A new social media platform called Locals has drawn strong backing from leading crypto figures as part of a push to escape Big Tech censorship.
Locals Technology Inc. announced a $3.8-million seed investment round on Tuesday and included backing from Morgan Creek Digital Assets co-founder Anthony Pompliano, former Coinbase chief technology officer Balaji S. Srinivasan, as well as Alexander Lloyd, co-author of The Little Bitcoin Book.
Locals is an alternative platform that gives control to independent creators by allowing them to post content without wrestling with the ambiguous censorship standards on social media platforms such as YouTube and Patreon.
Scott Adams, creator of the Dilbert comic strip, said that he joined Locals because it gave him back the control over his content, noting he was fearful over what content he could post in light of being shadow-banned or demonetized:
“Before Locals, I couldn’t control what anybody saw because Twitter could shadowban me, YouTube could demonetize me and it looked like one wrong move and I would just be out of business. I was putting tons of work into something that I had no control over. These platforms could just snap a finger and I’d be out of business.”
While the platform is not blockchain-based, it’s likely to be of interest to crypto influencers who have fallen victim to similar shadow bans, demonetization, video deletion and algorithms that reportedly work against crypto content.
Locals co-founder and CEO Assaf Lev noted on the company’s website the aim of the platform was to put creators back in control:
“We created locals.com to give creators more—more money, more control, and true ownership over their own content and audience.”
Creators on the platform can set the rules for allowed content in their own “communities,” with fans also being able to post content in the communities they subscribe to. Co-founder Dave Rubin, who is an outspoken political commentator and YouTube personality, started Locals with the idea of evening up the playing field:
“If you think about the relationship between the big social media platforms and the content creator, the equation is backwards. The content creator is why people visit these big tech platforms, and yet they are the ones who make the lion’s share of the money.”
Creators can set their own monthly subscription fees, with Locals taking a 10% cut of total monthly revenues. The platform operates with Local Coin, a non-crypto digital currency that holds a value of $0.10.
The push for monetized free speech platforms has sparked a lot of innovation for blockchain-based solutions. On April 1, Cointelegraph reported on several platforms that aim to solve the vague content monetization policies of the major platforms. For example, GazeTV, You42 and AIOZTube are all aiming to provide a transparent way creators can post content while being able to track revenue on the blockchain.