CONSERVATIVE SOCIAL MEDIA APPS
As conservative distrust of social media giants rises, conservatives search for alternative media platforms.
New York Social Media Strategist Kris Ruby joined Fox and Friends to discuss Parler, The New Twitter for Conservatives.
The rise of free speech social media networks & right-wing social media apps
What is driving the adoption rate of right-wing social media platforms?
Conservative platforms are on the rise. The promise of zero censorship is appealing to conservatives who have been censored from traditional social media platforms. However, the promise of zero censorship is very hard to implement. As long as platforms are hosted on centralized servers, there will always be some level of censorship.
There is a delicate balance between publisher and platform. Content moderation, encryption, decentralization, and content ownership will be important areas to watch as winners and losers emerge in the race for conservative social media platforms.
In the United States, the social media discourse is focused on social media apps for liberals vs. conservatives. The conversation has shifted to the creation of separate platforms to exist on with like-minded individuals. This is problematic because it creates partisan echo chambers. For example, Truth Social is seen as a Conservative social media platform, while Bluesky is seen as a Liberal social media platform.
Big Tech Censors Conservatives.
Political Media, Right-Leaning Influencers & the rise of Conservative Social Media Platforms
Conservatives are banned daily on social media platforms at an alarming rate. They are frequently blocked, banned, and removed from Twitter and other mainstream social media platforms. This has led to the rise of other conservative social media marketing platforms like GAB, Parler, or GETTR.
Why are Conservatives flocking to alternative social media platforms?
As VCs capitalize on the opportunity to create alternative media platforms for fifty percent of the country, there will be a red gold rush.
Conservatives are attracted to alternative social media platforms because there is a lack of trust in big tech. It’s beyond only creating a Twitter for Trump fans. It is the idea that people are saying you have betrayed our trust and violated it over and over again. We aren’t going to take it anymore.
FREE SPEECH & SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORMS
Where do you draw the line between freedom of speech and freedom of reach?
What is Parler?
Free speech social media networks: what you need to know about Parler.
Parler is dubbed a Twitter alternative for conservatives. More than one million users have downloaded the app since the U.S. election in 2020.
Parler carved out a niche among previously Twitter-banned conservative influencers like Laura Loomer and Milo Yiannopoulos. Now, other companies are looking to cash in on alternative social media platforms for Conservatives after Parlers mixed fate.
“If censorship continued on the right they would rise up and create their own social platform. That is exactly what Parler did and I expect other platforms to follow in their footsteps.”
Parler’s Growth Acquisition Strategy:
The growth of conservative social media networks like GAB, Parler, Callin, and Truth Social
Parler’s strategy for initial users is not necessarily its marketing or PR strategy for the long term. There are a lot of dissatisfied conservatives with big tech, so it’s an easy audience to initially target before this space becomes over-saturated as more players enter the market.
Parler has attempted to rebrand itself as nonpartisan, but it is missing the boat on its core demo and base. Democrats are not necessarily looking for free speech alternative social media platforms because their speech isn’t the speech that is being censored. They don’t have the same pain point that conservatives do.
In my opinion, it is a mistake to cast such a wide net. Apolitical social media users will find it increasingly harder to find a digital home as more social networks increasingly become divided over politics.
Parler represents a social media movement grounded in the quest for free speech platforms.
It is important to understand why people moved to this social media platform. Parler is a movement. It’s not a marketing channel replacement for Facebook. The same is true for Gab. The second either start getting exploited by marketers’, people will leave there too. It’s about being heard and conservatives not feeling silenced and censored.
Those that are active in these communities have already been on Parler and Gab for well over a year. Those who want to jump the fence because they hear about it now were never the target users for either of these platforms because those in the know already knew about them.
Only a select group of conservatives from Facebook will head over to Parler- ie- liberals are not heading to Parler in droves. It’s important to make that distinction. Social media platforms like Parler and Gab are politically minded with a majority of users leaning right.
If your goal is to market or exploit data or to spy on what people are saying on the right or just to hold your handle name, it’s probably best not to join. These are important communities for conservatives and the last thing they need or want this week is to feel like these sites will turn into another Facebook. They were never intended to be a replacement for it- If they were they would have more widespread appeal to people from both parties. They don’t.
Parler was originally called the new Twitter for conservatives. It does not say – Parler- the new Twitter for liberals. Or- Parler- the new Twitter.
