• Maree Jones

Our Thoughts on New Social Networks

I've spent the last 10+ years in social media, reputation management and public relations. I've lived on the backend of platforms and often had to moderate comments and messages people send *before* they're removed from mainstream social networks.


I've seen and read horrific things.


These are the people who are flocking to a new social network, along with several well-meaning individuals who are tired of traditional social networks and/or have concerns about freedom of speech.



Here's my advice, speaking solely as someone whose job it is to protect the reputations of individuals and companies: It is not a good idea to sign up for P----r.


I realize me posting this is only going to draw attention to the network and make some people want to join.


But I have lots of concerns.


1. There is no such thing as 100% absolute free speech on any social network. When you sign up, you agree to its terms of use. I read the terms. You can still be "censored" on that network. You can have your posts removed and your profile blocked/deactivated. You can still be banned.


2. There is also nothing that prevents someone from taking a screenshot of what you interact with or post and sending it to your employer, your church, your family, etc. We've seen this played out over the last few years with high-profile individuals.


Social media, even on a platform that preaches freedom and unbiased information, can be weaponized against you.


3. Upon signing up and using the network, you begin providing your data to the company, and they will make money (somehow) off of that data, most likely through selling your information to marketers. If you have concerns about internet privacy, identity theft or how your personal data might be used, I would not sign up. It's too early in the game to know how secure the site actually is or how your data will ultimately be used.


4. In researching this network, its name is often mentioned alongside conspiracy theories and antisemitism. So there's that.


My recommendation:


A much better (and healthier) approach would be to take a break from all social media and reevaluate your relationship with it, before diving into another social network. In fact, all of us, red, blue and purple, would benefit from a technology detox because of the increase in consumption this year due to the pandemic.


I don't think it's been good for us, gang.


But if you do insist on using it, use it with this in mind. It's the advice I give anyone branching out into social media on a beginner level:


Don't post anything that you wouldn't want to be plastered on a billboard with your face and name attached to it.


I will not be using it. And I cannot – in good conscience – recommend that anyone else use it.