Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram and nearly every other website modify user agreements often, usually expanding the list of “prohibited” activities/items. Self-defense and the Second Amendment are some of today’s fashionable and popular targets, and both are much easier to hit with headline-grabbing accuracy than Russian, North Korean or Chinese trolls.
Lack of alternatives is a convenient excuse, but that’s quickly changing. Alternatives are gaining traction on several fronts.
ShootingIllustrated.com is the place for staying abreast of the latest developments and access to robust gear and tactics reviews, but there are a number of other sites that more closely fit the definition of social media. Firearmsfriendly.com, created by veteran website builder Randy Miller, is one. About the time Craigslist started to ban firearm ads, he created patriotslist.com to host gun and gear classifieds, although other companies like ArmsList and GunBroker gained national prominence.
“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.” 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.com was established 4 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.
Even small-business owners who’ve come up with an innovative firearm product are being banned from crowdsourcing websites. Gundynamics.com was established earlier this year to become the go-to resource hub for the gun community through providing a network of services and support.
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.”
Hammonds warned, “Social Media is the new media, the new press. The only way to prevent the erosion of our liberties is to provide a viable alternative in the marketplace.”