By the way, Tales is now on Me-We.
Follow this link: Tales on Me-We
Last month, Sheila McNallen posted that her husband, Steve, had been kicked off of Facebook, “apparently forever.” Steve is the founder of the Ásatrú Folk Assembly, a group headquartered in California that advocates for a return to Germanic Paganism, including an espousal of what they have deemed traditional, Nordic white values. The Asatru Folk Assembly has been classified as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, and in one YouTube video with more than 30,000 views, McNallen enumerates his theories on race, point by point, including his belief that racial differences are inherent to biology and his desire to defend the white race against “numerous threats to our future.” “I will fight for my race, primarily with words and ideas, but I will fight more literally if I have to,” he vows.
In the 36 comments on Sheila McNallen’s post, Facebook users sympathized with the McNallens’ plight, grousing over Facebook’s recent crackdown on white supremacists and sharing various platforms that would be more receptive to people who share his views. “Please look at MeWe,” one user wrote. “Many are heading over there.”
In an email to Rolling Stone, McNallen, who said he no longer has an official position in the Ásatrú Folk Assembly, confirmed he did indeed have a profile on the social networking app. He also expressed befuddlement that he had been banned from Facebook in the first place, saying that he has “NEVER advocated violence and I have NEVER insulted, threatened, or ridiculed any ethnic, religious, or racial group.”
“I don’t expect you to agree with my religious, social, or political beliefs – I’m good with that,” he said. “But the honest truth is that people have been driven off of Facebook for bullshit reasons.”
A lot of people agree with McNallen, even those who don’t necessarily share his extremist views — and many of them are heading over to MeWe. Following the morass of negative media coverage surrounding Facebook’s propagation of fake news, the social media giant has issued a highly public mea culpa, cracking down on hate groups like the Ásatrú Folk Assembly as well as anti-vaxxers and other types of conspiracy theorists like Alex Jones and company. As these users are being booted from or being subject to deplatforming (a term for deprioritizing content in news feeds and making it difficult to search for) on Facebook, they’re increasingly fueled by the belief that mainstream networks are censoring their views — and this is, arguably, making them even angrier and more vocal. They’re looking for platforms that will provide a home for their ideas, and newer, less stringent platforms like MeWe have been all too happy to serve this function.
MeWe was founded by entrepreneur and privacy advocate Mark Weinstein, a cheerful, loquacious man and a self-identified libertarian. He’s friendly and open, with a hoarse voice that occasionally crackles with emotion, and he’s also prone to the occasional fit of bombast: “I’m one of the guys who invented social media,” he cheerfully tells me at the start of our conversation. An MBA graduate from the UCLA School of Management, Weinstein launched his first venture, SuperGroups (which included SuperFamily and SuperFriends), in 1998, allowing users to create free, multi-member community website; that venture, a sort of precursor to Facebook groups shut down in 2001. He then developed a professional coaching and training service, publishing a series of self-help books under the “Habitually Great” brand.
As he recalls it, Weinstein watched Facebook’s ascent to global domination with horror, viewing what he perceived to be its relentless crusade against user privacy. “Social media wasn’t invented for us to be data to be bought and sold and for the governments around the world to be able to have access to know everything about us,” he tells Rolling Stone. He became committed to engineering and building a social network “that didn’t spy on people, that didn’t track them, that didn’t sell them down the river.”
The end result was MeWe, a social networking app that claimed to fiercely protect user privacy. The genesis of the name, says Weinstein, is exactly what it sounds like: “My life is composed of me and then my ‘we,’ which is everybody that’s part of my life. That’s the we. It resonates really well with people. People love our name. We get a lot of thumbs up on our brand.” MeWe was released to minor acclaim in 2016, but it didn’t really start taking off until last year, when it started trending in the Google Play store and grew 405 percent, from 700,000 members to 3 million.
MeWe is not known as a hotbed of extremist discourse in the same way that 8Chan or Discord are, nor does it have nearly as big of a user base. (The gaming platform Discord, for instance, which has attracted criticism for its lax moderation policies, has 145 million users.) Keegan Hankes, senior research analyst at the SPLC’s intelligence project, is familiar with MeWe, and has seen far-right extremists like McNallen gravitating to the platform. But Hankes isn’t as concerned about MeWe’s ability to serve as an echo chamber for Facebook expats as nearly as he is about Facebook and Twitter serving as a radicalization portal for those susceptible to far-right extremist messaging.
