i began using internet communities (also known as 'social networks') nearly a decade ago, with tribe.net. for those who are unaware of the legend that is/was tribe.net, it was one of the first social networks and included groups, profile building, video embedding and connecting with others from around our planet. tribe.net still exists, yet it has long since been abandoned by most of us for the shinier and more functional social networks that so many of us are using today. the discussion topics on tribe were wide and varied, with a particular focus on the more esoteric and unusual areas of life that aren't covered by the mainstream media and corporate internet sites. tribe.net was an early model and is functionally simple, there (still) are no complex artificial intelligence algorithms being used by tribe.net, behind the scenes, to spy on and 'help' the users of the site. the activity on the site mostly arose from our own 'human neural networks' inside us - therefore the tribe groups were often creative, lively, inspired and generally friendly places - where real, honest relationships could be born.
among the most significant benefits of tribe.net, were that almost no censoring took place. moderators of groups may have occasionally ejected a member if they pushed on others in the group too much (in several years of moderating a group there, i ejected only one member - in a case where someone was making violent threats for no clear reason). part of the cause of this open minded, open hearted and uncontrolled environment is that the majority of the users of tribe.net are the same ones that build the famed 'burning man festival' - where all rules are deliberately trashed in an explosion of dust, artistry and mayhem every year.
meanwhile, myspace.com (now absorbed as part of rupert murdoch's media empire) and other social networks were expanding and offering different approaches to the question of 'how do we make social interactions online more fruitful?'. many people truly loved tribe.net; while the other, more commercially-oriented sites seemed fake and too controlled in comparison.
eventually tribe was sold to cisco - a large corporation which is known, for one, for assisting the chinese government in hunting and torturing those that the government agents do not like - including members of the falung gong spiritual peace movement. from then on, tribe.net was left to rot and is now a shadow of it's former self. the controllers of the corporate version of reality had applied their agenda and dictated social interaction once again, as they have done in so many other areas of life, from food supplies, through to sports, entertainment, government, medicine, war/peace and so on.
returning to this now moment: there are many different forms of social networks, from the giants such as facebook & google+, through to the multitudes of other, smaller, more focused networks that have been created using specialised software services or that are custom made (usually using open source software). however, the same old problems still exist - the same symptoms of control that have plagued life on earth for so long are still found to be reflected through many of the more popular and newer social software services, only now these symptoms have slightly changed form. the technology may be evolving, yet the dysfunctional consciousness remains present, to some extent. now, the big networks present a public face of being 'for the community' and do whatever they can to present an image that will be attractive enough to suck in as many of us as possible, while ensuring that they do not reveal enough of their fullest, true activity that the majority leave in disgust - for moral, ethical, financial or safety reasons.
in short, the operators of these large mega networks are not operating with full integrity, they never have and they show no signs of changing soon.
well.. would a friend who wants you to be free and not control you:
i could go on and on with these.. and many of these are only the items taken from the 'censorship' section of the 'free software' advocate and prime-creator of the gnu/linux operating system, richard stallman's webpage about facebook.
the privacy section from richard's page about facebook quickly begins to read like a script from a horror or sci-fi movie, written to describe a totalitarian, soul-less world where technology and psychopaths rule the rest of the planet as slaves. except that this is not fiction, these are the documented actions of facebook.
some of the key points regarding the facebook team's handling of our privacy on their network:
i will only add to the list here that facebook is owned and operated by individuals associated with some of the more controversial and ruthless names in the earth story, including those who own and operate monsanto, possibly the most hated group on earth.
here, facebook is shown to be 'profiting' hugely from the 'theft' of video plays from other sites using 'creative' ways to gain page views and ad revenues:
in my own experience, no, they are not much better. i have seen my own comments on youtube censored and even worse than that: the comments are censored - yet i am not informed they have been censored and i am left thinking that others can read them. this is a direct violation of freedom of speech and is extremely duplicitous. i can think of no other websites that do this.
true health requires true balance and true respect for free-will expression. full acceptance of free-will is also full respect of each other and of self.
when hierarchic policies are created by agents of tyrannical governments and corporations that overpower and deny our free-will (by way of causing control, censoring, loss of connection - inspiring and inspired by a loss of personal empathy), what results is not community and is not healthy. what results in these circumstances is imbalance and a loss of a large amount of who we are - we are, as a result, hugely limited - whereas we need to be unlimited; potentially great changes are stifled and life is far less enjoyable than it could be and than it has always been intended to be.
so while the mega corporations purchased the previously independently run myspace & tribe and while other groups invested 'billions of dollars' into facebook and other platforms - others among us could clearly see that the corporate approach is fundamentally a heartless and limiting approach, thus we looked for other solutions.
can a vibrant, honest and healthy community truly be built when the space includes invisible security guards and hidden microphones with direct feeds into spy agencies... that are quietly being used to eliminate those who speak in particular ways or cross 'lines of acceptability'? 'lines of acceptability' that are not even clearly discernible to those within the community? ABSOLUTELY NOT.
the resulting community, is what has been seen on these networks already - which is a disjointed structure where true relationships are not so easy to build, where adverts for sniper rifles and breast implants compete for mind-space along side truly evolutionary and beneficial information from your friends - the friends you desire to communicate with.. the same friends that make up the community and without whom, facebook and google+ could not exist.
while these networks do provide useful tools for connecting us together and can serve us in some ways - they are only doing so as a result of the innate qualities we possess as living beings - to create, share and communicate. yet, they do so at the expense of limiting us in ways which can easily and correctly be identified as 'evil' when the fuller details emerge and are comprehended in depth.
i am the prime-creator of this online community (ureka.org), so i am well placed to comment here. i will explain the choices i am making with ureka.org that are intended to overcome the downsides to the massive social networks and i will explain why i am choosing them. (i have also added a small list at the bottom of the page here, of other social networks that i consider to be reliable replacements for the mega-corporate sites).
i could continue, yet this page is already long enough and i trust you have by now read enough to receive clarity on the direction here. yes, there are minor bugs in the software here, yet we can and do fix bugs much more easily than replacing a highly imbalanced corporate psychology of domination, empire building and over-riding of the desires of others in favor of (false) perceptions of social and political 'gains'.
i have searched the web for english speaking social networks for my own use and so far have not found many that i like and would recommend. most are either too closed/controlled in the ways i have already described, or they are not complete enough or functionally useful to recommend at this point. however, here's a small selection of some of the best:
if you've got any comments then i'd appreciate reading them and as all-ways you are welcome to and requested to share this with your friends using the share button at the top-right of the page.
to unity, balance & health!