Facebook is a big part of the discussion when it comes to data collection. Click here to find out about five alternatives that prioritise privacy.
No one can forget the grilling that Facebook received in 2018. When it comes to iconic images of the 21st century, Mark Zuckerberg sitting in front of a row of senators is certainly one to be remembered, namely because of the context of the grilling itself.
At the time, there was a huge concern about what Facebook was doing about data privacy, and this concern only escalated in 2023. The internet itself has a lot of question marks when it comes to who is accessing our data and what it is being used for.
We know, for instance, that data brokers are able to track our searches, our web clicks, and our locations and then sell them off to third parties, but we don’t necessarily know what happens to them next.
While there are ways of contacting data brokers who collect your data, this is still a genuinely concerning prospect for people, especially as not everyone knows when their data is harvested and how it is seemingly been done without their knowing.
When it comes to social media, however, the subject can get a little tricky. By nature, social media is social, which means we are putting out our information into an online space – and are therefore responsible for the information being collected in the first place.
But for many users, those two factors shouldn’t be inclusive. That is to say, we might choose to release our information and private lives in a social space, but we should also be able to choose who witnesses it.
Thankfully, however, there are social media companies out there that value user privacy and ensure that their data is not being collected. These include:
So far, this is the most successful alternative social media platform. It is open source and focuses mainly on user privacy and safety. Compared to platforms like Facebook, it is also very usable and allows for greater control over who can see posts and private information.
PixelFed is certainly more like Instagram than Facebook, and while it’s still in the development phase, it has already proved itself as a strong platform which is great for the data-conscious. As well as this, you can also choose how you share your photos and who can follow you.
According to WT.Social itself, this is a “non-toxic social network” that runs without ads and without an algorithm that manipulates your feed. While they do collect data, WT.Social is always transparent about what they are collecting and how they are using it – with the promise not to sell your data to advertisers. For many users, WT.Social has been described as a new age for safe social media usage.
Privacy is essentially built into the design of MeWe. Like WT.Social, there are no ads, no target content and no algorithms that can manipulate your newsfeed. So far, there are 20 million users on this platform, and just recently, they have been given the option to double down on privacy and decentralise the social media experience.
Lastly, Diaspora is another one of the social networks utilising decentralisation to ensure privacy, transparency and security for all its users.
With this network, you have total control over your data and who you share it with, making it one of the best alternative networks out there and – hopefully – a positive indication of where the world might be going with Web3.