“The way I look at this, Facebook and Twitter have always served as funnels to get people in more extreme communities,” he says. “You want to keep [extremists] out of the major platforms, and you want to limit exposure. Those sub-communities that are hard to see, hard to track and have very radical individuals — they have always existed.”
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This article has been updated to clarify that many different types of users, not just those on the far right, use the MeWe platform. An additional quote from Weinstein has been added to emphasize that point.
Over the last several years, we have clearly seen the writing on the wall that Big Tech would start getting far more aggressive about how it polices content. Not satisfied with merely fact checking and adding notices, entire channels have been deleted for wrongthink.
Readers might have noticed, however, that while we continue to highlight the injustices seen across social media, we do not advocate for government intervention. Instead, we always have promoted the building of entirely new systems. Nevertheless, most people do not understand how laborious and costly such an undertaking really is – especially now that Big Tech systems are so firmly entrenched in the daily lives of most people. However, due to millions of readers across independent media being told they have no access to the information they desire, we are now witnessing a dramatic increase in the breadth of alternative offerings as well as much higher quality.
Below, for example, is a group of our most respected independent journalists who recently threw a Goodbye YouTube Party (originally hosted on YouTube, LOL!!!). You’ll notice that there are no tears shed for their collective deplatforming, but rather an agreement that this is an exciting new beginning.
Goodbye YouTube indeed – look at today’s Tweet from rival BitChute:
NEW HIGH! 🚀 Top 600 USA 🇺🇸 and top 1900 worldwide with record high interest. We keep growing despite all the odds and obstacles thanks to you. Amazing creators, an amazing community and amazing support. Thank you all! 🚀🚀🚀😎 https://t.co/BvJkXbew0N pic.twitter.com/S7zpj6e6bV
— BitChute (@bitchute) November 14, 2020
There are many new social media channels, but we would like to highlight where we participate the most frequently so that our readers have a clearer understanding of how to migrate over to these new platforms TODAY. You also will find ALL of our content at these sites.
SoMee (Somee.social) – This platform might prove to be the true Facebook killer. It’s a project that is still in Beta, but has framed an incredible system to “gamify” audience participation. With a built-in cryptocurrency wallet, readers can earn SoMee tokens (ONG) for posting, upvoting and eventually commenting on their favorite content. An ad-share marketplace is also currently being designed. Additionally, SoMee has made a commitment to free speech without arbitrary censorship based on politics – only the most obviously egregious violations will result in removal and bans. SoMee currently has 80,000 users with very little marketing of the project. In our estimation, their slow rollout is indicative of a careful and long-lasting approach. Activist Post contributor Aaron Kesel is involved with SoMee as business development director. Perhaps most refreshing of all is how positive and supportive the community is with a broad range of cultures taking part. A tutorial is posted below. Once you sign up, you can send us a friend request at https://somee.social/profile/activist-post/. You can also follow SoMee’s mission to bring transparency to their development here.
Flote (Flote.app) – This platform has been heavily promoted by Josh Sigurdson of World Alternative Media, as well as Derrick Broze of The Conscious Resistance Network. Flote also has a built-in crypto wallet where Bitcoin donations can be sent and received by users. Flote is fast, simple, super clean and also offers video hosting. Please visit us at: https://flote.app/ActivistPost. Here is an introduction to this censorship-resistant site which is currently seeing a massive influx of new users judging by the uptick in our personal followers:
Minds (minds.com) – This is one of the longer-running alternative platforms where we’ve been participating. Here, too, you can find a built-in wallet for crypto tokenization and transfer. Please visit us: https://www.minds.com/ActivistPost/. Here is an interview with co-founder Bill Ottman giving an overview of their mission for decentralized social media based on privacy and transparency, as well as some of the key features.
