There’s a growing concern that the Silicon Valley tech giants Google, Facebook, and Twitter dominate their respective markets. Until only a few years ago, they were unanimously hailed as triumphant examples of the success of American free enterprise. That was until they started to reveal themselves as leftist echo chambers that censor and ban conservatives.
Many have proposed legislation to curb the use of what amounts to a societal infrastructure to de-platform and silence people with whom they disagree. However, a small band of free-market enthusiasts has argued that once a significant market player starts abusing its power, it signifies the beginning of its downfall and new competitors will emerge to challenge their customer-hostile behavior.
…new competitors will emerge to challenge their customer-hostile behavior.
Some signs are brewing that the free-marketeers have it right. Slowly, and almost invisibly, a real challenger to the Google search engine hegemony is emerging: DuckDuckGo. Their sales pitch is that they neither store any personal information about their users nor engage in politically discriminatory behavior.
Most people have probably never heard of DuckDuckGo, but that may soon change. Alexa.com keeps track of site popularity around the world, and the Google challenger clocks in at #135 in the U.S. and #224 worldwide.
That may not seem too impressive, but consider that the contender has risen sharply and steadily in popularity over the last 12 months. Where will it be another year from now? To put this in context: As late as 2009, Microsoft’s Internet Explorer was the dominant web browser and Google’s Chrome was only at around 1% market share. Today, the roles are reversed. The lesson is that today’s David may be tomorrow’s Goliath.
DuckDuckGo is not the only alt-tech competitor. BitChute is a distributed alternative to YouTube, MeWe is trying to compete with Facebook, Gab takes on Twitter, and Minds attempts to be somewhere halfway between Twitter and Facebook.
While all of them are microscopic in comparison to the Silicon Valley giants, they are steadily gaining in popularity, and every time prominent conservatives are censored, discriminated against, or banned on the mainstream platforms, these alternative sites receive a boost.
These are live lab trials on free market competition. They don’t have to become the dominant players for consumers to be the winners. All it takes for them is to become credible threats to alter the abusive behavior of the tech giants.
The fun thing about this experiment is that you can be a voluntary lab rat. If you want to reduce the power of Silicon Valley, you only need to start using these alternatives.