Non-evil platforms for Buddhist monks/nuns to post on, escaping GAFAM/FAANG/whatever

There is online a slide presentation overview of network effects - Network Effects Bible. It shows Facebook and other platforms connectivity diagrams, etc. It may be useful to some of you here for educating others.


@Dana, there are 3 other long-winded threads that I’m guessing you haven’t read yet:

I’d like to invite Apologists for Social Media to post in one of the above three threads, instead of in this thread. This thread is for people who want to discuss Non-evil platforms for Buddhist monks/nuns to post on, escaping GAFAM/FAANG/whatever, not for those wishing to cast FUD on the utility of doing so.

Whether a house is infested with one rat, or one million rats, the onus on a house owner is to try to have their house rat-free. Go ahead and argue that the Network Effects that one million rats have managed to achieve have created an entitlement for them to stay, so let’s keep the status quo and do nothing. You know, “might makes right,” for those powerful, unbeatable rats. Sorry, I’ll never be convinced of that.

Bhante Subharo,
I then look forward to seeing the Home Pages of the Buddhist Society of Western Australia, Buddhist Council of NSW, Buddhist Council of Victoria and other Buddhist networks without Facebook symbol to click, let alone invitation to follow them through Facebook. And that you and others skilled in IT help them towards better alternatives. I think that would be a good start and I believe easy to implement.

“Happy, the arising of Buddhas!
Sukho buddhānamuppādo,
Happy, the teaching of Dhamma!
sukhā saddhammadesanā;
Happy is the harmony of the Saṅgha,
Sukhā saṅghassa sāmaggī,
and the striving of the harmonious is happy.
samaggānaṁ tapo sukho.”
(Dhp 194)

With best wishes, Dana :pray:


Highlighting Bhante’s excellent advice:

It helps a lot when everybody can stay on the topic of the OP. :pray:

Also, I’m moving this thread out of the AV category which is intended for

To the Watercooler where we

(If in doubt a out where to place a new thread, it’s easy to check by consulting the Categories page, accessible from the pulldown menu under the hamburger.)

the connected goodness or connected badness will follow along regardless of the ethics of the entity running the platform. Here is a hideous example that I just encountered: and actually as a result of reading this thread :open_mouth: . I followed this link you provided

I was forewarned by you :pray: so I won’t respond to Ajahn’s position here. I have never been on Odysee before (only just heard the name) and I did not sign up so they can’t possibly know anything about me (right?), but this is what I can report :sob: .

Like YouTube, it runs a list of recommended videos down the righthand column. I went straight to Ajahn’s talk and the suggestions displayed beside it were disgusting. :face_vomiting: They were mainly ones that promoted specific anti-VAX madness that I’ve not even hear of before (eg Luciferese :angry:) and blatant racism :rage: .

I’m a general user of the internet with no IT expertise, and – had I not seen Odysee recommended in this thread I would have concluded that it was an Evil Right Wing Site. Since I have a modicum of wisdom; I used FB sparingly and am happy to report that a high percentage of YT suggests I receive are dhamma talks.


Sigh, I have to agree with you strongly here, @Gillian . Even though we’d all like some alternative to come along to the Youtubes and Facebooks of the world (requiring virtually no effort on our part in the setup, other than new user account creation), whenever one of these comes along, which is a wide-open, poorly-moderated platform, then you are going to see what you just saw on Odysee: a bunch of marginal conspiracy theorists, etc. will congregate there, who got kicked off of Youtube and Facebook. Sadly these appear as suggestions alongside the content you were wanting to see: Ajahn Punnadhammo.

I hold a view, that many geeks commonly share, but non-geeks generally don’t have the experience or subtlety to understand: RSS is the way out of this mess (here’s my RSS feed, BTW). By anyone subscribing to my RSS feed, then my website isn’t just a random isolated website that virtually nobody visits (since everyone, by and large, is looking in popular sites like Youtube and Facebook), but rather my postings earn a place alongside all the other RSS feeds that one subscribes to. My content gains a place at the table of anyone who regularly looks to their RSS feed aggregator app for all their daily news, daily inspiration, or daily content. RSS performs no slimy privacy invasion, displaying of Ads, etc, unlike the Faustian-esque “Subscribe” and “Follow” buttons of all Social Media sites/apps.