Parler (Parler.com) – This platform is becoming the de facto Twitter of the “right” and is absolutely exploding in the wake of this heavily contested election. While it is indeed heavily focused on the establishment political right, there is a growing diversity of voices there including AP contributor Spiro Skouras and many other respected independent voices. Follow us here: https://parler.com/profile/Activist/
MeWe (mewe.com): This is a new one for us, but not for many others. We finally set up our profile after being prodded by our good friends at The Free Thought Project. MeWe – along with Parler – is among the top 3 most downloaded apps right now as the Big Tech Exodus accelerates. Follow us here: https://mewe.com/i/activistpost
Here’s an excellent overview of MeWe, including strategies to build your own MeWe presence from our friend Jack Spirko:
Lastly, censorship is not only online. Recently, PayPal deleted our account after 10 years in good standing without explanation. Their only stated reason was “potential risk.” They also froze our funds for 180 days. The impact was significant, so we do appreciate support at Patreon where you can follow us for as little as $1 per month HERE. We also accept crypto support here: https://www.activistpost.com/support
Please choose at least one of these platforms today and accompany us on this journey to build something great!
China and 14 other countries have agreed to form the world’s largest free-trade bloc, encompassing nearly a third of all economic activity, in a deal many in Asia are hoping will help hasten a recovery from the shocks of the coronavirus pandemic.
The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, or RCEP, was signed virtually on Sunday on the sidelines of the annual summit of the 10-nation Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
In the online ceremony, leaders of RCEP countries took turns standing behind their trade ministers who, one by one, signed copies of the agreement, which they then showed triumphantly to the cameras.
“RCEP will soon be ratified by signatory countries and take effect, contributing to the post-COVID pandemic economic recovery,” said Nguyen Xuan Phuc, prime minister of Vietnam, which hosted the ceremony as ASEAN chair.
RECP will take already low tariffs on trade between member countries still lower, over time. It will account for 30 percent of the global economy, 30 percent of the global population and reach 2.2 billion consumers, according to Vietnam.
RCEP “will help reduce or remove tariffs on industrial and agricultural products and set out rules for data transmission,” said Luong Hoang Thai, head of the Multilateral Trade Policy Department at Vietnam’s Ministry of Industry and Trade.
In addition to the 10 ASEAN nations, the accord includes China, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand, but not the United States. Officials said the accord leaves the door open for India, which dropped out due to fierce domestic opposition to its market-opening requirements, to rejoin the bloc.
“After eight years of negotiating with blood, sweat and tears, we have finally come to the moment where we will seal the RCEP Agreement,” Malaysia’s Trade Minister Mohamed Azmin Ali, said in a statement ahead of the ceremony.
The deal sends a signal that RCEP countries have chosen “to open our markets instead of resorting to protectionist measures during this difficult time,” he said.
The accord is a coup for China, by far the biggest market in the region with more than 1.3 billion people, allowing Beijing to cast itself as a “champion of globalisation and multilateral cooperation” and giving it greater influence over rules governing regional trade, Gareth Leather, senior Asian economist for Capital Economics, said in a report.
The US is absent from RCEP and the 11-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) deal that US President Donald Trump pulled out of shortly after taking office. This leaves the world’s biggest economy out of two trade groups that span the fastest-growing region on earth.
Now that Trump’s opponent Joe Biden has been declared president-elect, the region is watching to see how US policy on trade and other issues will evolve.
Analysts are skeptical Biden will push hard to rejoin the trans-Pacific trade pact or to roll back many of the US trade sanctions imposed on China by the Trump administration given the widespread frustration with Beijing’s trade and human rights records and accusations of spying and technology theft.
Ahead of Sunday’s RCEP “special summit” meeting, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said he would firmly convey his government’s support for “broadening a free and fair economic zone, including a possibility of India’s future return to the deal and hope to gain support from the other countries”.
The RCEP agreement is loose enough to stretch to fit the disparate needs of member countries as diverse as Myanmar, Singapore, Vietnam and Australia. Unlike the European Union, it does not establish unified standards on labour and the environment or commit countries to open services and other vulnerable areas of their economies.
But it does set rules for trade that will facilitate investment and other business within the region, Jeffrey Wilson, research director at the Perth USAsia Centre, said in a report for the Asia Society, an organisation that promotes US-Asia understanding.
“RCEP, therefore, is a much-needed platform for the Indo-Pacific’s post-COVID recovery,” he wrote.
The pact will take effect once enough participating countries ratify the agreement domestically within the next two years.
ASEAN members include Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Myanmar, the Philippines, Thailand, Brunei, Singapore, Malaysia and Vietnam.