Is your platform at risk of being destroyed by big tech companies? In this episode, find out what is happening and what to do about it. 

What is happening 

Big tech companies are censoring, shadow banning, and suspending accounts of Christian authors. 

There is a chance you may already be algorithmically shadowbanned and not know it. 

What is shadow banning? 

This is when a social media company allows your profile to stay active but hides it from search results and in certain areas of the platform (like in recommendations). If you have seen a dramatic drop in social engagement, there is a chance you have been shadowbanned. 

Pinterest Censorship

Twitter Censorship

YouTube (owned by Google) Censorship

Facebook Censorship

Instagram (owned by Facebook) Censorship

Who has been targeted so far:

Not all Christian authors have been targeted.

Who has been targeted so far (that I know about): 

  • Pro-Lifers
  • Complementarians
  • Advocates of the Christian Sexual Ethic
  • Christian Fundamentalists 
  • Some Conservative Evangelicals
  • Bottom Line: The more progressive you are, the safer you are from censorship but more topics get censored every year. 

Safer Platforms

First, understand the difference between a walled garden and the open Internet

  • A walled garden is a platform that is fully controlled by a single company. It is typically free, easy to use, and at high risk of censorship. 
    • Think of this as a port with a port authority. 
  • The Open Internet uses open source technologies that no one company or government controls. It is typically more expensive, more technically complex, and at low risk of censorship.
    • Think of it as the open ocean. 

1. Your WordPress Website

It is nearly impossible to take down a website just because you disagree with it. This is particularly true if you use an open-source technology to host it like

2. Your Self-Hosted Blog

Ideally, your website and blog are one and the same and running on WordPress. If this is the case, your blog is just as free from censorship as your website. The technology to subscribe to blogs, RSS, is open and free from censorship.

Interestingly, Google canceled its free Google Reader to discourage the use of RSS, because they can’t control or monetize it. Fortunately, it’s an open Internet technology and they can’t kill RSS. Alternatives like Feedly exist.    

3. Your Email List

If people opt into your email list and know who you are, it is hard for a big tech company to break that connection. Even if a service like MailChimp were to kick you off (and yes, they de-platform authors for ideological reasons), you could take your list and leave for one of their hundreds of competitors. 

4. Your Podcast

  • The core technology behind podcasts is RSS, the same technology behind blogs. It is one of the most open technologies and there is virtually no way for your podcast to get fully censored. 
  • Big tech companies can make your podcast harder to find, but they can’t keep people from listening altogether. 

Example of doing it right:

  • This podcast episode gets posted to (safe)
  • The episodes go out via RSS to subscribers (safe)
  • The post gets posted to the WordPress blog (safe)
  • An email goes out to email subscribers (safe)

At no point in that chain can a big tech company interfere with you getting this message. This is the power of the open Internet. Now, if you were to share a link to this post on Facebook, that could get censored, but not the content itself. 

TL;DR Build Your Platform on the Open Internet, Not a Walled Garden

  • Building your platform on social media platforms has been called digital sharecropping. 
  • When you are not paying for something, you are the product, not the customer. 
  • By opting for the siren song of free, many authors have built their platforms on shifting sand. 
  • You will make more money, but you will never make more time. So you owe it to yourself and to your readers to invest in the open Internet. 

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