Here’s a bunch of posts in a popular geek forum called “Hacker News” calling for a return to RSS:

For example, there are several Buddhist Monasteries who publish RSS feeds right now, (which I subscribe to). Here they are (and you’ll need to copy and paste these links into an RSS feed aggregator app, don’t just click them in your web browser):

@dana, each Buddhist Monastery’s website with a Facebook link, would ideally also publish an RSS feed, allowing one to Subscribe to the news postings, new Dhamma Talks, etc, without having to use Facebook. I suggest requesting an RSS feed of every Buddhist Monastety’s website, which does not have one. RSS can always be added somehow or other, should there be sufficient demand for it. That’s the catch: it needs to be demanded, and furthermore sufficiently used. Content Management Systems like Wordpress and Jekyll include RSS functionality by default, BTW.

RSS is also the way around the flood of Fake News that will get published on all the wide-open, poorly-moderated platforms. Please check out GPT-3. It’s an AI that can generate fake news. Last I heard it was being used to generate something like 4.5 billion words per day. The entire Pali Canon of Buddhism, (the bible of Theravada Buddhism), takes up something like two whole bookshelves, and it only contains something like 6 Million words. Not Billion, with a “B”. When you RSS-subscribe to people with credible backgrounds, who are credible experts in their fields, and the postings come from credible websites where AI hopefully can’t post, that is your decent assurance that it’s not fake news.

In addition to RSS, all my Dhamma Talk Videos postings on my site have been digitally signed (plus a checksum). These are further bulwarks against fake news. Note the little paragraph at the bottom of each of my postings, here’s what it looks like on my latest posting:

Digital Signing and Checksum (of the .mp4 video file above):

No AI can cryptographically forge my GPG signature, without first breaking into my laptop, and stealing both my private GPG key file, and my passphrase. This would be in addition to breaking into my website, to post such forged signatures and checksums.


Thanks, @dana. I agree, Happiness is where it’s at. The whole Social Media situation is a rather grim one, where the ugly side effects are very hard to twist out of, due to the aforementioned Network Effects.

Were you to meet me in real life, I assure you that I’m an a very adequately happy person. :slightly_smiling_face: How enjoyable my meditation practice is in private is something you can’t really see here on this forum. Please don’t mistake any crustiness you see in my posts on these complicated IT-related things to mean that I am categorically like that in real life. Crustiness is an expected thing when you’ve been a Systems Administrator for any length of time.


I agree! I’ve never done anything with RSS. Would it be possible to set it up on our Lokanta website? I wanted top but never figured it out. I know it’s not hard!


My first reaction was that this a very Luddite position, but yes I do see the wisdom in it (just as I appreciate handwoven cloth). Once the feeds are established and users have subscribed this would work well and keep out the unwanted detrius.

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Well, my RSS feed came “for free” (no additional setup) with Jekyll. What Content Management System do you use? Perhaps your CMS already has it, or perhaps an optional extension/Add-On/Plugin for that CMS provides it?

I like your hand-woven cloth analogy, @Gillian .

Yes, there is definitely a “heard it through the grapevine” dynamic to RSS.

As we all know, humanity has done a very good job of discovering and passing around all sorts of juicy recommendations in a “grapevine” sort of way since like forever. I sure hope we don’t lose that to the slimy middlemen of the world who want to be everybody’s grapevine instead.

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Proficiency in Linux be all like the magic wand with the golden orb on the top, which launches ferocious phantom tigers at your computing problems:


Google had a plan called “Project NERA” to turn the web into a walled garden

…with Discussion.

I’ve tried moving to Linux for my personal computing requirements (as opposed to servers) several times over the years and every time I’ve run into problems with unintuitive alternative creative apps and hardware driver problems. Perhaps I’ll give it another go.

I suggest trying it on a spare laptop at first, if you have one. If you have only one laptop, and it’s for work purposes, approach very carefully, checking ahead for linux compatibility, before you make the plunge.

Thanks Bhante. I use a desktop and it’s only used for Buddhist content creation (video audio books websites etc) these days. I’ve got a spare SSD I can use. I’m confident I will be able to revert if everything goes wrong.

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This is a disturbing thread. It’s about unredacted documents recently released as part of an antitrust filing against Google. Read it, especially if you remain unconvinced by the danger posed by FAANG.

That’s a strange way to spell GIMP. :laughing:

(But seriously, if you run into any issues, feel free to ask here!)

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I already use GIMP on Windows, so that one is hopefully going to be the easy one for me.

I’ve been using mainly (what used to be) Sonic Foundry (now MAGIX via Sony) tools for audio (then video) since the 90s, so that’s going to be a difficult move. But my use cases are much simpler these days so I’m hopeful.

Thanks so much for the offer of help!

I prefer to Krita to GIMP. Just saying. :slight_smile:

Ocenaudio is my fav. That’s not a typo; it’s not “Oceanaudio”. I use it mainly to downmix recorded audio Dhamma Talks (saving 40% of file size, but retaining like 99% audio quality), but it is a good audio editor also.