It will be a lot harder to silence conservative voices on the internet and social media now that a new mobile app is available to help news consumers find and read stories posted by conservative sources.
In late October, Republican strategist and entrepreneur Matt Whitworth rolled out a test version of the new app, called TheUpdate. Its purpose, he says: To “counter the suppression of conservative content by big tech companies.”
Conservatives have grown increasingly uncomfortable with social media giants like Facebook, Twitter, and Google deciding what is or isn’t acceptable speech.
“It’s almost become a daily occurrence of conservative personalities having their accounts suspended or their content blocked,” Whitworth tells Newsmax in an exclusive interview. “We wanted to figure out a really realistic way to counter that suppression.”
The app, now available on Google Play and the Apple App Store, curates conservative video content from Facebook and YouTube. Twitter will soon be included as well as a future upgrade.
TheUpdate allows conservative publishers to upload their content directly to the app. If users prefer, they can search out publishers’ content on their sites for themselves.
Some of the companies onboard so far include Prager University, The Blaze, and Conservative Review. Whitworth has appeared on Glenn Beck’s show to plug the app, and has had talks with Breitbart News.
“It’s a great benefit to conservative publishers because we’re aggregating their video content into one place,” the entrepreneur tells Newsmax. “The views track back to the publishers themselves.
“It’s really about conservative publishers banding together under TheUpdate -- and it allows them to benefit from increased viewership.
Even potentially competitive sites benefit when both make their content available through TheUpdate, he says, due to the synergies involved when users can use a single app to access a broad range of opinions and news.
Whitworth is the founder of Loxley Media, a digital communications company based in Washington. He was the chief adviser to outgoing Virginia Rep. Dave Brat’s successful primary campaign against incumbent House Majority Leader Eric Cantor in 2014. He also created the Facebook documentary series “The Swamp,” which was based on the conservative House Freedom Caucus. The series garnered 20 million views over six episodes.
Whitworth says he and a small team worked on the app for about a month with no financial backers or investors. Future plans also include developing original content.
“We’re doing it all ourselves,” he tells Newsmax.
He says even up-and-coming conservative filmmakers can also use the app to reach an audience. Whitworth remarks: “There’s a lot of really young, talented conservatives who produce great content -- and, unfortunately, we don’t really get to see it.
Whitworth says conservative content is hard to find “because of the suppression going on.” And there’s one distribution platform, he says, that has been especially tough to work with: Apple.
“Apple is actually giving us a hard time over some very, very basic language in the description of the app,” Whitworth says. “They’ve actually sent it back for review a couple of times.”
He’s not surprised, though.
So could a conservative app promoting the free exchange of ideas itself be censored? Not if Whitworth has anything to say about it, apparently.
“I joke with some of our people that we should’ve had sort of a liberal version and submitted that,” he says. “And once we had approval, we could’ve switched everything over to the conservative content.”
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