Facebook Alternatives that Won't Sell Your DataMinds - "The Leading Alternative Social Network"
Minds – “The Leading Alternative Social Network”
Minds was founded in 2011 by Bill Ottman and John Ottman as an alternative to social networks such as Facebook, which the founders believed abused their users via “spying, data mining, algorithm manipulation, and no revenue sharing”. Minds launched to the public in June 2015 (source)
Minds is an open-source (Open-source software is computer software that is released under a license in which the copyright holder grants users the rights to use, study, change, and distribute the software and its source code to anyone and for any purpose.) social media platform with a focus on providing a safe place for digital brands, companies, or people who are looking to network. Minds allows free speech with zero censorship. It allows you to create blogs, channels, and groups and upload photos and videos just like you would on Facebook.
In 2020, Minds claims to have over 2.5 million users compared to Facebook’s 2.89 billion users (in 2021). Minds use blockchain technology, which allows running on a decentralized network. You can earn money from Minds with Minds Token. While Facebook takes users’ information to sell to a third party for profit without giving a penny to users, Minds pays users.
Minds offers a monthly premium subscription that gives users access to exclusive content, the ability to become verified, and the ability to remove boosted posts from their newsfeeds.
Minds has been described as more privacy-focused than its competitors. All messages sent between users are end-to-end encrypted, meaning even those who work for the company can’t read their contents.
Users can optionally register anonymously.
Minds is available on the web and mobile (Android and iOS)
The process of joining Minds was quick and painless and does require you to verify your email address. Once you sign up, you are taken to a generic Newsfeed
The interface is very comfortable if you like how Facebook is set up. In fact, it pretty much is a clone of Facebook. I haven’t played around enough to find all the features.
My personal review of Minds
The first thing I noticed on Minds that just annoys me and will likely keep me from using Minds long term is the fact that users can monetize a post, which means that the post is locked and only Minds+ users can see the post, I find that rather lame. Like Facebook, it has a very visible “Report Post” link on every post. But unlike Facebook, you aren’t able to share things from someone else’s newsfeed to your newsfeed; your only options are to share (to Facebook, Twitter, or email); download, follow posts (a button Facebook needs), block users, report post, Up vote, down vote, remind and comment. Plus you can tip a post, where you can send a Token, US Dollars, Ethereum, or Bitcoin to the person that posted.
You aren’t able to share a post from someone else’s newsfeed, which means everything on your newsfeed must be uploaded by you directly, which translates to a huge reduction in the number of people you get on your newsfeed unless you are continually posting content.
There is also a fairly steep learning curve if you are a long-term Facebook user, in fact, I had to stumble around for a while and after an hour, I still don’t think I found the listing of “groups”.
One of the other noticeable things is that profiles on Minds are called “channels”. This is where you can post, comment, subscribe, and earn tokens. Another thing is that all posts are public unless you post to a private group. Facebook-like groups exist, but Minds does not recommend groups. In order to find anything you have to search for keywords to find the content you are looking for. Like most people, I prefer to go to my “wall” or newsfeed and allow the interface to do its magic and show me things that I like. But with Minds, that isn’t how it works.
Minds are public and uncensored. This means you may come across content that is disturbing or pornographic. The content is allowed to be here because Minds is committed to eliminating censorship. However, those posts should be posted with the Explicit button so that users have to click to see it and so that it can easily be filtered out for those who do not want to see it.
Minds embraces that it is unlikely that you will know anyone here like on FB, which means your social connections will develop over common topics of interest and conversations.
The descriptions for some groups are either extremely vague while others are spammy. If you try to follow logic, like clicking on the groups button on the navigation, you would think you could find groups. In fact, there are two buttons on the next screen “Create Group” and “Discover Groups” I click on Discover Groups and I get “Nothing more to load”, which tells me there are no groups.
Parler was founded by John Matze Jr. and Jared Thomson in Henderson, Nevada, in August 2018. The company’s name was taken from the French word “parler”, meaning “to speak”. Parler describes itself as a free speech platform, and its founders have proclaimed that the site engages in minimal moderation and will not fact-check posts. They have also said they will allow posts that have been removed or flagged as misinformation on other social media networks such as Twitter.
Parler markets itself as a free speech-focused and unbiased alternative to mainstream social networks such as Twitter and Facebook. Journalists have criticized this as being a cover for its far-right user base.
In December 2020, Parler claimed to have 2.3 million active users with 20 million total.
