With the noose of tech censorship rapidly tightening across the world, everyone remotely critical of wokeness is being banned, and, if the President of the United States himself being digitally taken down is anything to go by, it appears that nobody is truly safe.

Here’s a quick guide to some of the more secure, free speech-friendly alternatives that you may want to consider. Bear in mind, some of these sites have exploded in popularity in the last week and may be running slowly if you try to use them – don’t worry, that’s only temporary due to the amount of new traffic.

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WhatsApp Alternatives

Since Facebook-owned WhatsApp updated its terms of service, there have been huge concerns around privacy on the app.

When it comes to secure direct messaging, there are several options which may tickle your fancy.

 

Signal

Signal is a must if secure messaging and calls is your goal, and received a lot of attention recently when it was endorsed by Elon Musk, who recently became the richest man in the world.

Using state-of-the-art end-to-end encryption, even the Signal company can’t read your messages or listen to your calls on its platform, let alone outside prying eyes. You can lock the app, so that even once inside your phone you have to bypass another password to access it, and it also allows you to set disappearing messages which self-delete after a fixed amount of time, so that even if God forbid you lose your phone, and someone breaks into it, they’re only getting the last (for example) 24 hours or so worth of messages – not records of your chats going back years. You can even set messages to delete in as short a timeframe as 10 seconds, if you want to be really paranoid.

From a purely functional perspective, it has many extremely cool and fun features not present on other apps – for example, custom message reacts in chats. While Facebook messenger only allows you to do a small handful of reactions to other users’ messages, Signal allows you to use 100s of emojis, which makes for a much more fun and expressive experience. You can even make your own custom sticker packs to quickly access memes and images you intend to use frequently.

Entirely supported by grants and donations, Signal has no ties to Silicon Valley and is run for free – not for profit. Therefore there’s no risk of them being bought out or co-opted by Big Tech. All of these reasons and more are part of why it was commonly used during the Hong Kong Democracy Protests of last year.

But just how secure is Signal, you might ask? Well, let’s put it this way – CIA whistleblower Edward Snowden has used it every day for years and he’s still alive and not in prison.

For those who don’t know, Edward Snowden is a CIA whistleblower who deliberately leaked highly classified information from America’s National Security Agency in 2013. This leak uncovered numerous global surveillance programs to spy on the world’s citizens, which were later found by a federal court to be illegal and possibly unconstitutional.

Since then, he has been a wanted man on the run for years, with criminal charges against him and reports that many in the intelligence community want him dead.

If Snowden has used this app for years and he’s still here, we can rest assured that it’s probably pretty darn safe.

 

Telegram

Telegram, while not as secure as Signal, has many advantages over WhatsApp.

For example, not only does it use multi-layered end-to-end encryption, but it uses a username system that allows you to conceal your phone number from the people you’re communicating with. Like Signal, you can set messages to self-destruct after a certain period of time. If you are a content creator, or wish to follow one, it has “Channels” which can hold 200,000 members (even the biggest signal groups only allow 1000) and allows you to post directly into a feed to your entire audience. What’s more, if you are a Telegram group admin, you can delete a message for everyone in the group – this can’t be done on Signal.

Perhaps most importantly, Telegram doesn’t discriminate based on political views (so far), which makes it ideal for those with dissenting opinions who are currently in limbo looking for a new messaging home.

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Alternatives to Youtube

Many video hosting sites have cropped up recently as alternatives to YouTube since the Google-owned platform started censoring its users. Here are a few you might want to consider.

 

Bitchute

Bitchute is a video-sharing website quite similar to YouTube, but with much more lenient content rules and policies. The platform boasts of its policy of supporting free speech, and accepts content from all sorts of content creators with a wide variety of political views, thus making it a popular choice for those seeking a YouTube alternative.

While the main problem with it in the past has been the small community that use it (at least compared to YouTube), it’s recently been running very slowly due to the mass exodus of users from other sites flocking to it, which bodes well for the site’s future once they get their back-end infrastructure upgraded.

 

Rumble

Again, Rumble is popular among conservatives because of their overall lack of political content policing. In October, Rumble claimed that there were about 50 million unique visits to its website, and that number has only grown since Election Day as tech censorship becomes a more and more pressing issue. In fact, they are currently the #2 app for photo & video in the Apple App Store.

What makes Rumble great, though, is the fact that creators can earn serious money from their videos in a variety of different ways. You will earn more by making the video available only on Rumble, and if you agree to not upload it to YouTube. They then distribute the videos to other social media outlets from there. In fact, if your video is good enough to get selected for the front page, you’ll make more money again – a viral video could end up earning you thousands of euros.

 

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Alternatives to Twitter and Facebook

Gab

Gab is a free speech alternative to Facebook which has existed since 2016, and its popularity has exploded since the recent wave of tech censorship. Created by Andrew Torba, in a recent tweet the company claimed to be receiving 10,000 new users PER HOUR – so fast, that their servers can’t keep up for the time being and they’re working on expanding their infrastructure.

With a slick interface and enjoyable user experience, Gab is a great free speech alternative to Facebook, and Big Tech haven’t found a way to eliminate them yet.

Parler

While Parler is a free speech alternative to Twitter, and was surging in popularity after Twitter’s ban of Donald Trump, Big Tech has pulled the plug for the time being – Apple and Android removed them from the app store, trying to kill off the competition, and Amazon removed their app hosting, meaning when you go to www.parler.com now you get an error message.

The company says they’re working on workarounds this, suing Amazon, and attempting to move to a new hosting provider, and hopefully that works out for all our sakes. In the meantime though, sadly, it’s Gab or bust.

If you’d like to follow Gript on any of these alternative platforms, our social links can be found below (although, www.gript.ie will always be our home where you can reliably get a hold of us):

 

Gab: @Griptmedia
Bitchute: @Griptmedia
Parler (if and when it comes back online): @Griptmedia