Thursday, January 17, 2019

News2Share and Ford Fischer hold session on independent media at LibertyCon in Washington DC

Today I did get a preview of LibertyCon2019 by attending a one-hour presentation by Ford Fischer and News2Share about the importance of independent media, in a meeting room at the Marriott Marquis Hotel, where the conference is to be held Friday and Saturday (Jan. 18 and 19). There is an awards dinner (extra cost) tonight which I did not attend.

Fischer made the case that providing videos of demonstrations and confrontations in public spaces (particularly between extremes on the Left and “alt-Right”) provides factual documentation of exactly what is happening, rather than opinions about the political philosophies of the parties, who have indeed become combative.

Mainstream media tends to provide much less actual footage than independent media can provide.
There was discussion of the Facebook Purge 3.0 back in October, against numerous independent media channels for “political spam”.  I was able to explain my own situation in getting my own Facebook page (with its essay on power grid security) boosted, and also the issue of Facebook’s repeatedly asking me to publicly raise money for non-profits.  (I must add that you can supply your own non-profit or even a personal, like a medical, cause – so you don’t have to use a “Facebook-approved” charity).

We did not have the time to discuss the recent problems with patronage sites (Patreon) and the influence that payment processors have on them, or the problems in Europe with the upcoming Articles 11 and 13, or the possible continuing problems with FOSTA (although Ford noted that YouTube has marked much more content recently as 18+ -- even political combat as well as sexual material -- which hinders audience and monetization).  I have the definite feeling that you have to consider how all these problems interact.

There was, however, an expression of the notion that the big tech platforms are under pressure from legacy media to discourage independent journalism as low-cost competition, that could conceivably lead to job loss and layoffs at legacy media companies – call it protectionism.  This is particularly the case in Europe, as we can see with what is behind Articles 11 and 13.  There is also the idea that when people speak with their own voice, they “do” less for disadvantaged people and are less willing to act in solidarity with “oppressed” groups.  Independent media gradually pushes western societies into libertarian to mainstream conservative (not alt-right) policy positions, and probably does preserve a degree of intellectual elitism, which incurs resentment.
You could say that we don’t have a culture war between Left and Right as we used to, but between tribalists and anti-tribalists (individualists). It is interesting, as Pool has said, that far Leftists have no shame about screaming and demonstrating, whereas conservatives feel that is beneath them. But it's really the anti-tribalists who feel this way. 

Update: Jan. 20

There is a new journalism project "Report for America" which CNN's  Brian Stelter reported on today.  I did join with a monthly contribution.  I attempted to create a "qualifying" fundraiser on Facebook and it did not meet their rules.  There will be followup on this story. (See Jan. 15 post for background). 

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