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Pro-Lifers’ Social Media Bans Are Too Numerous To Not Be Censorship

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Live Action was suspended from the short-form video app TikTok on Jan. 30, 2020, after posting a video with the captions: “Be pro-abortion” or “Be pro-life and help save babies.” Following a popular TikTok trend, the video shows a young woman eating a jelly bean next to the pro-life caption.

This is the video that TikTok says violated their “Community Guidelines” and banned us for.

In it, we share the beautiful personal stories that some of our followers have shared with us about choosing life for their babies. pic.twitter.com/EBADFmxUEW

— Lila Rose (@LilaGraceRose) January 31, 2020

According to TikTok, this video, which also included pictures of smiling infants, violated “multiple Community Guidelines.” Within 24 hours, TikTok apologized and reinstated the account, citing “human error.” TikTok never told Live Action which guidelines it suspected us of violating.

The initial decision to remove our video of smiling babies was even more confusing, since TikTok appears to be fine with videos that simulate harm to children, including one video of a young man violently beating a realistic-looking baby doll against a desk, laughing and calling it a “DIY” abortion as the doll flails. That video, which currently has almost 1.2 million views, 120,000 likes, and more than 2,000 comments, uses the hashtag “#plannedparenthood.” Another shocking TikTok video shows a young man “explaining to the boys how to conduct a coat hanger abortion in the garage,” waving a coat hanger and joking that it “just works.”

TikTok’s community guidelines prohibit “violent and graphic” content, including videos that are “gratuitously shocking, sadistic, or excessively graphic,” or which depict “severe physical violence,” yet neither of these videos has been removed.

Live Action’s Ongoing Censorship from Big Tech

The popularity of the Beijing-based social media platform has exploded among the next generation in the United States, with 41 percent of its more than 800 million users between the ages of 16 and 24. Live Action is a nonprofit pro-life organization that advocates for the human rights and dignity of preborn children, and seeks to expose the fraudulent and dangerous practices of the abortion industry.

One of the key audiences for Live Action’s life-saving message is young, pregnant women who are considering abortion. At the time of its removal, and now with its account reinstated, Live Action has become the largest pro-life voice on TikTok with more than 21,000 followers.

This is not Live Action’s first encounter with Big Tech censorship on social media. In 2015, Twitter banned Live Action and my personal account from running paid advertisements, pointing to our use of ultrasound images, criticism of abortion facilities, and fight to end their taxpayer funding. Twitter told us we needed to remove all our “secret recordings” and “sensitive content,” which included ultrasound images of preborn children and quotes such as, “A person’s a person no matter how small,” from both our Twitter feeds and scrub them from our website if we wanted to continue advertising.

Incredibly, although the “secret recordings” we shared exposed Planned Parenthood officials engaging in trafficking body parts of aborted babies, the company and its lobbying arm continue to run paid ads on Twitter.

In 2018, YouTube demonetized Live Action and banned our paid ads. In June 2019, Pinterest banned and removed Live Action after a whistleblower employee exposed the platform’s decision to place Live Action on its blocked “pornography” list. Also in 2019, Facebook’s partner “fact-checkers” deemed Live Action content “false” for saying abortion is not medically necessary, a position shared by thousands of board-certified OB-GYNs.

Social Media Is the New Town Square

Whether we like it or not, social media has become America’s town square. We go there for news, information, and public debate. Platforms such as Facebook and Twitter represent themselves as open forums. The Supreme Court has even called social media the “modern public square,” and lower federal courts are now telling public officials that blocking their social media critics is “viewpoint discrimination” that violates the First Amendment. Former Twitter CEO Dick Costolo personally called the platform the “global town square.”

But these companies openly engage in viewpoint discrimination, which, if done by government entities in the traditional “town squares” of America, would be brazenly unconstitutional. Big Tech routinely steps into the abortion debate, censors the pro-life side, favors the pro-abortion side, and then laughably claims to be enforcing neutral policies.

Just last year, Twitter restricted an image of the late Nobel Prize-winner Mother Theresa, posted by the president of Susan B. Anthony List. The image included a quote that supposedly violated Twitter’s “health and pharmaceutical products and services policy.” The quote read, “Abortion is profoundly anti-woman. Three quarters of its victims are women: Half the babies and all the mothers.”

