In today's world, it seems like everything gets tracked, and social media is pretty close to the top of that list when it comes to responsibility for that. Activists, journalists and netizens need to be careful, as we've seen all around the world. But what can you do, on a practical, day to day basis, if you still want to follow mainstream social networks like twitter, Reddit and YouTube, but want to be safe and leave as few online footprints as possible?
For starters, you have some apps like Fritter (for Twitter) and NewPipe for YouTube, but both are for Android only, and FreeTube for the desktop, but I actually think the best way to do this is via your browser.
Now yearn me out, I am not recommending using YouTube or Twitter on your browser, but via websites like Nitter, Invidious or Piped. So let me walk you through some things which might be new to you.
Many readers of decentralize.today may have seen that we share Twitter links via Nitter (even when on our Tweetstorms!). It is as simple as replacing twitter.com with nitter.net (or any other nitter instance) and to get Twitter working without tracking or open as a Twitter account. The problem, of course, is that you need to open every single Twitter account you want to follow using nitter.net and check them off one by one, which is just wrong! So if you want to follow multiple Twitter accounts, just separate them with a comma.
As an example, if you'd like to follow the Twitter accounts of Decentralize.today, Miguel Cuneta, GrapheneOS, Bukele and perhaps, say, Particl then the Nitter link would be:
You will then have an actual feed from all those accounts!
With Teddit you can do a similar thing to Nitter, simply replace reddit.com with teddit.net (or any other teddit instance) and you will see Reddit feeds including comments, totally tracker and Reddit cookies free. And if you usually check more than one account, a simple plus between Subreddits will do. Ending with /new and you even get it in the order of having the newest first.
As an example, if you would like to browse the subreddits of Particl, Privacy, PrivacyGuides and TheHatedOne, this would be your bookmark:
And once again, you will have an actual feed for those subreddits
Invidious/Piped (for YouTube)
YouTube can easily be replaced by any Invidious instance, but also by Piped (again any instance) the beauty is no ads, no tracking, and you can even disable the sponsored part on videos.
It works perfectly on iPhones, iPads and desktops, and you really get the entire experience of YouTube via Piped.
piped.kavin.rocks also offers the ability to log in and follow channels. I would just bookmark them as the less information you share online the better.
You can redirect all three services to your desktop and cellphone, so let's get into detail on that:
On Firefox (or Firefox based browsers like LibreWolf) you can install the add-on Privacy Redirect:
Which will ensure that any link shared with you is redirected to Piped, Nitter and Teddit, but it also redirects Maps to OpenStreetMap, Instagram to Bibliogram and Wikipedia to wikiless. It can redirect Search engines and Google Translate too.
For Mac users who prefer Safari, you can purchase the extension Privacy Redirect in the App Store. This purchase also works on iOS so your iPad and iPhone would be covered as well. One paid app I would surely recommend for iOS users! This add-on will also redirect Medium links to the privacy-friendly scribe.rip
On Android, you can simply install UntrackMe which you can get on F-Droid.
As you can see, you can avoid using Reddit, Twitter and YouTube and still enjoy their services and news whilst avoiding all their tracking and Spyware.
Remember you will still be tracked by Apple and, in Android's case, Google, but every step counts, and this is a step that surely makes a big impact when it comes to eliminating unnecessary tracking.
The Privacy Advocate