As mainstream social media goes into a terminal spin before crashing, something we call the MySpace cycle where a site stops attracting cutting-edge users and gets the daytime television watcher crowd instead, users flee these sites like lifeboats from the Titanic, looking for new virtual homes.
To address this need, a series of social media alternatives have arisen, each offering roughly the same experience you get on mainstream sites but without the pervasive censorship, and possibly without the selling of user data and rampant, algorithm-driven intrusive advertising.
Among these new contenders is Mumblit, which has recently merged with TrumpTown to make a site friendly to any who need free speech to express themselves.
We were fortunate to get a few minutes from founder Nick Szankovics who offered up the skinny on Mumblit, its user base, and its plan.
When did Mumblit start, and what market and internet niche did you intend to fill?
Mumblit originally started in February of 2018 and was officially released on June 2nd, 2018. Mumblit intended to fill the free speech censorship issue that the major providers were, and still are, invoking on their members.
How did you end up taking over TrumpTown, and was this always part of the plan?
This was not an original plan, however, I was alerted to the fact that Trumptown was being sold. The issue there was, I could not let it fall into the hands of a group looking to exploit the membership and lose the faith of the conservative community. The original idea was to partner with Addison Riddleberger (owner of TrumpTown) and merge both sites into a large membership location. However, upon merging the sites, Addison had declined to have any further interaction and association with the site, and I ended up having to integrate everything myself.
What position does Mumblit take on free speech and open discussion?
Mumblit has a firm belief in free speech. This is why we accept all designations of political orientations. We do not censor speech or posts, as long as it does not violate the four rules of Mumblit.
Your privacy is important to us. It is Mumblit’s policy to respect your privacy regarding any information we may collect from you across our website, https://www.mumblit.com, and other sites we own and operate.
We only ask for personal information when we truly need it to provide a service to you. We collect it by fair and lawful means, with your knowledge and consent. We also let you know why we’re collecting it and how it will be used.
We only retain collected information for as long as necessary to provide you with your requested service. What data we store, we’ll protect within commercially acceptable means to prevent loss and theft, as well as unauthorized access, disclosure, copying, use or modification.
We don’t share any personally identifying information publicly or with third-parties, except when required to by law.
Our website may link to external sites that are not operated by us. Please be aware that we have no control over the content and practices of these sites, and cannot accept responsibility or liability for their respective privacy policies.
You are free to refuse our request for your personal information, with the understanding that we may be unable to provide you with some of your desired services.
Your continued use of our website will be regarded as acceptance of our practices around privacy and personal information. If you have any questions about how we handle user data and personal information, feel free to contact us.
Mumblit has 4 main operating rules:
- No threats of violence, death, or implied attacks on anyone.
- If you are going to post anything sexually explicit, provocative, or involves large amounts of violence, please utilize the “Sensitive Mumbl” checkbox on the status editor. Failure to use this to designate these Mumbls will result in deletion of the Mumbl, and repeated misuse will result in actions up to, and including, suspension and removal of your Mumblit.Com Account.
- No distribution of licensed software, illegal files, or otherwise pirated materials.
- No scamming, solicitation, or extortion allowed. This includes posing as someone else and attempting to illicit money or goods from other people.
This policy is effective as of 13 November 2018.
Why do you think that un-self-censored speech is useful for the internet, or life in general?
As a constitutional right, and the foundation in which our society is founded on, free speech is always important in life. The moment to begin controlling what people say, they lose self-identity and become robots and slaves to their government. This cannot happen, and America has always required protections to ensure this never happens.
Do you think that most of your users will be Right-wing, and why?
At the present time we have a lot of right-wing members simply because they needed a home. Having been thrown off, banned, and censored on other social sites, they simply needed a space to re-establish themselves that would not go back on its word to protect their rights.
How did you personally get involved in running alternative social media sites, and how does this integrate with the rest of your life and day job? Will this ever become your job?
I am personally invested in the site, because I have paid to ensure the proper hosting and resources were available for all users to use. Not everyone can be involved in the running of these types of sites, as they require scripting and programming experience, but also require the ability to understand your users and facilitate their requests (reasonably, mind you). This is planned to eventually become my full-time job, but I do work a normal job to ensure the server bills are paid and that folks can continue to enjoy the platform. I always recommend when starting an alternative social site that you should know your audience. Do not just ride the coat-tails of events and hope that they continue to drive the membership behind your platform. Isolating audiences is the worst thing a social site can do, so never do it.
Do you think that a free speech sub-internet is rising, and if so, why now?
No, currently a free speech sub-internet is being squelched pretty hard by big tech agencies like Google, Facebook, Twitter, and others. Even the alternative sites like Gab, Minds, and MeWe are suppressing particular forms of free speech of their users in both direct deletion, or having users pay to become social (Gab forces you to pay to start a group, as an example). These are not sustainable ways to invoke a free-speech internet. Therefore, it is a big uphill battle to get to the point where you begin to see sites like Mumblit go mainstream, but we are willing to do our best to win the war despite having lost so many battles.
What advice do you have for people fleeing Facebook, Reddit, Twitter, Instagram, WeChat, SnapChat, Pinterest, and Spotify censorship, and how can get they get started on the alternative social media part of the internet?
My advice is to continue to explore your options. Maybe Mumblit isn’t right for you, and maybe you are looking for a different dynamic. Some people like smaller spaces, while others like large audiences. Identify your particular style and niche and explore it, do not be afraid to open your understanding and learn more about what you want to see. Always realize that your experience is based on your interest to see that content. Always realize some people are going to be mean, but do not use that as an excuse to leave an experience you like.
Mumblit is a great place to set up your business, personal blog, profile, and even group because it will not restrict your ability to reach people with that content. Look for places like Mumblit where your limit is only what you are willing to do, rather than having to follow the direction of the website itself.
Can you tell us more about yourself, and how you came to be an internet guru capable of running a site of this nature?
I started programming at seven years old in Q Basic on an old Commodore 64. I liked the idea I could create something simply by having an idea. This progressed to more complicated languages like Python, and C++ and then eventually to HTML and PHP. Having grown up in the environment of the early internet revolution of giving individuals the ability to create without spending millions was a huge part of how I grew personally.
Originally, Yahoo was the way to forge communities and converse with each other, and the introduction of a platform like Myspace was the pioneer in what I viewed as a good way to connect and retain an internet image. As Facebook emerged, the dynamic began to change, and I started to realize that I could make something like this that would bring people together.
The original ideas I had started with Forum platforms such as phpBB and SMF (Simple Machine Forums) in which I used to make dynamic avatar systems (much like Roblox) and role playing games based on regular HTML actions. These original ideas began to expand to more complex live-blogging systems which paved a way to begin creating the code for Mumblit.
So you can do this as long as your progressive logical understanding of how systems work does not stop at letting people do things for you. Always have a goal, and stick to the goal.
How should people keep track of what Mumblit and you are doing, and the latest events in your world?
Mumblit always posts the updates and upgrades to the platform publicly through our site at https://www.mumblit.com/updates, which is a page dedicated to simply that. Mumblit also posts regular updates through the Administrator account at https://www.mumblit.com/mumblit.
Thanks, Nick, for taking the time to let us know what Mumblit is about!