Absurd as it is to claim decisions like this are neutral, Silicon Valley’s escape hatch is that these companies are private corporations, not government entities. Therefore, the First Amendment does not apply to their enforcement of their rules.

What Should We Do About Censorship?

But with these companies acting as gatekeepers to news and information, operating under clear biases against organizations such as Live Action, is our digital town square truly a forum for free speech and open debate?

Some argue that social media companies censoring conservative and pro-life organizations should be held to the same standards as other news publications exercising editorial decisions. If I can sue the New York Times for defamation, perhaps the same liability should apply to Facebook for every post it decides not to censor.

Others have wondered if social media companies should be treated like public utilities and therefore essential public services the federal government can regulate and break up. Perhaps the Federal Communications Commission needs to check their unfair, deceptive, and anticompetitive practices, just like it does with broadcast media companies and electricity providers.

It is also worth mentioning the Supreme Court upheld California’s ability to expand free speech protections to citizens who picket and demonstrate in privately owned shopping centers, deemed “public forums” in California. Where is Silicon Valley located again?

What about TikTok? The app is owned by a Beijing-based company subject to Chinese government censorship policies, not U.S. constitutional free speech rights. The company, ByteDance, has been caught repeatedly censoring political content globally.

As if the titans of Silicon Valley were not bad enough, should we now be concerned that some corners of our global town square will be subject to the censorship policies of an authoritarian regime? If so, don’t expect pro-lifers to be welcomed in those corners, monitored by the same government that enforced a brutal one-child policy and untold millions of forced abortions, primarily targeting female babies. No wonder TikTok has not flagged or removed “DIY” abortion videos.

Is that the brave, new global town square we want? Or maybe, since TikTok has servers and headquarters located in the United States, it should be no easier for the platform to get away with censorship than it should be for Silicon Valley.

Whatever we decide as a representative republic, these looming questions are ripe for debate now that social media has become our undisputed public square. As Americans, we must demand that Big Tech respect our rights to free speech and open debate.

Lila Rose is the founder and president of the national pro-life organization Live Action. Follow her on Twitter: @LilaGraceRose.

Copyright © 2020 The Federalist, a wholly independent division of FDRLST Media, All Rights Reserved.

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12 Proven Methods to Make Money Blogging in 2024

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Make money blogging

 

Make money bloggingThis is a contributed article.

The world of blogging continues to thrive in 2024, offering a compelling avenue for creative minds to share their knowledge, build an audience, and even turn their passion into profit. Whether you’re a seasoned blogger or just starting, there are numerous effective strategies to monetize your blog and achieve financial success. Here, we delve into 12 proven methods to make money blogging in 2024:

1. Embrace Niche Expertise:

Standing out in the vast blogosphere requires focus. Carving a niche allows you to cater to a specific audience with targeted content. This not only builds a loyal following but also positions you as an authority in your chosen field. Whether it’s gardening techniques, travel hacking tips, or the intricacies of cryptocurrency, delve deep into a subject you’re passionate and knowledgeable about. Targeted audiences are more receptive to monetization efforts, making them ideal for success.

2. Content is King (and Queen):

High-quality content remains the cornerstone of any successful blog. In 2024, readers crave informative, engaging, and well-written content that solves their problems, answers their questions, or entertains them. Invest time in crafting valuable blog posts, articles, or videos that resonate with your target audience.

  • Focus on evergreen content: Create content that remains relevant for a long time, attracting consistent traffic and boosting your earning potential.
  • Incorporate multimedia: Spice up your content with captivating images, infographics, or even videos to enhance reader engagement and improve SEO.
  • Maintain consistency: Develop a regular publishing schedule to build anticipation and keep your audience coming back for more.

3. The Power of SEO:

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) ensures your blog ranks high in search engine results for relevant keywords. This increases organic traffic, the lifeblood of any monetization strategy.

