Summary List Placement
Now that Parler has been kicked off the internet for no-one-knows-how long, right-wing extremists are on the hunt for a new digital home. The social media app MeWe has emerged as a worthy contender — much to the app’s dismay.
On Twitter, MeWe tweeted over 28 times in a 24-hour period this week that they are “NOT an ‘anything goes’ site like Parler or Gab.”
It doesn’t matter; right extremists are still flocking to the app (along with platforms Gab and Telegram), seemingly banking on the fact that the company won’t have the resources to properly moderate them.
MeWe is NOT an “anything goes” site like Parler or Gab. MeWe’s TOS is strict & clear (https://t.co/oJP1JvrxiZ)- haters, lawbreakers, violence inciters etc. are not welcome. We have an outstanding Trust & Safety team that works hard every day to investigate & remove TOS-violators
— MeWe (@mewe) January 11, 2021
MeWe is an LA startup launched in 2016 by CEO Mark Weinstein as a privacy-centric alternative to Facebook. Weinstein has long been a outspoken advocate for privacy rights and attracted celebrity backers for MeWe such as designer Rachel Roy, Chicken Soup for the Soul’s Jack Canfield and Lynda Weinman, founder of Lynda.com. It’s raised a total of $14.5 million between angel and several seed rounds, according to Pitchbook.
The app operates similarly to Facebook, allowing you to add and message friends. But, founded in the wake of Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica scandal, Weinstein has vowed to never sell user data. While the app is free to join, users can upgrade to a premium plan for $4.99 a month and gain access to features like extra storage and video calling.
MeWe has experienced a bump in downloads since Parler was blocked on the app store — about 200,000 new users in the last week, according to TechCrunch.
One glance into the app’s many conservative groups reveals plenty of vitriol and misinformation similar to Parler’s. “We all know the capital storming had Antifa and bad actors,” one MeWe user wrote, repeating the misinformation that it wasn’t Trump supporters that rioted but people who oppose fascism.
Another declared that the Democrats “should be hung by the testicles.”
Many of these messages are shared in private groups or chat rooms with thousands.
When asked what MeWe is doing to moderate the influx of extremists, spokesperson David Westreich said, “MeWe has a strong Terms of Service designed to keep out lawbreakers, haters, bullies, harassment, violence inciters.”
He added the company is currently expanding its Trust and Safety Team and “adding new tools to help our moderators.”
Isedua Oribhabor, the US policy analyst at Access Now, said this is not enough. Access Now advocates for the digital rights of users around the world; in particular, they track tech platforms who release regular transparency reports, like LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.
Oribhabor said smaller platforms are often not properly equipped to moderate a huge increase in users. And, when pressed, platforms tend to brag about their privacy policies rather than …read more
Source:: Business Insider