Friday, January 11, 2013

Tea Party Community, the Conservative's Facebook Alternative

Why the new social site?

The Tea Party Community, Facebook's newest competitor, officially launched February 2, 2013. With a membership at that time of 88,000 members, it wants to be the place for conservative Americans to socialize without fear of censorship. quotes Tea Party Community co-founder Ken Crow as saying the new website will be a " safe haven" where conservatives can share ideas and connect with like-minded people who are tired of Facebook's constant badgering and warnings."
Some conservative groups feel they have been unfairly targeted and removed by the social media giant. Americans for Prosperity, a conservative political advocacy group, had advertisements removed by Facebook after people claimed the ads were misleading. Facebook later reinstated the ads, saying they had been mistakenly removed. The Council of Conservative Americans Facebook group was removed altogether after complaints.

What's on the Tea Party Community's website?

Browsing the groups on the website, you'll see the usual conservative groups: homeschooling, religious, patriotic, survivalists and conspiracists. Under the group Gun Rights, are the threads: "We are being LIED TO........Obama ORDERED the murders in Connecticut", and "Civil War Coming? You Betcha.... " That must explain why a friend visiting North Carolina found it almost impossible to find ammunition for target practice. This kind of thinking leads to children being held underground in bunkers against their will.

Freedom of speech?

It sounds like a great idea for those who believe there should be no restrictions on freedom of speech - but will the Tea Party Community be supportive of members with viewpoints with which they don't agree? Apparently not. I found a conversation on an organization called Patriotic Ninjas' page; a woman is asking why her mother was banned from the Tea Party Community. Her mother, a conservative, had posted a poll asking if the people, not the government, should make the decision about civil unions. She was apparently banned from the site without warning. I have also apparently been kicked from their community. I made no posts or comments, but did make some colorful friends. I guess the Tea Party Community didn't like the company I kept.

Will it succeed?

It is doubtful the Tea Party Community will have quite the global impact as Facebook and its one billion plus members. I don't think other conservative people like Mid-Eastern Muslims will find a warm welcome in this community. My fear is that by blocking out all other dissenting opinions, the neo-conservative movement will become more fearful and exclusive of their fellow citizens. We may not agree on a many things, but we all, liberal and conservative, love our country. We are still the United States of America.

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