Digital Sharecropping Hidden Risks

Digital sharecropping platforms have been popular with small businesses, who look at them as low cost ways to build their business online.  However, they are full of hidden risks, which often come at great financial and brand reputation cost.

What are Digital Sharecropping Platforms?

They are social media, website, blogging, eCommerce and other networks that are owned and managed by third parties.  Many of these “generously” offer you free accounts.  Or you can join for a very low start up cost.  As part of the deal, they also give you access to their huge number of users. 

However, in return, these networks ask that you upload a lot of engaging content which keeps their users informed, educated, and entertained.  This enables them to market to them via sponsored advertising (which equals great profits for them). 

For example, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Weebly, Shopify, and are some of the most popular ones.  Even the more common search engines, like Google, are digital sharecroppers.

Web 2.0, by putting the means of production into the hands of the masses but withholding from those same masses any ownership over the product of their work, provides an incredibly efficient mechanism to harvest the economic value of the free labor provided by the very many and concentrate it into the hands of the very few.

– Nicolas Carr, Author of Utopia is Creepy.  From Roughtype Blog Post 2006

Digital Sharecroppers Exploit Users and Profit Greatly

Nicolas Carr’s 2006 observations, along with many others from the early days on online marketing, were spot on for how the very few (digital sharecropping platforms) have exploited and profited off the hard work of the many.

Add in the censorship and propaganda being pushed by these platforms over the past few years, at the behest of global powers, and it makes very little sense for anyone to keep investing enormous amounts of time, energy or precious marketing dollars into building their online presence solely on any platform they don’t own.

Let’s be clear.  While we’re not against using these platforms for strategic marketing purposes, just be aware that your return on investment is getting less and less. 

Therefore we definitely recommend that you do not rely on digital sharecropping platforms as your main business hub

In other words, make sure you self-host your online real estate.  If you don’t know how to do this, we can guide you through the process via one of our courses or inside our membership area

The remainder of this article looks into the three reasons why digital sharecropping platforms are risky.

Reason 1:  You Put Your Intellectual Property at Risk

When you use these networks as the primary online base for your business, you are putting your Intellectual Property at risk. 

Firstly, when you sign up to use any network or platform, you must read the terms and conditions closely.  Sadly, the majority of users skip the small print and tick the “I consent” box without understanding what they are consenting to.

For example, one of the hidden terms of service is that you grant the platform a royalty free license to use your content however they choose. Even the photos, videos, and text that you upload with private settings. 

Another one is that they will provide backdoor access to your account to whomever they choose, often without even telling you.  

 Reasons to grant backdoor access to your data by unknown third parties may include (but are not limited to):
  • any business that supports the platform’s services and products, including any person that hosts or maintains any underlying IT system or data centre that is used by the platform to provide the website or other services and products;
  • a credit reference agency for the purpose of credit checking you;
  • other third parties (for “anonymised” statistical information);
  • a person who can require the platform to supply your personal information (e.g. a regulatory authority);
  • any other person authorised by the Act or another law (e.g. a law enforcement agency).

In other words, anyone the platform chooses to authorise can access your intellectual property and private information

Often people say, “oh, I have nothing to hide.”  However, that is small comfort. 

After all, how will you know who exactly is accessing your private photos, videos and musings? 

More importantly, what control do you actually have over what they do with them? 

Or how they interpret, use or manipulate what you’ve uploaded?

Freedom to Speak, Think, Feel and Act are Gone

There are increasing concerns about globalists and their agenda to control the world through “The Great Reset”.  This includes controlling food production (you will eat bugs, own nothing and be happy), 15 minute smart (high surveillance) cities, mass data collection, carbon social credit systems, central bank digital currency and digital IDs.  

What would you do if something you uploaded to a digital sharecropping platform resulted in your bank account being frozen?  This is no longer conspiracy theory or limited to countries like China.  This happened in February 2022 in Canada.

Most of the globalist plan is not only open for everyone to see, but is being implemented at a faster and faster pace.  If you want to explore more about this we recommend this website

Basically, even though you may think you have nothing to hide, should you do something that is arbitrarily deemed to go against the platform or overarching authority’s policies, your account could be cancelled without warning

The globalist overreach has reached pandemic proportions.  Their agencies now control a lot of digital share cropping platforms, big tech companies and main stream media.  For recent examples, look at Paypal and Twitter’s censorious cancel culture behaviour uncovered during 2022 and 2023.

For many small business owners, who have built their online presence solely on one digital sharecropping platform, the instant loss of their intellectual property and brand reputation is something they never recover from

And all it takes to be cancelled is someone deciding they don’t like you or what you do, and informing on you to those in power.  You’ll then be cancelled without warning, and lose everything you’ve uploaded or built on their platform.

Therefore, it’s important to minimise your risk by building on real estate you own, and using digital sharecropping platforms with extreme caution.

