Theologically Sound. Culturally Relevant.

Is big tech censorship the fate of Evangelical Dark Web?

google-facebook-apple-spotify-big-tech-censorship-1200x630-1Recently I stumbled across an article on PNP News (Pulpit & Pen) where they reported that Facebook had blacklisted their website. They would not be the first website to be blacklisted, nor should it come as a surprise. When JD Hall writes, he uses inflammatory language, as we all should we we are talking about sin (not necessarily about everything else). The name of a sin should cause people to recoil a little. But with a Facebook, this is likely to be categorized as a form of hate-speech. Hall writes in his piece “How Our Exclusive Content Section Was Murdered By Big Tech Censorship“:

At present, you can’t see our Facebook page without going to it directly (it will not show up in your news feeds).

But, we wondered, can we start a new Facebook page? Sure, we’ll lose tens of thousands of followers, but can we start over? So, we started a “PNP News” Facebook page to see if Facebook would play along with us in a game of whack-a-mole.

No dice. Facebook had not only censored our Facebook page, they blacklisted our URL. This means that no matter where or by whom our articles are shared, they will be shadow-banned, thus preventing people from seeing them.

This effectively killed the exclusive content provided on our page. While our readers still show up in crowds of 20 thousand readers today, this is down from more than 40 thousand readers per day at the beginning of the year, many of whom were brought in by their Facebook friends posting links to the website. The latter is no longer a possibility.

Overnight, we nose-dived from more than a million readers every month to less than 500 thousand and from an Alexa rank of 5 thousand to an Alexa rank of 20 thousand.

I read JD Halls words and it’s prophetic of what will happen to Evangelical Dark Web if we get noticed by a tech company. Our titles are not nearly as clickbaity, but we do not bend to transgenderism or the Social Justice Gospel. Alphabet (Google), Facebook, and Twitter have all become vassals of the Marxist religious movement in our culture. I’ve often said we either bend the knee or live long enough to be cancelled. JD Hall has chosen the latter path that is required of us to follow God, and it has taken a toll on the platform he built. Note: if he bent the knee, his platform would have lost its readership.

And Hall’s retrospection got me thinking, how will I prepare for this? JD Hall, Jon Harris, and AD Robles all create exclusive content for Patreon subscribers. But Patreon is not a believer in free speech, either. They will cancel just as willingly. Unlike, PNP News, Evangelical Dark Web does not rely on Facebook for traffic. We rely more on Google and have since February. I believe Steven Crowder, and Mug Club is the superior alternative or perhaps Jeff Dornik’s Gatekeepers Network (though I know less about how this platform works). I have enough entrepreneurial in me to build my own platform, but that will take time and research.

Eventually, I do want to create exclusive content for subscribers. But for now, I am not large enough, nor am I set up to do so. Evangelical Dark Web is profitable through ad revenue, but only in terms of paying for itself. But relying on Automattic is also dubious in the long term. Our list of allies grows thin. But this isn’t about making money. There is a mission.

But we will persist. For now, I foresee the tech giants seeing us as “infighting between Christian sects”, as they have not the clout to declare what is orthodoxy yet. But if The Gospel Coalition, and like organizations, get their way, tech giants may use them as the standard for “acceptable” Christianity. For now the distinction between a Ray Fava and a Steven Furtick is a division between an unacceptable and a less unacceptable view in their algorithms.

In the meantime, Evangelical Dark Web will grow to be a voice for uncompromising Christians and turning squishes into disciples. In the future, I will provide updates on how specifically I want to face the challenges of operating in an increasingly hostile environment. But in the meantime, there is the necessity to prepare.


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