Earlier this week I made a decision to discontinue my highly controversial website, ChristianChirp. The site was launched in October of 2009 in response to my suspension from Twitter. Yes, it is true that I was banned from tweeting for one week after supposedly violating their terms of service. You may not remember the story, but Rush Limbaugh was being denied a chance to invest in the St. Louis Rams franchise at the very same time that Michael Vick was being welcomed back into the NFL with open arms. "So, I guess being a conservative is worse than killing and torturing dogs?" That is the kind of thing I was posting on Twitter and also linking to my article, "Why The NFL Was 100% Right For Banning Rush Limbaugh From The NFL."
The article infuriated liberals on Twitter since I tricked them into clicking on it and reading it. They believed that I was anti-Limbaugh, and learned later that the laugh was on them as my article was dripping with sarcasm. After my one week suspension from Twitter I honestly asked the question, "Why can't I start my own social network just like Twitter for Christians?" It took a modest investment and about two weeks, and I was online with my 'Twitter clone.' To make things even more fun, I named the site ChristianChirp. The idea was to extend my Christian online presence into the social media world and go with a Christian name that mocked Twitter. I loved the branding, but some did not get the humor. I was shocked at the outrage from every direction you can imagine. The most surprising, however, was the angst from my Christian brethren.
Supposedly, my adventure into social media represented an attempt to wall Christians off from the rest of the world. It was the least 'Jesus-like' thing that a person could do to run off and set up a Christian social network. How would the lost be reached? Who would be a witness to those mired in sin? What had I done? Was it the beginning of the great apostasy? The tech community was outraged with my audacity, liberals were all but spitting on me, and I became the topic of numerous articles from the Christian elite that used me as the example of what is wrong with Christians today. In his article, How Christianity Lost Its Voice in Today's Media Driven World, Phil Cooke (Ph.D), Cooke goes all the way back to 1833 to lay the groundwork for why ChristianChirp is such a bad idea. I envision them all smoking pipes sitting around a fireplace discussing ChristianChirp and how it was destroying the culture.
During the launch of ChristianChirp there was more than 20,000 mentions online about the site, most of them with inbound links. The opportunity was huge, but the execution was monumental. We were immediately under daily hacking attacks. The site was probably brought down more than 50 times during the first month we were online. This required me to double down multiple times on my small investment to hire software engineers to improve our security. Several staff members had to take turns watching the site from midnight to 8 am (when most of the attacks would take place). Taking us offline was one thing, but the attacks became more and more insidious. The worst of all was when they would hit the site in the middle of the night and open hundreds of phony accounts and post pornographic pictures as profile images. We fought them back for months and eventually most of them went away.
I have a Twitter and a Facebook account. For the record, I never suggested that anyone close out their other social media to join us on ChristianChirp. Even though collectors of 1950's vintage cars, UFO buffs, and comic book fans could all have their own online communities, I was being told that Christians could not. I still reject this notion as strongly as I did when I launched ChristianChirp back in 2009. We are basically now down to just a handful of companies that control the entire Internet. I believe that the faith community will have deep regrets in the near future about squashing Christian alternatives. Not only is pornography and profanity rampant on Twitter, but Twitter is still suspending conservatives. Here are just two recent examples -
Oh yes, probably the best example of all is that of Anthony Weiner. After being caught tweeting pictures of his namesake (weiner, get it?), he was forced to resign from Congress (but was never suspended from Twitter). Just another example of why there needs to be more, not less, social media options for Christians.
If you are interested in reviving ChristianChirp, I am open to offering the domain name to the right person that shares my vision for the site. I warn you, however, you might not be prepared for what you are getting yourself into. I have decided that I no longer have the time to continue managing this project on top of my other pursuits, but I think there is an opportunity here for the right person to impact the culture.
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