After reports that Parler was used to coordinate the 2021 storming of the U.S. Capitol, several companies denied it their services. Apple and Google removed Parler’s mobile app from their app stores, and Parler went offline on January 10, 2021, when Amazon Web Services canceled its hosting services. Before it went offline in January 2021, according to Parler, the service had about 15 million users. Parler resumed service on February 15, 2021, after moving domain registration. A version of the app with added content filters was released on the Apple App Store on May 17. (source)
The MSM (Main Stream Media) hates Parler and everything it stands for. As reported by many MSM outlets, Parler is known for its far-right and alt-right, anti-Semitic, anti-feminist, and Islamophobic content. Many posts on Parler contain misinformation and conspiracy theories. Parler has said they will not fact-check posts on the platform
Parler was founded in August 2018 by John Matze and Jared Thomson in Henderson, Nevada, and it soon gained a reputation as a Twitter alternative, particularly for those who thought that platform had a heavy hand when it came to moderating the speech of conservatives. Posts, which are known as parleys, can include photos, links to stories web pages, and text. You have 1,000 characters per parley, as opposed to the 280 on Twitter.
Parler is available on the web and mobile (Android and iOS)
I had a Parler account once before, but when I go to log in now, I get “You Have Been Banned“. Interesting since I never posted or shared anything. I think this is related to them having to establish a whole new instance of Parler when they got the boot last year. I tried to sign up with a new account, but it told me that my email address and phone number were already tied to an existing account. I emailed support, we shall see where this goes.
Update: I received a reply from Parler “Looks like your account was self-disabled on 12/30/20. When an account is deleted and you attempt to sign in, the language on Parler will state you are banned but you are not. Your account will just need to be reinstated. If you would like, we can reinstate your account for you. Also, are you using an Android, iOS, or Web Browser to access Parler?”
Update #2: It has been a week now since I asked to have my account re-enable, though I don’t recall ever disabling it. I still can’t access it.
MeWe is an American social media and social networking service owned by Sgrouples Inc., a company based in Culver City, California. MeWe’s light approach to content moderation has made it popular among American conservatives, conspiracy theorists, and anti-vaxxers. (source)
The site’s interface has been described as similar to that of Facebook, although the service describes itself as the “anti-Facebook” due to its focus on data privacy.
MeWe is a free social media platform, owned and operated in the USA (domain name registered in 1998, website launched in 2001). It claims to be “Free Forever” and both the website and the mobile apps (Android and iOS) contain no ads or spyware. MeWe says members have complete control over what they share, along with full ownership of their content and data. Members can see every post, chat, or comment made by individuals and groups they are connected to, in timeline order with no interference.
MeWe has no ads, no spyware, no content manipulation, no facial recognition, and no Russians (or anyone) paying to show you fake news. But it isn’t the wild wild West either, obviously, there’s the usual ban on unlawful conduct and content.
But, the social network’s policies also ban “obscene or pornographic content” as well as impersonating someone. However there is an adult side of MeWe, but those pages are gated and censored until you are accepted beyond the gate.
Revenue is generated from their enterprise version of MeWePro.
The MSM labeled MeWe as “Where Anti-Vaxxers and Conspiracy Theorists Thrive = What social media looks like without all the oversight?“
MeWe has a premium service for $4.99 a month that gives you video journals for your stories; unlimited voice and video calling; unlimited custom emojis and stickers, unlimited custom themes, 100Gb of MeWe Cloud Storage, and a Premium Profile Badge. (source)
MeWe is stating that they have grown to nearly 18 million users in early 2021.
MeWe is available on the web and mobile (Android and iOS)
My personal review of MeWe
I joined MeWe in April 2020 and I use it about once a week. It has its pluses and negatives, but it isn’t Facebook, then Then again, I’m not looking for Facebook. Of the three alternatives I shared today, I suggest you try MeWe first. Contact me here and I will friend you on MeWe.
The user interface is very much Facebook-like, and the flow of how you do things is also very Facebook-like. I think the problem for me, is I honestly haven’t spent the time engaging with other like-minded people on MeWe. I do find the chat interface annoying as it really wants to be front and center and on the mobile interface, it wants to appear as the focus window often. Each group you belong to has a chat page and every time someone says something the window wants you to know it and changes focus.
There are a fair amount of groups to choose from, but you have to do some digging to find them. Your wall will be bare unless you add pages and groups to it as well. But gone are all the ads like on Facebook. The one big difference that I have noticed is the wall feed is live, meaning it constantly refreshes. The web app does tend to want to log you off every so often. MeWe controls what is Adult Content (Age 18+) as I have seen a ton of content that is not even close to being adult content. I’m also not a fan of having to join a group before you can read/see what they are all about. I have joined and then left countless groups for that very reason.