  • Keyword research: Use keyword research tools to identify terms your target audience searches for. Strategically incorporate these keywords into your content naturally.
  • Technical SEO: Optimize your blog’s loading speed, mobile responsiveness, and overall technical aspects to improve search engine ranking.
  • Backlink building: Encourage other websites to link back to your content, boosting your blog’s authority in the eyes of search engines.

4. Monetization Magic: Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing allows you to earn commissions by promoting other companies’ products or services. When a reader clicks on your affiliate link and makes a purchase, you get a commission.

  • Choose relevant affiliates: Promote products or services that align with your niche and resonate with your audience.
  • Transparency is key: Disclose your affiliate relationships clearly to your readers and build trust.
  • Integrate strategically: Don’t just bombard readers with links. Weave affiliate promotions naturally into your content, highlighting the value proposition.

5. Display Advertising: A Classic Approach

Display advertising involves placing banner ads, text ads, or other visual elements on your blog. When a reader clicks on an ad, you earn revenue.

  • Choose reputable ad networks: Partner with established ad networks that offer competitive rates and relevant ads for your audience.
  • Strategic ad placement: Place ads thoughtfully, avoiding an overwhelming experience for readers.
  • Track your performance: Monitor ad clicks and conversions to measure the effectiveness of your ad placements and optimize for better results.

6. Offer Premium Content:

Providing exclusive, in-depth content behind a paywall can generate additional income. This could be premium blog posts, ebooks, online courses, or webinars.

  • Deliver exceptional value: Ensure your premium content offers significant value that justifies the price tag.
  • Multiple pricing options: Consider offering tiered subscription plans to cater to different audience needs and budgets.
  • Promote effectively: Highlight the benefits of your premium content and encourage readers to subscribe.

7. Coaching and Consulting:

Leverage your expertise by offering coaching or consulting services related to your niche. Readers who find your content valuable may be interested in personalized guidance.

  • Position yourself as an expert: Showcase your qualifications, experience, and client testimonials to build trust and establish your credibility.
  • Offer free consultations: Provide a limited free consultation to potential clients, allowing them to experience your expertise firsthand.
  • Develop clear packages: Outline different coaching or consulting packages with varying time commitments and pricing structures.

8. The Power of Community: Online Events and Webinars

Host online events or webinars related to your niche. These events offer valuable content while also providing an opportunity to promote other monetization avenues.

  • Interactive and engaging: Structure your online events to be interactive with polls, Q&A sessions, or live chats. Click here to learn more about image marketing with Q&A sessions and live chats.

9. Embrace the Power of Email Marketing:

Building an email list allows you to foster stronger relationships with your audience and promote your content and offerings directly.

  • Offer valuable incentives: Encourage readers to subscribe by offering exclusive content, discounts, or early access to new products.
  • Segmentation is key: Segment your email list based on reader interests to send targeted campaigns that resonate more effectively.
  • Regular communication: Maintain consistent communication with your subscribers through engaging newsletters or updates.

10. Sell Your Own Products:

Take your expertise to the next level by creating and selling your own products. This could be physical merchandise, digital downloads, or even printables related to your niche.

  • Identify audience needs: Develop products that address the specific needs and desires of your target audience.
  • High-quality offerings: Invest in creating high-quality products that offer exceptional value and user experience.
  • Utilize multiple platforms: Sell your products through your blog, online marketplaces, or even social media platforms.

11. Sponsorships and Brand Collaborations:

Partner with brands or businesses relevant to your niche for sponsored content or collaborations. This can be a lucrative way to leverage your audience and generate income.

  • Maintain editorial control: While working with sponsors, ensure you retain editorial control to maintain your blog’s authenticity and audience trust.
  • Disclosures are essential: Clearly disclose sponsored content to readers, upholding transparency and ethical practices.
  • Align with your niche: Partner with brands that complement your content and resonate with your audience.

12. Freelancing and Paid Writing Opportunities:

Your blog can serve as a springboard for freelance writing opportunities. Showcase your writing skills and expertise through your blog content, attracting potential clients.

  • Target relevant publications: Identify online publications, websites, or magazines related to your niche and pitch your writing services.
  • High-quality samples: Include high-quality blog posts from your site as writing samples when pitching to potential clients.
  • Develop strong writing skills: Continuously hone your writing skills and stay updated on current trends in your niche to deliver exceptional work.

