The Freedom Phone, with a very political selection of default apps. [credit:
“Nobody elected Mark [Zuckerberg] or Jack [Dorsey] to be the arbiters of truth in America,” declares a man over a chorus of triumphant horns. “Yet they still thought it was OK to ban a sitting president from their platforms. If they censor the president, they’ll censor anyone. Imagine if Mark Zuckerberg censored MLK or Abraham Lincoln. The course of history would have been altered forever!”
That’s the sales pitch for “The Freedom Phone,” a $500 smartphone aimed at the MAGA crowd. Just as we saw with Gab, Parler, and Voat, the Freedom Phone is the latest attempt to build an alternate tech platform for right-wingers, but this time with a smartphone instead of social media. When the phone was announced back in March, its tagline was “a phone made for conservatives, by conservatives.” The device is being hawked by Erik Finman, the self-described “world’s youngest bitcoin millionaire.” The phone is supposed to ship in August.
The feature set here is about what you would expect. The company (which seems to also be called “Freedom Phone”) claims to have made an “uncensorable app store” that won’t ban Gab and Parler the way Google and Apple did. “FreedomOS” is a “free-speech first” operating system the company claims to have developed, and the company says the hardware is “comparable to the best smartphones on the market.” Based on the information Freedom Phone has released so far, almost none of that seems to be true.