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Freedom of speech

Saturday 4th November 2023.

Did you know that we’re currently celebrating our anniversary? It was in 2013 that we published the first edition, and right now we are working on the printed edition, at the same time as appearing online, too, on a weekly basis, every Saturday. In the autumn of 2023, we are doing all this without so-called SOCIAL media. You might well ask why ECO123 has not been using, nor felt the need to use, so-called „SOCIAL Media“ over the past ten years.

Dear Readers

What and who would you say is truly SOCIAL? We really should take a closer look at the word SOCIAL. You won’t find ECO123 on Instagram, on facebook or on X (formerly known as … who cares). And it won’t be on Tik-Tok that you’ll find us either, guaranteed. How does it work, ECO123 completely forgoing the above-mentioned SOCIAL media? It’s simple, really. Just don’t down the firewater. Stay off the stuff. Take this counsel to heart. Live alcohol-free. Just consider your own good self, your strengths, and throw the smartphone into the next available bin. Get rid of that trash the radically easiest way. Separate yourself from the trash, avoid waste instead of separating waste. Being a little more mature by now, ten years ago I decided to no longer indulge in time wasting. I remained a journalist, forgoing so-called SOCIAL media. And I can’t say I miss them.

It’s only and exclusively on our own website that we carry the ECO123 online edition, clean, without becoming dependent on facebook & Cie. Neither Mark Zuckerberg nor Elon Musk have been able to convince me so far. There are a lot of reasons for that. We don’t sow hatred, and no hatred is sown on our watch. We don’t give hatred a chance, which means we don’t have to intervene and exercise censorship. We have no neo fascists, no haters of Israel nor enemies of democracy. This has stood us in good stead, without any of the so-called social media. We firmly believe in this: for some ten years now we’ve been making our way without the hype and are growing even so, slowly but steadily, sometimes taking two steps forward and one step back. That’s life for you. And this allows us to keep creating ECO123, because we believe in the essential goodness of human beings and want to remain truly social.

In the beginning we talked for a long time amongst ourselves whether we shouldn’t at least activate the comment function at www.eco123.info and decided, on a trial basis, to not do it. Do we buy a facebook page to present ourselves? No. We have remained true to our position to this day. If you send us a letter to the editor and would like to see this published, we’ll see this done – within the framework of the laws of the land and the respect due to differing opinions. We value the diversity of opinions – but not the dictatorship of hate, of conflict, the slaying and threatening using words. We stick to the liberty of expression, the freedom of worship, upholding the integrity and dignity of each of our readers, regardless of their skin colour and opinions, whether heterosexual or homosexual, whether of the Christian, Jewish, Muslim or Buddhist faith. Really that’s all that needs to be said.

I’m not interested in facebook & Cie. They are trying to steal our advertising. So let them try. Do you really think that facebook & Cie offer their services for free? The currency you pay with are your personal data. You’re being tracked within an inch of your life, for this to be called SOCIAL by 2.2 billion people? As a rule, we at ECO123 do not spy on our readers. We don’t use any tools to find out your preferences, nor do we use this with our advertising clients or other partners. Let me take this opportunity to simply thank you for reading www.eco123.info (some of you have been doing so for ten years) and maybe even subscribing, for 12 euro a year (now only € 1 per month): our heartfelt thanks go out to you. That’s what I wanted to say really. We’ll be working in an ever more climate-friendly way. Which is why our printed version will be appearing only once a year, with your weekly read available at https://eco123.info.

Our server and website run on solar power. We are in the process of planting a Botanical Garden with many native trees that convert CO2 into oxygen. At the moment we are at the planning stage (2024) for our own solar power station. For we also represent a local energy cooperative. From 2025 on we want to locally produce clean and affordable power (autoconsumo) for some 100 Portuguese households, a school, a kindergarden and a supermarket. This is an initiative you could participate in if you’d like to live a more climate-friendly life. Climate-friendly, now that‘s SOCIAL, wouldn’t you say?

Warmest wishes,

Your Uwe Heitkamp


Uwe Heitkamp (62)

trained TV journalist, book author and hobby botanist, father of two grown-up children, knows Portugal for 30 years, founder of ECO123. Translations: Dina Adão, John Elliot, Ruth Correia, Patrícia Lara, Kathleen Becker


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