Conclusion:

Building a successful blog that generates income requires dedication, strategic planning, and high-quality content. In today’s digital age, there are numerous opportunities to make money online through blogging. By utilizing a combination of methods such as affiliate marketing, sponsored content, and selling digital products or services, you can leverage your blog’s potential and achieve financial success.

Remember, consistency in posting, engaging with your audience, and staying adaptable to trends are key to thriving in the ever-evolving blogosphere. Embrace new strategies, refine your approaches, and always keep your readers at the forefront of your content creation journey. With dedication and the right approach, your blog has the potential to become a valuable source of income and a platform for sharing your knowledge and passion with the world, making money online while doing what you love.

Image Credit: DepositPhotos



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Snapchat Explores New Messaging Retention Feature: A Game-Changer or Risky Move?

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Snapchat Explores New Messaging Retention Feature: A Game-Changer or Risky Move?

In a recent announcement, Snapchat revealed a groundbreaking update that challenges its traditional design ethos. The platform is experimenting with an option that allows users to defy the 24-hour auto-delete rule, a feature synonymous with Snapchat’s ephemeral messaging model.

The proposed change aims to introduce a “Never delete” option in messaging retention settings, aligning Snapchat more closely with conventional messaging apps. While this move may blur Snapchat’s distinctive selling point, Snap appears convinced of its necessity.

According to Snap, the decision stems from user feedback and a commitment to innovation based on user needs. The company aims to provide greater flexibility and control over conversations, catering to the preferences of its community.

Currently undergoing trials in select markets, the new feature empowers users to adjust retention settings on a conversation-by-conversation basis. Flexibility remains paramount, with participants able to modify settings within chats and receive in-chat notifications to ensure transparency.

Snapchat underscores that the default auto-delete feature will persist, reinforcing its design philosophy centered on ephemerality. However, with the app gaining traction as a primary messaging platform, the option offers users a means to preserve longer chat histories.

The update marks a pivotal moment for Snapchat, renowned for its disappearing message premise, especially popular among younger demographics. Retaining this focus has been pivotal to Snapchat’s identity, but the shift suggests a broader strategy aimed at diversifying its user base.

This strategy may appeal particularly to older demographics, potentially extending Snapchat’s relevance as users age. By emulating features of conventional messaging platforms, Snapchat seeks to enhance its appeal and broaden its reach.

Yet, the introduction of message retention poses questions about Snapchat’s uniqueness. While addressing user demands, the risk of diluting Snapchat’s distinctiveness looms large.

As Snapchat ventures into uncharted territory, the outcome of this experiment remains uncertain. Will message retention propel Snapchat to new heights, or will it compromise the platform’s uniqueness?

Only time will tell.

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Catering to specific audience boosts your business, says accountant turned coach

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Catering to specific audience boosts your business, says accountant turned coach

While it is tempting to try to appeal to a broad audience, the founder of alcohol-free coaching service Just the Tonic, Sandra Parker, believes the best thing you can do for your business is focus on your niche. Here’s how she did just that.

When running a business, reaching out to as many clients as possible can be tempting. But it also risks making your marketing “too generic,” warns Sandra Parker, the founder of Just The Tonic Coaching.

“From the very start of my business, I knew exactly who I could help and who I couldn’t,” Parker told My Biggest Lessons.

Parker struggled with alcohol dependence as a young professional. Today, her business targets high-achieving individuals who face challenges similar to those she had early in her career.

“I understand their frustrations, I understand their fears, and I understand their coping mechanisms and the stories they’re telling themselves,” Parker said. “Because of that, I’m able to market very effectively, to speak in a language that they understand, and am able to reach them.” 

“I believe that it’s really important that you know exactly who your customer or your client is, and you target them, and you resist the temptation to make your marketing too generic to try and reach everyone,” she explained.

“If you speak specifically to your target clients, you will reach them, and I believe that’s the way that you’re going to be more successful.

Watch the video for more of Sandra Parker’s biggest lessons.

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