A conservative version of Facebook?

Crash dump!

Trump Jr. said that he supports a “conservative version of Facebook”:

When I asked him if his father’s 2020 campaign might build such a platform, Don Jr. said: “I’d love to do it. But what I would prefer is, take one of the two Silicon Valley conservatives and let them start it. And then I’d help promote the platform and be all over that.”

Source: Axios AM – August 30, 2018 – Axios

Facebook could use some good old fashioned competition, but what problem is Trump Jr. trying to address? Allegedly, Facebook, Twitter, Google and the rest of the Big Tech censor and suppress conservative voices. In my post on the topic, I said:

Those of us who are unhappy with the policies of the social media giants are, of course, free to leave. Conservatives could (and do) form their social media platforms and host them elsewhere. Without net neutrality, the hosts and cloud providers can regulate content as well.

It is worth reiterating that none of the big tech companies owe anybody anything with regards to the type of content they are willing to host. Let’s play this out though:

  1. A group of people unhappy with Facebook suppressing their content decides to form their own version. They could do so today — there is ton of open-source projects out there offering Facebook clones. Anyone can download the code, install it, and invite others to join;
  2. Now they need to host it somewhere. Where would this new service live? They could, of course, host it on AWS, Azure, or another cloud provider. They can also host it in their own data center with a high speed Internet connection;
  3. It used to be that net neutrality regulations prevented Internet companies from blocking or throttling lawful content. Since net neutrality has been repealed (by the conservative FCC, no less), there is nothing stopping the hosting providers from blocking content either;

The reality is that alternatives to Facebook, Twitter, and Google already exist. There is gab.ai, vero.co, Path, Reddit, and various open-source options. They all struggle, as a matter of fact.

Everyone is free to switch, and everyone is free to host their own social network. They will be, however, at the mercy of their hosting provider. Net neutrality was a good regulation. Repealing it was a mistake.