Alternative social network CloutHub says its video hosting provider IBM has removed its video channels without warning.
CloutHub describes itself as a “next-generation social network for social, civic and political networking” and said that all 57 of its video channels were taken down by IBM on Friday.
CloutHub’s founder and CEO Jeff Brain told Reclaim The Net IBM “didn’t give us any heads up, no warning, and took a shotgun approach to remove everything.”
Brain added that the takedown impacted “faith groups, police groups, a national news outlet and many more.”
In an update, CloutHub wrote that it’s working to get the video channels restored and is currently moving its video hosting to another platform.
CloutHub’s report of being suddenly deplatformed reflects a struggle that many other alt-tech social networks face when trying to compete with mainline social media platforms.
Even when these companies do build alternative platforms, large multi-billion dollar corporations control the infrastructure that’s necessary to host content, process payments, distribute apps, and perform other tasks that are essential when running a social network. And these large corporations can pull the plug at any time.
In this instance, CloutHub says its video channels were taken down without warning by IBM.
But large corporations can restrict alt-tech competitors at multiple levels.
Mobile app distribution is controlled by Apple and Google and they can boot alt-tech competitors at any time.
Google Search, Facebook, and YouTube are three of the most five visited sites in the world and can have a huge impact on which alternative social networks are discovered.
And the mega-corporations Visa, Mastercard, and PayPal have a tight grip over online payment processing. All three have previously banned and blacklisted alt-tech platforms and independent creators.