In the era of “cancel culture,” the issue of online censorship has continued to be a hot topic amongst social media mavens, politicians, and even business leaders. Just this year, billionaire Elon Musk made headlines when he became a major shareholder of Twitter stock, promising to restore free speech to a platform that routinely blocks users including commentators, activists, and even the former president of the United States.
“Free speech is essential to a functioning democracy,” Musk said in March. “Given that Twitter serves as the de facto public town square, failing to adhere to free speech principles fundamentally undermines democracy.”
Whether Musk will be able to change direction at Twitter remains to be seen. For now, however, after years of social media giants slapping misinformation labels on users’ posts, online censorship may have met its match with a mobile app that promises to give consumers a platform for “free-er expression.” Relevnt, which bills itself as “the people’s app,” says it is proud to give users the opportunity to create and participate in public and private chats with less fear of being canceled.
Whether it’s boxing, politics, favorite TV shows, cannabis, or seemingly anything, Relevnt is enabling users to instantly connect and interact with the people and things they are passionate about without unnecessary limitations. The app is also location-based, which gives users the unique ability to connect with others in their own backyards.
The Florida-based app company was founded in 2017 by Winder Hughes who continues to serve as Relevnt’s CEO. Recently, Hughes’ company announced new features to the platform, including ephemeral pop-up chatrooms, a Live Now menu to conversation feeds, and live video capabilities to add to its audio and text-enabled platform. Hughes says that by building on Relevnt’s interactive, real-time podcasting and group messaging functionality, these new innovations will empower users to freely express themselves with less fear of being canceled or called out later for ephemeral posts that will disappear after a set time.
“We’ve introduced Relevnt’s new ephemeral pop-up chatrooms to spark a new generation of live, interactive podcasters,” said Hughes. “Ephemeral group messaging functions much like day-to-day in-person conversations. You’re free to express yourself with less concern that your every word is being permanently stored to use against you at a later date. In parallel, we’ve also unveiled Live Now, which takes the daily ‘newsfeed’ experience to the next level as a ‘conversation feed,’ where you can instantly find and engage in the ephemeral conversations that matter to you.”
Hughes believes that the shelf life of in-the-moment news, information, and entertainment in people’s daily digital lives is short and that Relevnt’s new ephemeral pop-up chatrooms bring people together without the corrosive side effects of cancel culture and excessive personal censorship.
“They are also a natural way of pulling together small and large audiences around a topic and timeframe, whether live sporting events and festivals, celebrity drop-ins, trending topics, or breaking news,” added Hughes. “With a quickly growing pipeline of features and functionality, Relevnt is where inclusive community and entertainment meet empowerment.”
Relevnt has already received a stamp of approval from some big names including former world heavyweight champion, Mike Tyson, who discussed the app during an interview on the Joe Rogan Podcast. Tyson says that Relevnt “protects your soul and your wallet.”
“I have this new app, and people that wanna cancel me, they’ll say no I’m going to cancel you, boom,” Tyson said on his own podcast.
Hughes says that they will continue to speak out against censorship. The app also posted a new video titled “Censorship sucks,” which pokes fun at the cancel culture plaguing society. The video ends with a graphic saying “censorship is everywhere, oh except here,” referring to the app. It also advocates for less canceled culture and more of what they are calling “conversation culture.”
Censorship on social media is likely to remain in the spotlight for months and years, especially as a number of legal cases are pending before the courts. Just last month, the U.S. Supreme Court temporarily overturned a new Texas law that would ban companies from removing online posts based on the views they expressed. Justice Samuel Alito wrote that the court will likely have to address the issue again in greater detail
“This application concerns issues of great importance that will plainly merit this court’s review,” Alito wrote. “Social media platforms have transformed the way people communicate with each other and obtain news. At issue is a groundbreaking Texas law that addresses the power of dominant social media corporations to shape public discussion of the important issues of the day.”
Relevnt is on both the App Store and Google Play, and no extra equipment is needed to cast, no invites are required to participate. Regardless of where the cancel culture and free speech conversation go, this app, at least, makes it easy to get your thoughts out there, explore and create.