“I wholly disapprove of what you say— and will defend to the death your right to say it.”
There might be debate about attributing those words to Voltaire, however there is no question about the meaning they convey. Censorship is a slippery slope, thus when crowd-funding platform Patreon announced that they were closing the accounts of some people, the news was not well received.
Now it should be noted that while some of these people are decidedly “alt-right” such as Milo Yiannopoulos, most are conservatives. This has led many, including the likes of Sam Harris, to decry the heavy-handed and politically bias approach. To counter this Jeff Vandrew Jr, a US attorney and developer has released an alternate which uses the Bitcoin payment processor BTCPay.
A Patreaon Without The Censorship
On the 30th of December Mr Vandrew announced the soft launch of the site for LibrePatron. This, he claims, is an alternative to Patreon and comprises of the “full feature set.” In his tweet he wrote
“Today I released LibrePatron, an alternative to Partreon backed by @BtcpayServer.Most Patreon alternatives don't implement the full Patreon feature set. This seeks to change that.Sample site (alpha not mobile responsive, mobile coming soon!): http://librepatron.com “
As mentioned, a slew of bans saw many top Patreon users leaving the platform and looking for alternatives. This is where heaps of open source options and cryptos come in. Using the budding technology Vandrew says he
“put this together to prove the point that many censorship-heavy Silicon Valley products can be replaced pretty easily.”
talking about what makes his solution better, he says
“Most Patreon alternatives don’t implement the full Patreon feature set. This seeks to change that.”
Patrons Looking For Other Options
Recently, famous Canadian psychologist Jordan Peterson announced that he was setting up a competitor platform,
“I’ve been working on a system for months to allow authors and other people who engage publicly on intellectual issues to interact more effectively with their readers, viewers, and listeners. We are going to try to set this system up on a subscriber model that is analogous to Patreon.”
The underlying technology to make al this possible, BTCPay, is an open-source option of accepting Bitcoin payments. The fact that it allows payments to be processed without any third party intervention makes it an ideal host. This makes it viable for LibrePatron, in the future, to be entirely self-sufficient. Vandrew pointed this out by saying,
“You control all your own data. No third parties are involved, not even me.”
At a time when differing opinions and meaningful debates are getting rare, replaced by acrimonious shouting matches and speeches with no value for facts, both sides need to take their time to assess the importance of being earnest. The fact that crypto-currencies might be able to usher in a platform for something like this is a huge boost for the industry. Whether that happens or the new platform become a haven for only conservative thought, only time will tell.