Understanding that difference is critical to see the market share and end users these sites want. They do not want all of Facebook’s user base. If they did- that would defeat the very purpose of these apps- people create accounts there because they want to feel free to express a thought without concern of being fired. Mainstream appeal is not what these apps are going for.
Parler Canceled but back again: Is this the end of Parler and other free speech social media apps?
Why was Parler discontinued?
Parler, dubbed Twitter for the right, was recently removed from Apple and Google’s app stores and Amazon will no longer host its servers, effectively shutting it down. It is now back up again, but the big question is, how will this impact others in the space?
The app must comply with content moderation policies that include not inciting violence or physical threats.
Conservative and alternative social media platforms are on the rise.The key to the path forward is to match the technology with technological leadership.
Conservatives like Elon Musk and Kanye West are pushing back against big tech by taking control of traditionally controlled left leaning social media platforms.
However, owning a platform is not the same as running the tech behind it. In the past, we have seen some of these platforms fumble with major security issues and technical back end issues. For people to take conservative social media platforms seriously, the tech must match the promises. IE- a big tech platform that believes in free speech but then makes technical errors on the back end will hurt consumer trust.
Conservatives want to be taken seriously in big tech. That starts with having people with technical knowledge to make these dreams/ vision a reality. Without that, we will see a cycle of change of ownership because none of the people are putting the right people in the right positions to make the technical backend work for these right-leaning conservative social media platforms.
Kanye West to acquire conservative social media platform Parler
If Kanye West wants to make Parler successful, he has to hire the right executive talent and win back eroded consumer trust. Additionally, he must stop alienating members of the media with anti-Semitic statements. These statements do not represent or align with consumers who use alternative social media platforms and risk alienating early adopters. His statements are hurting the adoption of right-leaning platforms.
CONSERVATIVE SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORMS
Conservative-friendly social media networks
You can be shut down by Apple, Google, or Amazon. These conglomerates are more powerful than the United States Government. If you want to host your app on their platform, you have to abide by their rules or risk being de-platformed at a moment’s notice.
If the technological infrastructure is created by Silicon Valley tech giants in woke Corporate America, your app won’t stand a chance if it is hosted by platforms that are juxtaposed to your belief system. To combat this, conservative social media apps should be hosted on third-party providers and vendors who do not ideologically disagree with their stance.
Each political party needs its own political platform. The audiences are going to self-sort into the social media network that represents the speech they want to hear. It is clear that these audiences can’t co-exist. Social media has become inherently political and will always be contentious.
Harmonious conversation is not possible, especially with center-right speech on liberal media platforms. Conservatives don’t want to be bombarded by left-wing disruptors on social audio platforms, which is why they continue to create their own social media networks.
Facebook alternative for Conservatives:
Are there alternatives to Twitter or Facebook for Conservatives and Republicans?
Donald Trump launched a social media platform called Truth Social, which is widely used by conservatives looking for an alternative social media platform to Twitter and Facebook.
What is the best social media platform for Conservatives and Republicans?
Free speech alternative social media platform list + *NEW* Conservative social media apps
- Truth Social
Anti-censorship focus poses grave challenges for content moderation
To avoid the mistakes Parler made, a strong content moderation policy is necessary, as well as the digital infrastructure that supports it. Conservative social media apps should not rely on Amazon (AWS) for web hosting.
Social Media DeFi: Decentralized Social Media Networks
Recently, new social media platforms like GETTR and Truth Social have been built to stop censorship.
However, there is still debate over how far this can really go because the alternative social media platforms are built on centralized networks.
A truly decentralized social media platform would utilize blockchain technology and allow for self-governance.
“The future is crypto, blockchain, decentralization and on-chain governance.
That is the answer to big tech censorship. It is not going to be with one person creating a new app. It will be when the community is in control.” –@sparklingruby
— Kristen Ruby (@sparklingruby) November 12, 2021
The First Amendment and big tech censorship.
Parler has recently updated their content moderation policy with a new focus on the First Amendment. They also state that it follows SEC Guidelines. Unfortunately, they needed to implement a strong content moderation policy before it would ever be widely accepted as a social media platform. This should never have been an afterthought, and the damage may be too grave to repair in terms of lost consumer trust and brand loyalty.
[READ] Social Media Regulation: Legal expert on Section 230, social media censorship and the future of free speech on tech platforms.
