On the state of Minds.com

Originally written for Minds.com on September 26th, 2018

Over a year ago, on July 24th 2017, I joined Minds.com, a site I had been hearing about for about a year prior thanks to heavy promotion from people like Dave Cullen and Styxhexenhammer666. In part because of that, I like a lot of the site's membership believed that it was going to be the next big thing in social media sites. A site wholly dedicated to freedom of speech that was functionally much like Facebook, only geared towards the blogger and you get rewarded for participating on the site with points that you could use you boost your content and reach a wider share of the site's one million users. For a time it really was such a site, with a broad diversity of opinion.

Nowadays, however, things have changed. Minds.com is no longer the brilliant social media site that it used to be. Today the site is filled to the core with boomer conservatives and other alt-right adjacent rightists, but that's the least of your worries.

Over the past year I have come across several issues regarding functionality, including several bugs that had remained unfixed, and features left absent. For instance, in the summer of 2017 I created a group called "Conservative Minds". When I eventually parted ways with the right, I tried leaving my own group and passing over ownership of it to someone else in it. I was able to appoint a new admin but to this day I remain incapable of leaving the group I created.

The main thing that in my opinion has ruined Minds.com was the Ottman brothers' decision to switch over to a crytocurrency-based system (a decision I bet they are now regretting because cryptocurrency is now crashing faster that the dotcom bubble). Basically, the points are now tokens (each token is worth 1,000 points from the old system), and if you want to get tokens, you now either have to buy them (and yes, you use cryptocurrency to buy it, specifically Ethereum) or interact with users who are registered onto the cryptocurrency system.

For people like me who want nothing to do with this libertarian fad, that basically means no incoming flow of points at all, and indeed when the crypto system was fully rolled out last month, all my points got wiped, meaning I can no longer boost. Basically, one of the main things keeping you on the site has been replaced by a system that you practically need money to get into. Before this you were still able to buy points, but this was optional, and unnecessary considering that you got 100 points for every hour that you were online. With that, anyone had the same ability to boost their content. Now, only those with cryptocurrency can.

The fall of Minds in my view comes down to the fact that they've spent the past year or too pandering to right-libertarian sensibilities, presumably out of the belief that this is their golden goose, their ticket to success. Cryptocurrency is the latest fad right-libertarians have gotten themselves into, and given that the owners of the site are pretty invested in the right-libertarian mindset, they have prioritised cryptocurrency above, well, pretty much making a functional social media site that could actually compete with Facebook.

Speaking of Facebook, the owners and many fans of the site honestly seem to believe that Minds is on its way to beating Facebook and Twitter. The naivety of this belief is laughable, and is easily contradicted by the available data.

 

 

 

 

As you can clearly see, Facebook isn't exactly under threat from Minds.com. Even with last summer's influx of Vietnamese accounts (some of whom might actually be bots), the growth of Minds has been stagnant, failing to reach beyond at least one billion visits a month - which wouldn't be enough but it would be pretty significant competition - and with a membership base still consisting of 1.25 million users, next to Facebook's 2.2 billion users.

The idea that alt-tech is somehow going to beat the ubiquitous mainstream social media sites is a complete and utter joke. The people shilling for Minds.com seem to be convinced that the majority of people care enough about the supposed censorship of conservatives to all quit Facebook and Twitter and migrate to a bug-riddled site with issues that have yet to be ironed out, and where making full use of the site (i.e. boosting content to reach a wider audience) requires you invest in cryptocurrency because free speech, and reality continues to lay waste to this delusion.

Needless to say, I have been pessimistic about this site for a long time. I still intend to use it, at least for now, but this will be my last blog post on the site, as I intend to take my blogging somewhere else. All in all, I'm confident that Minds will continue its decline in quality, it will continue being an echo chamber filled with normie anti-SJW conservatives, and the people in charge of it and shilling for it will continue peddling the delusion that it's got nowhere to go but up, when in reality it's going nowhere. It's growth will still be stagnant, and in a few years, nobody will care about it anymore.