’m not sure he’s financially prepared for any ambitious acquisitions until Twitter is out of the red. I’ve found no allegations so far that it censors political speech. Tribel is currently crowdfunding and has raised their market valuation from $19 million to $21 million and are aiming for $25 million. I’m keeping an eye on these folks.


Aether - Advertised as an alternative to Reddit (itself a political mix), Aether is decentralized and open-sourced with self-governing communities and some moderation. Their FAQ notes it’s a ‘civilized place for public discussion’ and offers the usual cautions against name-calling, ad hominem attacks, etc. But it avoids censorship.


Shitposter Club - They don’t censor but they’re also trying to keep the platform from turning into the twithole Twitter turns into when there’s no adult supervision. Their terms of service warn about the usual stuff: No kiddie porn, spamming, doxing, persistent harassing (insulting is fine) but they ‘don't want the server to turn to shit and flamewars and Heil Hitler All The Time.’ So, no censorship, but kinda. A little here and there.


Tumblr - This microblogging platform has famously been a left-wing shithole for years; hyper-super-duper-mega-ultra-woke with chocolate sauce, whipped cream, sprinkles and a cherry. It pretty arguably birthed and incubated the modern trans movement and all the labels. Despite this, it was so hands-off censorship at one time that it became a free-for-all that came under heavy criticism for not reigning back some extremism, starting in 2012 when it took a stand on blogs that promoted self-harm and eating disorders. It took forever to crack down on genuine hate speech, and in 2018 commenced The Great Purge of adult content including, allegedly, kiddie porn, along with violent imagery and sexual harassment. So it censors, but not, AFAICT, free speech. Good on them!


It’s still super-duper woke but AFAICT only bans you if you post some really serious shit. Like porn.



Right-wing-shitholes to keep an eye on


They may have started out or may still be right-wing shitholes, but are showing signs of being infiltrated by cooler heads including the insufficiently woke on the left.


MeWe - It’s a self-described Facebook alternative with a focus on data privacy, which is a nice change. Its hands-off moderation policies make it a natural for crackpots and crank jobs tired of being challenged and fact-checked. But it also counts among its advisors some pretty smart brains and Internet pioneers like Tim Berners-Lee, Steve Wozniak, SumZero CEO Divya Narendra and filmmaker Cullen Hoback.


Locals - Right-wing but established as an alternative to Patreon after Dave Rubin, the founder, got banned. His political views have spanned the spectrum. He sometimes calls himself a ‘classical liberal’ and has interviewed conservatives who don’t fall within the purview of the far right, like John McCain, Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Sam Harris. So far, Locals looks right-wing but not super-far right.


Rumble - This right-wing YouTube alternative is now being infiltrated by the left as woke censorship de-platforms liberals on The Big Guy. I’m watching them and weighing whether, or when, I might join Rumble since I’m quite sure I’ll get de-platformed by YouTube, and TikTok is also too woke for intellectual freedom (not to mention dangerously Chinese-y spy-ish). If I do join I may have to hold my nose, unless I can find a better alternative. Or maybe it will become the multipartisan shithole I prefer.



Is censorship ever okay?


My ‘let it all hang out’ free speech values were solidifed in the ‘90s during my pre-Internet BBS days. I hung out in skeptic groups and one particularly fun chat channel called #holysmoke for challenging Christian fundamentalism.

I confess my commitment to free speech is sorely tested by events in recent years and in particular the Jan. 6 attack. Unregulated social media is a breeding ground for misinformation, disinformation, conspiracy theories, and genuine hate speech. Not to mention poor self-esteem. Jonathan Haidt on Substack is writing a book about social media’s negative impact on children’s, teen’s, and young adults’s mental health.


Hate speech is a real problem, with the right believing anything goes, and the left having lost sight of what’s genuine hate speech.


I didn’t complain, I’ll admit, when right-wing groups got removed from Twitter, and I tweeted how great it would be if Twitter did the same to the extremist woke left. That was never going to happen, since they didn’t attack the Capitol, but I knew Twitter would turn into a woke shithole without them, which was what happened until Musk. People got banned, shadow-banned, downranked and suspended for upsetting the delicate sensibilities of mostly ‘woke’ transvestites wielding their patriarchal power to shut down women for daring, once again, to say No to them and their penii.


My censorship views aren’t 100% pure. I doubt anyone’s are. But what used to be unacceptable—hate speech and censorship—has become mainstream by both, and what was once acceptable free speech is censor-worthy if it ‘hurts feelings’ (like stating transwomen aren’t women - a biological fact that one may or may not accept), or makes people feel ‘unsafe’ (wokespeak for ‘I don’t have a rational, reasoned response to this’).


I suspect we’re entering a new era where we may need to revisit what free speech is, what’s protected and what’s not, and whether some of it is driving violent acts like Jan. 6 or mass shootings. Or, you know, pizza shop threats because of some silly-ass conspiracy theory.


Until we bring about a kinder, saner online world, the alternatives to Big Tech censorship are out there, and the good news is they’re not all right-wing shitholes.


They may become less so as disgruntled liberals infiltrate and hopefully dilute the more toxic extremism. (Or righties infiltrate platforms like Tribel).


A Level Lefty can dream.


 

I Feel, Therefore I Am - The interview with Mark Goldblatt that got Loury his ‘first strike’ with YouTube

I Was Censored By YouTube - Glenn Loury, speaking with is creative director on what happened, and how Substack is committed to free speech


 

Did you like this post? Would you like to see more? I lean left of center, but not so far over my brains fall out. Subscribe to my Substack newsletter Grow Some Labia so you never miss a post!

7 views0 comments
bottom of page