The web was once a libertarian dream and a perfect clash of ideas. Now, it is closed to those who do not toe the line for those in power. There are now terms of service that are so long, people do not have the time to read it. Included in these terms are clauses that allow them to punish anyone for so-called offenses committed outside of the platform the terms apply to. In the interest of coddling their liberal users and increasing profits for investors, all of the Big Tech platforms will ban content, manipulate search results, and generally render their own sites less usable. At the end of the day, the digital libertarian experiment of the early web has failed.
This failure has led NHTB to host the following services:
- WordPress self-hosted blogs (by request and at the discretion of the admins)
- Discourse forum
- Jitsi Videoconferencing
- Pleroma (Twitter-like federated social)
- NHTB.to URL Shortener
- Email (by request and at the discretion of the admins)
- Funkwhale audio hosting
- PeerTube video hosting
- OpenID Connect/OAuth2 SSO (available to other webmasters by request)
- “chan”-style image board
- Booru-style image board
- Secure password manager (encrypted end-to-end, in transport, in database, and on-disk)
- GitLab source code repository
- Nextcloud file storage (filesystem is encrypted on-disk)
(If you are interested in any of the “by request” services, send an email to email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org, and we will make decisions on a case-by-case basis. Admins can also be reached via XMPP at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.)
The reasons for providing alternatives to “Big Tech” offerings are detailed below.
YouTube and Other Video Services
YouTube earns money by selling advertising to show to viewers before, during, and after the videos that they watch. This business model means that it is in their financial interest to have as many channels popular enough to monetize on their platform. Despite this, many very popular figures have been first demonetized and then banned for supposed violations of vague and ever-changing rules. These are people who were playing by the rules of web 1.0 and bringing ad revenue to Google via the popularity of their videos and messages. This symbiotic relationship began to change in ways detrimental to content creators when the ADL, SPLC, and other Leftist organizations began to gain more power and influence within American culture and the tech world.
YouTube began first demonetizing and then outright banning content creators that violated new policies that seemed to have been written at the behest of organizations that disagreed with the messaging presented by creators with a Right-wing point of view. As more and more people were removed from YouTube’s platform, the need for alternatives became clear. So-called “alt-tech” platforms were created to compete with YouTube and offer the orphaned content creators a platform to share their message.
BitChute is one such platform that offered exciting technologies to host videos using fewer computing resources than YouTube and provide a similar experience to 2010-2016 era YouTube. It was labelled a so-called echo chamber for those banned from YouTube for their views and messages. As the platform grew, BitChute’s focus shifted to attracting the same sort of clientele that YouTube catered to. This shift in focus caused BitChute to implement content restrictions and similar terms to their competitor’s. The site began deleting videos for, again, supposed violations of nebulous terms and conditions. Soon after that, they started deleting entire channels, leaving creators with nowhere to post their content and with ever-shrinking audiences. Notably, Nordic Frontier was shut down for seemingly no reason at all after a “hope not hate” conference with the BitChute founders. The same puppet masters who had pioneered the removal from YouTube had now arrived at BitChute. Dlive follows the same story-line with predictable outcomes: twitch alternative, free speech friendly, but do not get political if you are on the Right.
Social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook have followed similar, and possibly even more draconian, paths as YouTube and other video hosts. Twitter began as a platform that championed people’s absolute right to freedom of speech, but as Left-leaning organizations grew in power, that shifted in much the same way as YouTube et al. Twitter’s Terms of Service (ToS) became an ever-shifting morass of vague rules and policies designed to keep users not offended and clicking through ads. This led to ever increasing numbers of suspensions and bans for so-called “hate speech” (itself a nebulous term with an ever-changing definition). These changing policies have led to an era where even President Donald Trump was removed from Twitter. It was during all of these changes that alternative social media sites such as Gab, Parler, Minds, etc. were developed to champion free speech and give those Twitter and other Big Tech platforms deemed “undesirables” a place to voice their thoughts and opinions. It seemed at this time that Parler would take the stage as the free speech platform of choice for “microblogging”. They may have been able to, if it were not for their use of Amazon Web Services. Parler had their service terminated by Amazon during people’s flight from Twitter, and were only allowed to reopen when they agreed to limit free speech. The cycle once again repeated itself.
