“If you don’t like Twitter,” goes the popular refrain, “don’t try to control it with the government, go and build your own.”
I agree with this. That’s exactly what disgruntled consumers should do. But it is too much to ask that, if and when they do, they aren’t mocked for it?
Axios has a short piece this morning casting the growth in conservative tech outlets as something sinister. The headline is “Right wing builds its own echo chamber,” and the central complaint is that “conservatives are aggressively building their own apps, phones, cryptocurrencies and publishing houses in an attempt to circumvent what they see as an increasingly liberal internet and media ecosystem.” Some of the piece is just silly. There’s nothing unusual or novel about news outlets having their own apps. MSNBC has one; why wouldn’t The Daily Wire? The rest is an attempt to have it both ways. “Conservative media has been a powerhouse for a long time,” it explains, “but this phase of its expansion isn’t just about more or louder conservative voices — it’s about building an entire conservative ecosystem.” (The authors even put “censorship” and “cancel culture” in scare quotes.)
Okay, but what’s the alternative? If conservatives are outnumbered on the existing services, and if they can’t use the government to force those services to be neutral, the only choice remaining is for them to create their own. One gets the impression from the piece that, for some at least, “if you don’t like what’s out there, build a new one” was more of a taunt than an earnest suggestion, and that now that it’s been taken literally, those who promulgated the advice so liberally aren’t quite sure what to do next.