In recent years writers and video producers have seen their work censored or restricted in various ways by major Internet content providers. For that reason, there has been a movement afoot to provide alternative, safer platforms where their work can be presented over the Internet without fear of interference from providers. Two such efforts are Locals.com and Substack.
Updated July 10, 2021
Updated December 16, 2022
Since January 2021 I have been participating with Locals.Com. It’s primary competitor is Patreon. It caters to a close-knit community of content creators. So why change or duplicate the effort?
One reason — Censorship
- Locals.Com allows me to set the rules
- It assumes we are smart enough to determine fake news from real news.
- Thus — we don’t need “Fact Checks”
Locals.Com is designed for adults who are able to sort out fact from fiction and who are strong enough to engage in dialog with people who have different viewpoints.
- Access my Locals.Com page
- Set up an Account (Keep it simple. Ignore the “coins” business for now).
This is an ongoing experiment. Locals.com has one drawback. You must pay a small subscription fee to leave a comment with anyone you follow. Additionally, some of the content providers on Locals may charge an added fee to participate in their local communities.
“Coins” are what you accumulate when you subscribe to Locals. You can use the coins to subscribe to your favorite content creators.
Since May 2021 I have been using Substack. Substack is similar to Locals in that you must subscribe to participate. But it is a bit cheaper because it is free! I currently do not charge a fee for leaving comments but you may find other writers you follow will request small fees to participate in their communities.
Substack has matured to become a serious contender for investigative reporting as well as for the publication of literature. Some of you may have noticed how writers on Substack were the primary source of news on the Twitter files. Many reporters who were either fired or pressured to resign from mainstream media have found a home on Substack. This site is highly recommended.
What They have in Common
One word — freedom. Both platforms believe that it is up to you to determine what you want to read. They trust you are adult enough to know how to handle people you may disagree with. These platforms do not shadow-ban, demonetize or censor content.
Second thing is the use of e-mail to inform subscribers. You are notified whenever new content is presented by the people you follow. We often forget that this is a very reliable way to communicate and it is the most transparent. No guessing as to whether you are being shadow-banned.
Why Must I Subscribe to Leave Comments
Experience has demonstrated that leaving an open door for anyone to comment often subjects readers and myself to abusive language and generally non-constructive content. People who are willing to put their name on a comment and even pay a subscription fee will most likely have something important to say and will express their opinions in a respectful manner.
As of December 2022, EricN Publications has migrated to a new website platform which provides dynamic tools for comments and comment moderation. This new feature will most likely evolve to require that commenters at least register their e-mail address.