Nextdoor, the Most Fascist Social Media Site by Design

Many of us use social media on a daily basis in the same spirit that we use any other form of communication. True, the lack of physical proximity to another person does cause people to sometimes be nastier than they would in a physical meeting, but overall we respect everyone’s right to free speech. If a user has a problem with another user they can ignore them, block them, etc. just like in real life.

Some people felt that that wasn’t enough and want to control free speech itself. So on specifically on some social media site, like Nextdoor, people can report any content they want, anonymously, and usually get it removed. They can do it under the totally undefined guidelines of “don’t use Nextdoor as a soapbox”, or “be helpful not hurtful” or any other number of things. All of this is filtered through a neighborhood admin that makes the final decision, and may or may not be a true American when it comes to free speech. Essentially, this means that any content can be removed for any reason. The person reporting the largely non-offensive content, can be doing so simply because they are an investor in one of the companies that’s being talked about and it’s effecting their bottom line, for example. People are not required to list their investments after all, before pretending to be offended by a post that attacks Verizon, for example. I have personally seen Verizon investors try to have posts removed that are related to public broadband efforts, even though the posts are not offensive. They can claim something like, “over-posting” and since it effects their bottom line, you can be sure they’ll use every fascist means at their disposal to get it removed. After all, they have no allegiance to their countries or communities, just to their investments. Nextdoor’s policies makes it especially easy for them to get away with this behavior. By perverting their community policies, fascists in your community can control speech on this platform to protect their Corporate Dictatorships.

It is also worth mentioning that Nextdoor allows “sponsored content” (aka paid ads) from some of the most immoral companies to be run on the site, and sent to you in messages, but local businesses aren’t supposed to use the site to advertise for free. In short, the people in you community, working hard everyday, that have services you might actually need, are not allowed to use their community website to advertise in their own neighborhood for free, but if ultra-fascist big telecoms want to, hey no problem. Nextdoor is simply the most fascist social media site out there, but the good news is that it doesn’t have to be that way. If the community standards were adjusted to reflect other social media sites, and honor our constitution, it could be truly valuable.

Comcast’s New Bullshit Wireless Service (XFINITY Mobile)

So Comcast rolled out a plan similar to Google’s Project FI recently. I was, like most thinking Americans, skeptical. I knew it had to come with a horrible catch attached to it, like possibly requiring my mother to undergo experimental medical testing to get the deal. Comcast is one of the most hated companies in American history after all and their partner Verizon isn’t far behind. Actually, Comcast is one of the most hated companies in all of human history.

Google, a Net_Neutral company, partnered with slightly more reasonable wireless carriers T-Mobile and US Cellular but their pricing is about the same. Still, their pro Net-Neutral stance shows that they are at least a progressively run company for the time being.

Comcast partnered with super Anti-Net Neutrality carrier Verizon. We all know these guys for charging us at least 10x what people pay in other developed countries per for our services and backing them up with half-assed technology, like copper instead of fiber-optic based wiring, now they’re teaming up to pretend they’re doing you a favor again while taking advantage of you. Here’s how.

You have to have an XFinity account in the first place to even get XFinity Mobile. They mislead you with their advertising and say you can get unlimited calling for $45/month, but that’s only if you have one of their premier TV packages which start at $150 a month. If not, because you realized that traditional TV is going the way of the dinosaur and stupid, you will pay $65/month. So a family of 4 without a premier TV plan will pay almost $100 a month more for an unlimited plan than they will even with Verizon directly, who overcharges them too. The flyer I received also indicated that this may be a limited time offer that only extends through July as part of their “amazing” launch. In short, they’re screwing you again.

Yes, there is a pay per Gig option of $12 per gig, but this pricing is on par with many other providers that won’t hypothetically eat your firstborn if you sign a contract with them. The wireless hotspot access they advertise is largely stupid and pointless. Most businesses will allow you to use their Wi-Fi if you’re in range, staying with them, etc.

Comcast is also fervently against Net-Neutrality. This is probably because the truth is that Net-Neutrality is good for the end user. It effectively requires companies to actually improve their infrastructure without charging their customers more as their demands increase. It also keeps questionable companies like Comcast and CenturyLink from doing things like censoring the news, etc. using network prioritization or stealing bandwidth from their poorest users. All of that will be fair game if we lose Net-Neutrality by the way.

In the end it’s a bandaid to the problems we face with telecom today. We need public broadband that is Net-Neutral. Sure, private local providers can help provide access to this network, but without it we’ll just keep playing these games and keep being taken advantage of. How about this. How about instead of shitty Comcast hotspots we establish a network of public broadband Wi-Fi hooked up to public fiber that people can use to get their work done anywhere at no cost and get America out of the telecom dark ages.

So in short, one of the most immoral things you can do during this dark time is voluntarily give Comcast, CenturyLink, Verizon, and any of the other telecom companies supporting Trump’s Anti Net-Neutrality policies your money. It doesn’t even make financial sense to anyway.

One more note from the standpoint of the government. Whenever a new service comes up government officials who either don’t get it, or claim not to get it because they’re invested in these big telecom companies, use these services as justification that services are becoming available to more and more people at better rates but that simply isn’t true. The competition we’ve seen in the private market gives us all about the same services for about the same prices with limited equipment options. The companies carve out territories and stop competing almost immediately, creating an illusion of competition while establishing virtual monopolies. It is not in their interest to really make improvements. The only times that they do are when public options are established that actually bring pricing down, and give citizens a better option.

Before doing the right things, the big providers will usually start out by trying to force communities not to provide a public option in the first place, turn them off if one has been installed, or even use red scare tactics and call it socialism. Basically, they will try everything not to let you have better service, from an ethical provider, at a better price, but if your community sticks to its guns it will change their behavior for the better too.

Fight Fascism, Use Linux

Here is the list of Tech CEOs who were so spineless that they met with President Trump.

https://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/14/technology/trump-tech-summit.html?_r=0

You might say, “how can anyone representing some of the most forward thinking companies on Earth meet with Donald Trump?” Well, that’s it. With the exception of Tesla, they are not forward thinking companies. They’ve been selling you the same garbage, slowing down the release of new products, repackaging Open Source tools with slight modifications and charging your for them, and throttling your access to the best of their ability for years. Oh yeah, they charge you a lot for it too.

However, there is good news. You don’t need to run Windows or Apple anymore. The Free Open Source Operating System Linux has been amazing for years now and most distros are user-friendly too. Linux is also very efficient and scalable, so in general you can keep your systems viable and running for 2 or 3 times longer than with Windoze or CrApple systems which is good for the environment. Plus once you make the switch to Linux you never have to deal with any of the bullshit surrounding proprietary computing again, except when you deal with people who haven’t made the switch, even then there are usually simple workarounds. LibreOffice, for example, can read from and save to just about any other Office Suite format. You can use Amazon Video in Chrome, which runs on many Linux distros, and therefore use Google Service like Docs and Drive with Linux. The list goes on, but in general, since there is a better free alternative out there than the companies that met with Donald Trump provide, then why reward them by buying their products? Open Source is already everywhere anyway.

The distro I recommend is Ubuntu Linux:

https://www.ubuntu.com/

Here is a link to the only ethically made computer on the planet. The Raspberry Pi. It runs Linux and is only $35. It uses a more efficient ARM processor (like your smartphones does), than the Intel stuff you’re used to. It’s made in the UK by workers that actually have rights. Imagine that. So when Apple or Samsung tells you they can’t afford to make the iPhone, the Galaxy, or any of their other overstated products here, you can tell them you know they’re full of shit.

https://www.raspberrypi.org/