Reason 2:  Digital Sharecroppers Profit from Your Hard Work

Digital sharecropping platforms rely on you pouring all of your energy into getting your original, quality content in front of their network’s users.  If you’re lucky, you get some likes, and maybe a few followers. 

But to increase your numbers, you need to invest a lot of time to monitor and engage with anyone who comments.  Or take on a part or full time social media admin person. 

An alternative is to pay for “sponsored posts” which can really eat into your marketing dollars, with very minimal, if any, return on investment.

The reality is, that when it comes to social media, most of your audience or followers are there to be entertained or educated for free.  In other words, they don’t log onto social media to be sold to.  They are there to connect with friends and family, or to alleviate loneliness or boredom.

However, with the increase in numbers of sponsored posts appearing on people’s feeds, as well as the increase of censorship, or woke attacks, a lot of independent thinking people are being turned off social media all together.

The end result is that at you invest a lot of time and in many cases, money, and end up without any sales to show for it. 

Are Your Followers Even Real People?

If you do make your posts public, which as a business owner you will, then a lot of the time you don’t know who your followers are, or if they are even real people.  Often commenters could be trolls or bots.  Consequently, you (or the social media admin you hire) need to monitor comments closely to make sure you protect your brand reputation.  
In more recent times, especially since 2020, many powerful organisations are hiring armies of people to seek out and destroy critical thinkers and independent leaning thought leaders.  They are doing this through the slow creep of ugliness into the language of public debate.  For a small business owner to fight this, you either need to think strategically, hire or join an army of like-minded freedom warriors, or build strength of character and resilience to protect yourself against verbal bullying.
“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me.” 
— English Children’s nursery rhyme

The Woke and Disinformation Experts are Paranoid

Unfortunately, many members of these woke armies are so caught up in the dystopian narrative, they have developed mental health issues.  Often they exhibit signs of total paranoia about or get easily offended by anyone who follows traditional values, or dares to educate themselves and think differently to their agenda.  Interestingly enough, when directly challenged many of these disinformation and woke “experts” can’t even define the meaning of the words and terms they are using.

They want to shut down free speech, saying words as a weapon of war, and accuse anyone who doesn’t agree with their tyrannical “single source of truth” plan of spreading disinformation or worse.  They should know about words being weapons, because that is the main weapon the globalists, woke and leftists wield.  

The good news is that if you are keen to remain free and self-empowered, then avoid digital sharecropping platforms.  Instead build on platforms you own, or collaborate with others who encourage growth and free speech, thinking, feeling, listening, and action.

Reason 3:  You Risk Losing Your Most Valuable Asset – Your “List”

In all forms of business (and even life in general) “the money is in the list.”  What this means is that the people in your network (including your contacts list) are the most valuable ones you know. 

Because you have a warm relationship with them.  They are in your network or list because they have come to know and like you.  And have given you access to their private information (such as name, email address, phone number and so on).

Generally, most platforms and apps access your contact lists as soon as you set up an account.  You’ve probably noticed how they accurately suggest “people you might know” to connect with. 

What’s worse, even if we think we’ve denied them access, we may have done unknowingly when synchronising our multiple devices to access our social media accounts. 

Your Contacts Have Given Away Your Private Information

Or our friends, family and contacts in our networks have given permission to their contacts list, or use a messaging app for their primary text or phone communication

In that scenario, the platform connects the dots by matching your connection’s contact list with your phone, email, name and other personal information.

For six tips to stop a digital sharecropping platform accessing your contacts, visit this website

Then there are the cookies that track you on every website and digital sharecropping platform you visit, as well as invisible tracking beacons inserted into marketing emails.

We are subjects of surveillance 24/7/365 by big tech, who is mining our data and private information.  This is only going to ramp up with the proposed fifteen minute cities.  Even your car infotainment systems are spying on you

To be honest, there is very little we can do about it, apart from going completely off grid and ditching all modern technology.

However, you can start by minimising your risk through being aware of the hidden dangers of digital sharecropping platforms, big tech, big government and big pharma.  And then start to take back control of your life, your personal and business data, and privacy with open eyes and strategic thinking.  

If you need guidance on how to set up or move your business to a self-hosted website and marketing platforms you manage, check out our membership options and guides.

Digital Sharecropping Networks

The following list is far from complete.  Some networks may no longer exist by the time you read this article.  But hopefully it gives you insight into spotting ones you should avoid.  

  • TypePad
  • Substack (that said, you do get access to your subscribers’ information, so this isn’t the worst platform you could use)
  • Blogger
  • Tumblr
  • Shopify
  • Weebly
  • Wix
  • Squarespace
  • Contentful
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Telegram
  • Odyssey
  • Youtube
  • Vimeo
  • Instagram
  • LinkedIn
  • Pinterest
  • And lots more…

Explore our blog more for resources on home business, writing, publishing and marketing

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