As Big Tech continues on the warpath of censorship, alternative social media platforms are beginning to find their footing in the battle for free speech.
One platform that has steadily been gaining traction in the “content creator” space is Locals. The subscription-based site is a direct competitor to platforms like Patreon that allow pundits and content creators of all stripes to form their own fanbase communities and provide direct exclusive content without having to go through an established, traditional website or outlet.
The endeavor was founded after creators like Dave Rubin and Jordan Peterson found themselves locked out of Patreon and suspended from YouTube for their “misinformation” and “offensive” content. Seeing the writing on the wall, Locals co-founder Dave Rubin and other investors set about establishing a Patreon-like platform for creators of all types to set up content for their fanbase free of the authoritarian overreach of crony capitalist Big Tech.
Now comes more good news for Locals, conservatives, and any reasonable American of any ideology that believes in free speech and internet autonomy.
Locals has secured a fresh round of investor funding that will help them expand their services and reach and make even more inroads against the insidious censorship of Big Tech. In a formal statement, the website announced they’d struck a deal with an investor group that would help “accelerate the growth of its vision.”
NEW YORK, April 20, 2021 – Locals Technology, Inc. today announced a $3.8 million seed round to accelerate the growth of its vision and tools that empower independent content creators with a unique multimedia platform – integrating video, audio, text, and community under one roof. The round was led by Craft Ventures, with participation from Naval Ravikant, Balaji S. Srinivasan, Mark Gogelowski, Joe Lonsdale, Christian Angermayer, Alexander Lloyd, Anthony Pompliano, Patrick Byrne, Tony DeNicola, Tulsi Gabbard, and Andrew Conru.
Co-founder Dave Rubin says that the current relationship of social media and content creation is “backwards,” and that people go to these platforms for the creators, not the tech.
“If you think about the relationship between the big social media platforms and the content creator, the equation is backwards. The content creator is why people visit these big tech platforms, and yet they are the ones who make the lion’s share of the money, own all of the creator’s content, and control what, when, and even if that content gets distributed. That is a perfect recipe for suffocating creativity and innovation. It doesn’t make any sense”.
Locals CEO Assaf Lev agreed, saying that Locals was created to put more control over information and income into the hands of the people who most deserve it, the creators.
“We created locals.com to give creators more—more money, more control, and true ownership over their own content and audience. Content creators work hard to entertain, educate and facilitate conversation, and at the end of the day, they’re making a fraction of the money that the platforms that host them are making. At Locals, subscription prices are set by the creator, and subscribers are not served any ads.”
The partners in Craft Ventures say they find the economic prospects of supporting a platform like Locals to be extremely important in the larger scheme of things.
“Locals is a phenomenal product for content creators to connect with and monetize their audience in a community that they control. This is an important addition to the creator economy,” commented David Sacks, co-founder and general partner at Craft Ventures.
While there is much to be frustrated about when it comes the monopoly Big Tech is beginning to flex over our day-to-day lives, it is important to look at places like Locals and be reminded that the game has not been lost. To the contrary, the game is just now afoot, and as more content creators and their fans release themselves from the grip of Big Social Media and Big Tech, the landscape of truth-telling will begin to make momentous shifts.
In the interest of full disclosure and on a personal note, I am a content creator with Locals and I love it. It is a way for me to directly connect with my readers and listeners, instead of always having to do it through an article or a podcast where there isn’t really a direct back and forth. As we begin to find our income choked off at the traditional points of advertising on social media, we are really struggling with how to support our work and our families while still providing quality content for those who follow us. Locals allows me to do just that. Those who find my unique voice to be something worth supporting are able to join me and talk to me directly. We are becoming a community who can support each other without fear of being censored or banned and without the fear of my account suddenly disappearing one day because the wrong person got a bug up their butt about something I said.
It is a wonderful landscape of possibility and I’ve been having a lot of fun discovering all the new ways I can connect directly with the people who support me most.
If you’re curious about Locals and would like to take it for a test spin, I’ve got a special deal for Redstate readers. Follow this link and use code REDSTATE for a full month’s free trial over at my community, DavisNation. There you’ll find stimulating conversation happening in real-time, bonus episodes of my popular podcast Just Listen to Yourself, bonus video, community zoom chats, a book club and just generally good people looking for sanity. I hope to see you over there!