There is another dangerous virus that has been going around for a while now and it is called Social Media and it comes in multiple forms: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and the like. But there are cures & therapeutics available, to use the parlance of the day, and it simply involves users voting with their feet.

Alternative social networks are out there and unlike Facebook and Twitter they are not predatory and do not abuse your personal information and data.

They are also 'social' in the true meaning of the word. Check out Mastodon, as an example, and move a small group of your close friends over to it and you will soon see it as 'a breath of fresh air'.

And because it is decentralized, there are no Zuckerberg types policing your actions and telling users what they can and cannot do.

Hopefully then, your friends will tell other friends and the move away from Facebook, Twitter and the like will grow and grow with people empowered by taking back control of their data.

If you follow decentralize.today on social media or are a regular blog reader you will have probably realized that we are pretty active on Mastodon. It has a federated social media approach, similar to Twitter, but without the middle person!

It's a part of the Fediverse!

Fediverse is a combination of the words 'federation' and 'universe' which pretty much explains exactly what it is. The population of this Fediverse is just under 4 million users at the last count. This thing is big and getting bigger.

The networks involved include:

diaspora* - https://diasporafoundation.org/

friendica - https://friendi.ca/

GNU social - https://gnu.io/social/

hubzilla - https://zotlabs.org/page/hubzilla/hubzilla-project

Mastodon - https://joinmastodon.org/

misskey - https://join.misskey.page/en/

peertube - https://joinpeertube.org/en

pleroma - https://pleroma.social/

socialhome - https://socialhome.network/

pixelfed - https://pixelfed.org/

funkwhale - https://funkwhale.audio/

The principal difference between Federated Networks and mainstream centralized networks is most simply explained as the federated ones are developed and operated by the community globally and not by a corporation. A corporation that is owned by its shareholders, is tasked to make money and often does that by harvesting all your data to sell on to 3rd parties and/or government and their agencies..

The beauty of Federated services is that you can not only select to appear in multiple 'instances' but that you, with the correct instruction, can host and operate them yourself. The servers are interconnected, so even if you are on a different instance to any of your friends or websites you are following, you can still connect and communicate with them.

But there are a few that I really want to go into in a little more detail:

For example, https://writefreely.org/ which is an open source platform for building a writing space on the web!

decentralize.today is looking at an option to allow writers to post directly from their 'write freely' instances, such as write.as , directly to our blog.

Peertube is one of the most promising applications from the Fediverse, think YouTube, without the tracking and the spying, 'controlled and owned' by the people.

JoinPeerTube
PeerTube is a decentralized video hosting network, based on free/libre software. Join the federation and take back control of your videos!

Lemmy is another great looking solution which what aims to challenge (replace even!) Reddit

LemmyNet/lemmy
🐀 Building a federated alternative to reddit in rust - LemmyNet/lemmy

I would like to hear your input on whether decentralize.today should run it's own Lemmy instance and get a privacy start-page up?

Now when I say I would like to hear from you I would need to have this pushed and discussed on my favorite social network, Mastodon!

Decentralize.Today (@Decentralize_today@mastodon.social)
1.96K Toots, 221 Following, 740 Followers · The future won’t be centralized

It could well be the case that you are someone who's considered Mastodon, or at least heard of it, in the past, but just don't know who to follow?! Well then, let me share with you a list of some of the outstanding people I follow so perhaps you can find someone worthy of following too!

The Particl Project
https://mastodon.social/@particl
I love this project and hope they kick some ass in the future. This kinda decentralization is needed!

EFF
https://mastodon.social/@eff

The Tor Project
https://mastodon.social/@torproject

Yale Privacy Lab
https://mastodon.social/@privacylab

Nextcloud
https://mastodon.xyz/@nextcloud
I love Nextcloud and this project! Privacy done right!

[I'd also like to announce at this point that decentralize.today is now running its own Nextcloud account for the team but will soon be opening accounts for our readers. The details behind all this will be announced in a separate entry in the Privacy Cookbook in the near future.]

Protonmail & ProtonVPN
https://mastodon.social/@protonmail
https://mastodon.social/@protonvpn
The Proton guys, email, calendar and VPN, all made in Switzerland

Tutanota
https://mastodon.social/@Tutanota
German privacy oriented email service

Fuck Off Google
https://mastodon.social/@FuckOffGoogle
Well, just Fuck off Google!

SafeNetwork
https://mastodon.social/@safenetwork
Crypto, privacy and just a project I've admired for years! These guys kick ass! Follow them!

f-droid
https://mastodon.technology/@fdroidorg
The store you should always use on Android if you really care about privacy!

Privacy International
https://mastodon.xyz/@privacyint
Great account when it comes to privacy related topics

Privacy Guide 1984
https://mastodon.social/@datenschutzratgeber
This one is interesting, however, it is mostly in German so if you understand German, give it a try!

The Privacy Foundation
https://mastodon.social/@theprivacyfoundation

TheFuzzStone
https://fosstodon.org/@TheFuzzStone
A smart guy worth following! It's about privacy, FOSS, open-source and Monero

rysiek the immune
https://mastodon.social/@rysiek
Hacker, activist, free-softie -open-source, privacy, just a really neat account to follow

yarmo
https://fosstodon.org/@yarmo
FOSS, open-source Linux, a cool account all round

Ade Malsasa Akbar
https://floss.social/@ademalsasa
Ubuntubuzz author, but more so someone who shares great links and other cool accounts!

Niklas
https://social.avareborn.de/@nipos
Great privacy activist, German and English toots! Great interaction!

PINE64
https://fosstodon.org/@PINE64
Great privacy products, PINEPhone, Tablet etc..

Dr. Roy Schestowitz
https://pleroma.site/users/schestowitz
He toots all day, if it's about Linux you'll get it here!

Miguel Rbls
https://fosstodon.org/@MiguelRbls
Linux, web-developer with surprisingly few followers. I interact with him a lot and he gets where we are coming from!

Codeberg.org
https://mastodon.technology/@codeberg
Free as in Freedom. The Non-Profit Collaboration Project.

Gaming on Linux
https://mastodon.social/@gamingonlinux
If you are a Linux gamer, you need to follow this account!

Pixelfed
https://mastodon.social/@pixelfed
Photo sharing for everyone

Pixelfed
Federated Image Sharing

And this last entry on my 'must follow' accounts on Mastodon leads  me directly to your next 'killer' app and Instagram replacement!

Pixelfed is so much cooler than Instagram and is actually federeted! This is the way to go and I can't stress that enough. If you are into photosharing, create an account on Pixelfed and break free from Instragram and the Zuckerberg's empire and its tracking.

Regardless of whether you're an artist, a privacy advocate, a Linux lover or just value your freedom, the Fediverse is where you should end up. Join me and many others, get yourself set up in the Fediverse, bring 3 friends and let them each bring 3 more, let's make this a mass migration!

Reshare and help the Fediverse grow!

Stay safe, stay secure

The Privacy Advocate