Censorship and demonetization has become a major problem for both creators and users on current social network giants. This includes the likes of Youtube, Instagram, Twitter, and of course Facebook. In response to growing issues and lack of revenue streams, creators have been diversifying and bringing their audiences onto platforms like Patreon and Substack.
While we as a Web3 social network agree with Substack and Patreon on the problems, we do not see eye-to-eye on the solutions. Let’s cover how alternative platforms like Patreon and Substack have deep-rooted problems that need to be addressed.
Patreon and Substack Explained
For those of you who are unaware of Patreon and Substack, they are two platforms that allow creators to monetize directly with their audience. Substack is geared towards written content creators while Patreon has a broad appeal that is focused on paid memberships in exchange for helping creators and/or gaining access to content. Substack is a newer platform that has a very similar message to other new and emerging social network competitors. To hear the founder's vision and motivation to create Substack, watch the video below:
While we at Solcial agree with many of the issues they hope to solve, we think the main problem with both Patreon and Substack is their centralized nature. See, both of the platforms are run by a core team who might become susceptible to censorship. In the case of Substack, they preach free expression and champion the fact that they have controversial characters on their platform. However, what would they do if a government forced them to remove someone? Or what if the choice was to censor or risk not earning any income?
You might think this sounds crazy, but it is far too frequent. We see this in recent news about Twitter being asked for private data about users from governments around the world. We have also seen Facebook pressured and coerced when it comes to censorship.
By having the ability to censor, platforms like Patreon and Substack run the risk of being forced to do so. The better option is a platform that is building censorship resistance into its core. This means that users have the ability to moderate, but even if content is removed from the main UI interface, other users can still host it…
This might sound technical, but it is our belief at Solcial that the future of social media is not run by a centralized few, but by the decentralized masses. That’s why we’re building our P2P network to withstand the test of time.
We’ve seen examples in history of how Patreon has already censored and demonetized creators on their platform.
Somehow many have forgotten that although it is convenient to build an audience and following through Patreon, they have already shown that they will remove and de-platform those that go too far in their eyes. While we agree that some pieces of content should not be supported, we fundamentally believe that users should decide this through their ability to moderate, and simply not pay for content.
This is how the free market works. If a creator is too extreme, too radical, or simply does not provide value then they will not have a future on any platform. This is because their audience will disappear and at least on Solcial, sell their token.
When looking at how Solcial compares to Patreon and Substack you will not only see the contrast in freedoms given to creators, but you will also notice how users and creators can earn side-by-side. This means that fans of a creator will not only be able to access exclusive and valuable content from creators, but they will benefit financially when the creator succeeds and grows. This is done by giving every user a token and allowing creators to monetize via their token. You can see more on this here.
In summary, platforms like Patreon and Substack are noble in their cause but fall short when looking at a long-lasting and full solution. Sure they claim to support freedom of speech and monetization, but what will happen when governments or big corporations try and pressure them to remove a creator? Our guess is they will have to fold. Solcial doesn’t have these problems. We are building to never be put in that position and allow creators to unleash their potential in only a way that Web3 makes possible.
Solcial is a permissionless social network that gives users the power of web3 by allowing people to interact with each other without fearing censorship, and allowing content creators to be rewarded fairly at market value.
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