Can free speech and social media co-exist with the rules and terms of service? Where will Parler users go next?
Free speech social media apps cannot co-exist within the current App Store TOS. If apps want to compete in this space, they have to have their own hosting and digital infrastructure from the ground up. Conservative social media apps will always be directly juxtaposed to the rhetoric in the App Store TOS.
The role social media plays in rallying the troops
Social media plays a critical role in rounding up a political base. But what happens when that base has no access to the information?
The troops will rally on other platforms, and we will see them move to encrypted micro-community platforms, like Discord, Signal or Telegram.
If Conservative content creators want to regain control, they need to create an ecosystem of services and goods from the ground up. That also starts with working with vendors and companies that are conservative-friendly so that you don’t have to constantly wonder when you wake up if you are de-platformed or if your podcast or app has been pulled because the host or server disagrees with your political ideology.
For example, if you want to grow your conservative podcast following, it needs to be on your own platform from the ground up. Conservatives are serious about creating that content and monetizing it. You can’t host it on a platform whose political ideology is completely opposed to the content you are creating. You will be pulled from AWS or the Apple Store. It is not a matter of if, it is a matter of when. At any given moment, you say one wrong thing and it will be pulled. For a conservative content creator, that is not a great place to live in.
It’s one thing for conservatives to talk about this, it’s another thing for them to say, you know what, we’ve had enough and we’re actually going to put our time as content creators into creating this alternative ecosystem and platform. I’m not saying it’s easy. I’m not saying it’s cheap. But what other option do we have other than just being pulled off the digital airwaves? Have your business shut down one by one?
Free speech and social media misinformation
Why is the social media censorship debate important in America?
There will always be a war between big tech and the war for free speech and social media information. The challenge becomes: who gets to determine what the definition of ‘misinformation’ truly is. Liberal tech giants believe the majority of information coming out of conservative media outlets is misinformation and thus will label it as such. Ideally, any oversight board for Facebook, Parler, or any social media app should be composed of both liberal and conservative leaders to give a fair and balanced view on what is truly deemed misinformation. The left should not have a monopoly on the arbitration of truth.
BIG TECH ANTITRUST HEARING:
When the CEOs of Apple, Amazon, Facebook, and Alphabet appeared before a House Judiciary subcommittee weighing antitrust issues, there was a debate on both sides of the aisle.
“As gatekeepers of the digital economy, these platforms enjoy the power to pick winners and losers, to shake down small businesses and enrich themselves while choking off competitors. Their ability to dictate terms, call the shots upend entire sectors and inspire fear represent the powers of a private government. Our founders would not bow before King, nor should we bow before the emperors of the online economy.”
– Chairman David Cicilline, a Democrat from Rhode Island.
President Trump and conservative politicians have long espoused that big tech skews left.
From shadow banning to conservatives being temporarily blocked and suspended from social media platforms, this is a typical scenario in big tech today.
The question is not whether the right or left is censored.
The most important question to tackle is: Is free speech being censored?
Free speech has been eroded when people are afraid to speak for fear of being canceled by a Twitter mob or big tech.
BIAS BAKED INTO GOOGLES QUALITY RATER GUIDELINES
When you review the Google Quality Rater Guidelines, a 160-page document from Google on website rating guidelines, it clearly lays out the criteria for what should be dinged as real news vs. fake news.
Anyone who controls the algorithm will exhibit a certain level of internal bias. Whether they realize it or not, most people subconsciously have a bias, which can impact things like the programming and development of AI marketing tools.
Whoever controls the algorithm controls the news and controls speech. From a content moderation standpoint, that is the largest threat and challenge that companies are faced with today.
What lessons can Conservative content creators learn from Parlers mistakes?
Conservative businesses in America must wake up to the new reality they now live in. What happened to Parler could happen to you, too.
Parler had two key issues: Finding reliable hosting and recovering the lost trust of people whose data may have been archived before the platform was taken down.
If you want to build an alternative model, that model must include owning every aspect of the social media app development and infrastructure from the ground up.
Without full control over servers, hosting and every component of the platform, you are at the mercy of cancel culture tech conglomerates who can ultimately decide to pull the plug on you at any time.
Another key takeaway is that data security and privacy matter. Parler was one of the few apps that asked for a copy of your license and SSN for verification- many are now left wondering, who has access to that data?
