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Today it is Parler, Tomorrow it could be Us

akashkava profile image Akash Kava ・4 min read

This post does not justify content on parler or its way of doing business. Whatever happened on Parler may not be legal, but even criminal judgement requires trial, Should Big Tech take justice on their hand?

Small business is Dying

Imagine you are a small business running a small social network, you have only some budget to maintain the network, advertise and generate revenue. Suddenly some group of people on network does something offensive, it spreads like wildfire and Apple, Amazon and Google collectively decide to kick you out of network.

You can find hosting, but Apple and Google controls complete App market.

The only thing you are left with is world wide web, within limited browser with slow UI which no one is comfortable with. Notifications/calendar many things are difficult to implement.

Amazon killed small shop owners, Apple, Google, Facebook are killing small social networks by making the entry and survival very difficult.

Apple Google Amazon Facebook, all are watching US

These companies have information about probably every individual on internet, I am sure they have more information about US than our government. Google started presenting my "Interesting Article" in Google search home page, this means that Google has kept all my search engine history since day 1 unless I manually go and delete it.

All information in big tech is watched by default.

Web Browser isn't free anymore

Apple owns Safari, Google owns Chrome, This comprises of 90% of users of web. Everything is forced upon by these two browsers.

I got annoyed when our users didn't want Browser to store username/password, we spend so much time in customer support that it is done by browser fast and automatic, and we cannot control, even after specifying auto-complete="off", both browsers simply ignore this as per their term. Me as a developer and my customers as users do not want this, but both of us do not have any good handle on it. Our users are old and non tech savvy, it is very annoying to explain this at least once a day to them.

Communication is Restricted indirectly

  1. As mentioned above, Safari and Chrome are forcing Web Standard upon us and way to stop/alternative is very long.
  2. Instagram does not allow business profiles unless you open an ads account with Facebook and spend money (Instagram puts you on shadow ban).
  3. GMail API is restricted by Google, and access requires approval by Google after reviewing the process of how the app will use the Api. Here it is a problem for developers and customers, emails belong to customer and they are buying app from developer to manage email. Google should not sit as a Gatekeeper because that is not what customers have signed up for. Many customers aren't realizing this now.
  4. Once we had Amazon complain about outgoing email, (due to some error, many bounce resulted due to extra character in email address), Amazon threatened to stop account. SES is a problem, we realized we are at mercy of Amazon. Bounce wasn't problem, they analyzed outgoing content and gave us some improvement tips on spam check. I didn't opt for them to read and do spam check. We immediately moved out of it.
  5. The biggest problem is "Content Guidelines", it is impossible to setup an easy framework to moderate content. I bet you can easily report competitors content on social media to make them suffer.
  6. Apple isn't allowing financial transactions in the app without you agreeing to pay 30% of your hard earn money.

So what can we do?

  1. Us Multiple hosting providers along with cloud, and avoid cloud services such as SQS, SNS.
  2. Create an abstract microservice service on top of cloud service in such a way that in case of outage/suspension you can easily migrate to an alternative service.
  3. Avoid any cloud service except storage and pure compute, it is easy to move your VM from one service to even smaller hosting provider with bare metal servers.
  4. It will take little longer to build basic services but "Parler" is a lesson for small business to avoid Amazon Web Services.

Software License

  1. License of a purchased software is still more valuable than cloud service.
  2. It is considered as an asset in your company's balance sheet and you are allowed to use it as long as you are alive on same type and quantity of hardware.
  3. You can even install a software in a personal computer in your Garage.

Keep little distance from Large Social Media

  1. Create your own blog
  2. Publish content at multiple locations
  3. Always gather readers back to your own website
  4. Collect email addresses of your users (opt in) not automatic by telling them to subscribe.
  5. Email communication is still relevant and should be made more important than gated community.

We need improvements in Email and we need to be free from Social Media.

Discussion

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elmuerte profile image
Michiel Hendriks

The title is rather click-bait, but your point it good.
Also here on dev.to I see a lot of posts focusing on services provided by big tech. Mostly covering how to use this services, and much less on the concepts these services provide. Most of the services offered by big tech on their platforms have proper open source alternatives, which are rarely discussed.