Independent investigative journalist Ben Swann has launched ISE.Media, an alternative media platform to compete with traditional online outlets such as Facebook and YouTube. This is meant to eventually transition to a decentralized blockchain-based network named Isegoria with a treasury-based community funding model.
Announced this week, ISE Media, a multi-channel alternative media platform, has now launched a public beta, as well as a crowdfunding campaign to further build out the platform. According to Swann, the platform is meant as a home to alternative voices which may have been censored or otherwise restricted in traditional media outlets and platforms:
“If you believe that what you are hearing and seeing on your television, your phone or on your computer is untrue, where do you go to dissent? Where do you go to push back? Where do you go to question what’s happening around you? We are creating a media company that is not simply for the people, but is being created by the people. That is power.”
ISE Media plans to include a wide variety of content channels including a streaming channel offering round-the-clock content such as newscasts, podcasts, documentaries, and independent content, a channel for creators suffering censorship on other platforms, and a section for smaller independent creators. This last segment is set to include the ability for independent creators to present proposals to the ISE treasury system for funding.
In late 2018, Swann announced the creation of Isegoria, a decentralized blockchain-based media project with the ability to fund independent journalists through a treasury system directed by stakeholders. This network has not yet been developed, and while ISE Media is currently based on conventional infrastructure similar to that of contemporary platforms, the intent is to move to the decentralized and censorship-resistant Isegoria network once it is built and deployed.
Swann's move to decentralized blockchain funding after being cancelled
Ben Swann drew acclaim and controversy for his highly-successful Reality Check news segment, offering investigative deep dives into often neglected subjects. His segment was cancelled, however, leading to a year-long hiatus ending upon securing a sponsorship from the Dash decentralized autonomous network, followed by a sponsorship from Smartcash. These experiences led Swann to pursue the creation of a decentralized blockchain-based media network to more appropriately serve the needs of independent media.
The surge in alternative media platforms resulting from spiking censorship
Increased censorship and demonetization of creators on traditional platforms such as YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter have led to an increasing move to decentralized and censorship-resistant platforms. Pro-free speech video platform BitChute has seen a doubling in traffic since February, while LBRY.tv, the web portal for the LBRY decentralized content network, has seen its traffic quadruple over the same time period. Twitter alternative Parler has seen a 20x growth since February as well, as disenfranchised members of the political right left Twitter after cancelling and censorship.
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