Ricochet is the best place on the internet to discuss the issues of the day, either through commenting on posts or writing your own for our active and dynamic community in a fully moderated environment. In addition, the Ricochet Audio Network offers over 50 original podcasts with new episodes released every day.
This week brings news of Mike Lindell’s bumpy launch of a new social media platform—bearing the witty name of Frank—and Parler’s pending return to Apple’s App Store. Neither story will likely gladden the heart of social conservatives living in the noisy culture of social media.
Both Frank and Parler are misguided efforts to create alternatives to Facebook and Twitter by lowering the bar on civil speech while ostensibly cherishing free speech. The need for alternatives is real, to be sure. Anyone with a distaste for data harvesting, invasions of privacy, trash talk, inconsistent and arbitrarily enforced terms of service, and treating users as commodities would do well to avoid both platforms.
The most abiding failing of these social platforms is less their contempt for social conservatives than their contempt for all users. Facebook and Twitter have taken H.L. Mencken’s observation that nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the public and made it their business model. They reward the basest instincts of human nature, including envy, hypocrisy, pride, gossip, and random cruelty.
The American Civil Liberties Union long argued, especially under the leadership of its happy warrior Ira Glasser, that the answer to bad speech is more speech. This is a praiseworthy defense of First Amendment principles, especially as it relates to prior restraint by the government. It’s a less helpful model for creating a social platform moderated by a private company, though if any entity could create the ideal experiment for a free-speech platform, the ACLU would be the top candidate.
I’ve yet to see a better platform for social conservatives than Ricochet. It makes no pretense of being a pipeline of all perspectives permitted under the First Amendment. Ricochet has a clearly stated code of conduct that anyone of sound mind and goodwill can accept.
Ricochet is neither Speakers’ Corner at Hyde Park nor a walled garden. It is more like a farmers market co-op: if you seek nutritious mental food and will pay for a reasonably priced annual membership, you’re welcome. If you know the difference between being assertive and being aggressive, sound off. If you love lively discussions (and occasional arguments) among well-read friends, choose from the ever-growing list of podcasts, or consider creating a new show.
Ricochet has a presence on Facebook and Twitter, but its livelihood does not depend on either platform. The likelihood of its being silenced by either entity is slim because Ricochet answers to higher standards than trigger alerts. The thought of anyone hell-bent on depriving Ricochet of web hosting is laughable for the same reason. A space that forbids obscenity and conspiracy theories will not foment violence. There is no Ricochet app to banish from the App Store.
If you want to assume the worst about American life and seek an echo chamber for such gloom, keep looking. If you prefer to have calm conversations with non-hysterical adults, there’s no need to reinvent the wheel, Ricochet addressed this market in 2010, and it’s still rolling along unhindered by the commissars of Silicon Valley.Published in