As most know, Amazon started as a bookseller that did not limit their inventory due to the content of the publications they sold. Over the years, this policy has changed for many of the same reasons the ToS of the video and social media sites did. These days, Amazon and all major publishers are censoring publications, especially political works produced by those on the Right. If someone leans Right in their politics, they may not be published by the established publishing houses, and if a person manages to somehow get them to publish their work, it will be removed from the Amazon marketplace (a de facto monopoly) as soon as they are informed by the same powers advocating for video and social media censorship of their objections to the content of the work. As an example, a book titled The Transgender Industrial Complex by Scott Howard was removed within a week of being published on Amazon. This sudden rise in literary censorship has led to alternative publishing houses being founded. Antelope Hill Publishing, unbeholden to the powerful interests influencing policy at the Big Tech companies, saw fit to publish the book, making it available to those that wish to read it and decide for themselves if the author’s message is agreeable or not.
The Shekel Question
When tech does not comply hastily enough with these draconian free speech infringements outlined by the aforementioned NGO’s, ironically, they get deplatformed from payment processors, which makes up the foundation of their business. Companies within the financial transaction stack such as Visa and Mastercard (a duopoly controlling credit card issuance), Paypal and Stripe (online payment processing), GoFundMe and Patreon (crowdfunding sites reliant on companies further up the stack) are all hostile to dissidence and maintain far-left positions as corporate policy. Attempts to recreate them have failed due to companies higher in the stack being beholden to the same puppeteers holding the strings on the banking backend.
- Gab was blacklisted by Visa and five independent banks within five weeks
- PayPal shut down BitChute
- Stripe nixed Trump’s campaign funding
- Discover shut down people’s ability to donate to Kyle Rittenhouse; later, his fundraising was shut down by one of the big processors, severely limiting his legal defense capabilities.
- Dlive was threatened by Visa and Mastercard, leading to a huge ban of some of the biggest creators on the platform
NHTB is self-funded, so the banking threat is absent, thus our moral conviction cannot be compromised.
Nobody Has the .Biz!
This site was founded to provide a forum for Right Wing dissidents after the closing of one of the many iterations of The Right Stuff’s forum.
Dissident people need someone who is sympathetic to their worldview and holds to the same principles as them to not cave to the pressures of their political enemies. How many times do dissidents need to be cancelled by YouTube, Dlive, BitChute etc. before they learn to use a federated service like NHTB has here (our linked PeerTube even supports livestreams)? Dissidents continue to pay money and use services that hate them, only to have their podcast deleted from Spreaker, Libsyn, etc. for the same reasons put forth by the same people every time. Here we have a Funkwhale instance with RSS/Atom feeds, which allow podcasters and musicians to build a following for their material. If enough people ask, NHTB could host a Reddit clone (again) to feed their dopamine addiction via upvotes.
Any time anyone uses a service, they must trust them with their info and, potentially, their future due to doxing and other data disclosures (sometimes caused by hacks/leaks, other times by malicious revelation). Will dissidents continue to be a platform refugees, jumping from hostile site to hostile site like a masochistic abuse victim, or will they decide to trust people that hold their same views and have put together a platform to allow free expression of those views? The logical choice seems obvious. Many sites undoubtedly offer attractive services with the promise of free speech, but, with the profit motive ever present, they will sell you out just like every other company before them for just 30 pieces of silver. In the beginning, YouTube only banned those with the “most extreme” views/messaging, and then within 4 years all dissidents were removed as Google used the aforementioned ephemeral rules to further restrict what was allowable. Plan now and make a home here, where /ourgoys/ are hosting without the libertarian nightmare profit motive as an avenue for subversion by hostile interests.