I don’t like to be didactic, but I increasingly feel the need to say this. Some years ago, I ceased my brief experiment with Twitter and Facebook. I have even greater reasons for not just refusing to have my own accounts – which includes for Between The Stools – but not engaging with other people’s.
So I am now stating that I won’t watch a video on YouTube or Facebook, won’t read Google’s Blogger accounts, and sadly I’ll be minimal when writing with those with gmail accounts. You’re right to assume that I don’t search with Google either.
I am perturbed that in a year where it has become ever more obvious that these giants not only spy on us but now censor what we say that so many spiritual people continue to have a presence on these platforms. Churches, lightworkers, temples, activists, artists. Even when some of these are cut down, they continue to use these channels, knowing that their work may disappear, or that they need to use code to obfuscate their real message.
Why have we allowed them to take over knowledge, to become policy drivers and propagandists, who surely benefit from all that is being enacted at present; to tell us that we may only advertise and express ourselves in ways which they permit. Paid trolls supporting their narrative can continue, despite their irony regarding breaking community guidelines, and asking for libel.
Many are starting up new accounts. It is rubbish – as I’ve heard said – that those being deplatformed are hate filled extremists. There are many love spreading truth tellers receiving this treatment.
I am also tired of Wikipedia and other instant answers to questions I didn’t even ask, which try to spread hate and misinformation about sites I wish to visit or persons and subjects I wish to look up.
If you use private browsers with privacy extensions – which I don’t wholly trust either – you can actually see how much these websites spy on you, even when you’re on someone else’s. There are so many trackers on social media and Google that they can run out of space to show them.
I am also wary of other platforms such as Instagram and Zoom…and of course, Microsoft and Amazon.
We need to move off these platforms entirely and find other ways to search and communicate. We need to stop seeing Google analytics a savvy entrepeneur’s traffic management tool, and understand that it makes us party to surveillance on our visitors. We need to stop using Google’s recaptcha and Cloudflare and Wordfence as safety mechanisms, and recognise them as spying bully bouncers who stop genuine site visitors who care about privacy. You are probably losing your best customers and audience.
We need to stop saying: it’s simply the way the world is and that our lives aren’t that interesting and as they’re good, it doesn’t matter who sees what we’re doing. We need to wake up to big data and big pharma, to the level of propaganda and reconnaissance happening.
We can make a stand – one that’ll be noticed – by moving our accounts and our visits to places which respect our privacy, allow us freedom of speech. We no longer give custom to places – digital or otherwise – which don’t. A mass migration to the growing alternatives will help underscore this message. (I invite you to do your own research on this
I recently preached on waking up. It is urgent that we do so and that we practice what we preach.