Last week, following the mosque shooting in New Zealand, the government of Australia put pressure on an American company that seeks to protect free speech in video format. By threatening their internet infrastructure, Brighteon had to do what its main purpose was not to do and that is they had to remove all videos that contained any footage of the shooting. However, founder Mike Adams has put forth his agenda going forward, installing a couple of new rules that will hopefully be temporary, as he seeks a long-term solution to insulate Brighteon and its users from such threats in the future.
In an emergency message put out on Monday, Adams wrote to users of his platform and explained the situation.
Following the Christchurch shootings in New Zealand, the governments of both New Zealand and Australia attempted to annihilate Brighteon by threatening our upstream providers, claiming our hosting of the shooting videos constituted “promotion of violence.”
In response to that imminent threat, we were forced to remove all videos that contained footage from the New Zealand shooting, even against our principles of working to protect free speech. We were also forced to temporarily suspend some accounts to prevent further posting of videos that could have resulted in us being de-platformed within hours. (Nearly all those suspensions are now being reversed.)
Today, we are fighting both a short-term and a long-term battle to protect free speech and defend your right to post controversial content in the interests of public debate.
Until the company is able to achieve the planned improvements to maintain self-reliance in their infrastructure without being so dependent upon outside forces, Brighteon has implemented the following changes to their rules.
- All videos will now be moderated before being approved for public viewing. We apologize in advance that this may introduce a few minutes’ delay into the time required for your video to go live.
- We are rejecting all videos that “visually depict violence against living beings,” meaning videos that contain graphic footage showing people or animals being harmed or killed. Notably, this rule does not, for example, restrict videos of firearms shooting steel targets, or firearms used in self-defense training.
- We are rejecting all videos that call for violence against anyone based on their religion, skin color, country of origin, sexual orientation, etc. Actually, this rule has been in place for quite some time.
Adams added the free speech to criticize and post commentary on shootings would still be welcome, and even still images that don’t “depict active violence against living beings” would be welcome also until things are sorted out, which will take several months.
So, what is Adams long-term plan to defend your right to post such videos and fight against censorship? He says that it is to build an entirely new internal infrastructure that reduces reliance upon upstream infrastructure such as Amazon AWS. By the way, I have known Adams for some time and know that he hates being beholden to people like Amazon or Google and is seeking a model that eliminates services like that in order to be a fully-functional, independent business that doesn’t rely on such companies in order to survive.
With that in mind, he said that there will be two big benefits to the improvements.
- A 90% reduction in the cost of video storage, which will allow Brighteon to break even and perhaps even turn a small profit that can be invested into more R&D.
- Greatly reduced dependence on upstream infrastructure providers such as Amazon AWS, meaning we will have greater control over our content and be less able to be threatened by upstream providers.
Adams also said this new infrastructure rollout would come in two phases.
The first phase will achieve point #1 (the cost savings), and the second phase will completely eliminate any reliance on Amazon AWS. Realistically, phase 1 will likely be completed around the beginning of May, 2019. Phase 2 may take until August. This timeline is subject to additional interruptions, of course.
“Once this is completed, we will be much more insulated from infrastructure providers (though not 100% insulated) and we will revisit our current rules to see how we can expand speech and host videos that dare to ask questions of the status quo,” Adams said.
Adams added, “We are fighting for survival in an age of extreme techno-fascism and censorship. We are still alive and still functioning, despite the attempts to completely take us down and silence all our videos.”
Indeed, in the world we are in today, the internet has almost become a necessity to function in business today and it is invaluable to the free flow of information and the fight against government and media propaganda. Brighteon is working to be on the front lines of that fight when it comes to video.