A study released in 2017 determined the average American spends nearly two hours a day subjecting themselves to the social media engineering enforced by Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram and other outlets. Advertising revenue generated by the activity was conservatively estimated at $36 billion, and the profits are lining the pockets of people who think the right to self-defense shouldn’t include owning a gun.
Nearly every website modifies user agreements often, usually expanding the list of “banned” activities/items. Self-defense and the Second Amendment are some of today’s most fashionable and popular targets of social engineers, and easier to hit with headline-grabbing accuracy than Russian, North Korean or Chinese trolls.
Lack of alternatives is a convenient excuse for staying with the gun-ban crowd, but that’s quickly changing. Alternatives are gaining traction.
This blog is one place to stay abreast of the latest developments—including this week’s news that Remington is yet again filing for bankruptcy protection. But there are many other sites that more closely fit the definition of social media. FirearmsFriendly, which was created by native Montanan and veteran website builder Randy Miller, is one.
About the time Craigslist started to ban firearm ads, Miller created PatriotsList.com to host gun and gear classifieds, although other companies like ArmsList and GunBroker gained national prominence. The sole proprietor opted not to challenge either, instead turning his original website into a listing of other pro-Second Amendment sites and concentrating his efforts on Big Sky Gun Traders Facebook group.
He knew, however, Craigslist’s lead was going to be followed, so he secured the MontanaGunTrader.com and FirearmsFriendly.com domain names. The former is tailored for residents in that state, but the latter is nationwide.
“FirearmsFriendly.com evolved from another simple directory like PatriotsList into a full-fledged social network as it is today,” Miller said. “It has groups, chat, images, private messaging, links directory and a no algorithm—what you want is what you get—news feed. Visitors from outside of the USA are blocked from even visiting the site to help avoid scams and spam.” Although membership is small compared to even Facebook’s recently hacked millions, it’s growing fast and you can even “Friend” like minded enthusiasts to stay up to date with their latest.
Video-hosting Full30 was established four years ago, after YouTube began changing its attitude toward guns. Who’s there now? “Many of the top content creators in the firearms industry are active on our platform, and we are extremely grateful for their support,” co-founder Mark Hammonds said.
“We place a very high emphasis on content curation and regularly work to ensure that the quality of what we publish is maintained and that our content is relevant to our community,” he explained. “Furthermore, we do all we can to monetize our creators, providing viewers an additional outlet to support the channels they love. We also have many community features such as our forum, comment system, and blog that enable like-minded individuals to come together on our platform.” The website also added a host of new features in 2018, improving focus on community and content.
Even small business owners who’ve come up an innovative firearm product are being banned from crowdsourcing websites. GunDynamics was established in early 2018 “…to become the go-to resource hub for the gun community through providing a network of services and support to help the future John Browning’s develop their best ideas,” the announcement explained.
Founder Larry Lopata said, “The Gun Dynamics family is proudly standing up to provide the services the firearms community—the tens of millions of underappreciated patriots—so desperately needs in light of corporate America’s hostile attacks on guns and gun owners…If it hadn’t been for willing, selfless and armed citizens, America would be just another colony suffering without freedom. Just as guns won our liberty, they are essential in maintaining it.”
Stop Social Media Engineering
“The left will continue to erode our liberties as long as they continue to control the platforms we use on a daily basis,” Hammonds warns. “Social Media is the new media, the new press. The only way to prevent this erosion is to provide a viable alternative, and we hope to win in the marketplace by one day exceeding the experience currently provided by companies like YouTube and Facebook.”