Outsourcing creates a weak link that leaves you exposed to cancel culture cancellations and exploitation. If you want to build a sustainable social media platform, you must build it from the ground up so that it has an enduring capability that is insulated. There is a need to replace Twitter and the market shows there is a ton of demand. But you need to own the ecosystem to replace it, not just parts of it.
Parler tried to build an alternative speech platform hosting with partners and vendors who essentially had liberal ideologies that were completely against what Parler was trying to do. They fundamentally overlooked how powerful Silicon Valley is and how quickly they would pull the plug on them.
All of that being said, Parler was also riddled with some issues of its own.
How do you create a free speech platform but also monitor the platform for calls for violence? These decisions need to be carefully thought through from a terms of service and policy perspective. Unfortunately, they went to market too soon without thinking through how to handle the backlash that would transpire.
Truly allowing free speech means enabling awful speech too. No one has come up with a viable solution for this on digital media platforms. I hope we can collectively figure it out. There must be a better way.
If conservatives truly want to compete against big tech tyranny, they will have to build an economically viable model and products that they have total control over. We barely have platforms left for conservatives to communicate on. All of the mainstream platforms that conservatives are on are one tweet away from being canceled or having their hosting pulled, too.
America has fundamentally split into two fractions and those pulling the levels of communication have different ideologies than those hosting their shows on these platforms. To deal with the problem, you need to address the root cause, not the symptom.
Parler is the symptom, it is not the problem.
What is the solution? Getting rid of the dependency on goods hosted on liberal platforms and services and maintaining independence. To truly compete against tech tyranny, conservatives must be in this for the long game and build a separate economy not only for social media messaging but for businesses, too.
Parler hosted their apps on platforms that don’t have aligned interests or ideologies with them. The fact that this was overlooked was an oversight and a mistake.
To solve this problem, we must build economic foundations to support conservative businesses and like-minded entrepreneurs. This is something I am focused on doing, and I encourage anyone who is interested in building this with me to reach out.
Most conservatives hate cancel culture. But the real problem is that they complain about cancel culture without canceling their dependence on using systems that no longer work for them.
But some users have had to bite the bullet in order to grow their following during political campaigns.
“The idea for a person like me that’s involved in politics and who has run for office is to amass as many followers on social media as possible to get your message out there as far and wide as you can to build an audience,” said Tom Slocum, who ran for office in Texas.
Slocum says that also means abiding by platform rules, at the expense of free speech principles.
“So it behooves me to play by these people’s set of rules that they’ve given me to play by and grow my follower accounts and be on all platforms (with the exception of TikTok).”
“I have had to go out of my way to restrict my speech and make sure that my speech does not go against the policies of numerous social media platforms to maintain the privilege of being on the app.”
“You have to play by their games and their rules or you will not exist on social media.”
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Social Media Services | NYC
Are you building a new social media platform for conservatives? Do you need PR consulting and media services? If so, Ruby Media Group would love to support your new app. If you are looking for a conservative social media consultant, contact us today. As a conservative-friendly social media company, we welcome clients with all political ideologies. Go woke. Go broke.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR | KRIS RUBY | NY POLITICAL MEDIA PUNDIT
The Kris Ruby Show focuses on the politics of big tech. Topics include the rise of new conservative social media platforms like Parler, cancel culture, brand activism, Section 230 of The Communications Decency Act, and Internet Privacy.
DATE LAST UPDATED: October 2023
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KRIS RUBY is the CEO of Ruby Media Group, an award-winning public relations and media relations agency in Westchester County, New York. Kris Ruby has more than 15 years of experience in the Media industry. She is a sought-after media relations strategist, content creator and public relations consultant. Kris Ruby is also a national television commentator and political pundit and she has appeared on national TV programs over 200 times covering big tech bias, politics and social media. She is a trusted media source and frequent on-air commentator on social media, tech trends and crisis communications and frequently speaks on FOX News and other TV networks. She has been featured as a published author in OBSERVER, ADWEEK, and countless other industry publications. Her research on brand activism and cancel culture is widely distributed and referenced. She graduated from Boston University’s College of Communication with a major in public relations and is a founding member of The Young Entrepreneurs Council. She is also the host of The Kris Ruby Podcast Show, a show focusing on the politics of big tech and the social media industry. Kris is focused on PR for SEO and leveraging content marketing strategies to help clients get the most out of their media coverage.