I have been a proponent of net neutrality my entire life. I have been a massive advocate for privacy and understand the importance of having the option of concealing my identity from big tech/government/other people who may want to use this information. I am an advocate of free speech and have always taken a hard line stance against censorship of any kind. I am also a huge fan of open source projects and will use them over the branded programs whenever there is a viable option. So why was I still using services that are doing the opposite of these things? Why was I supporting companies that are gathering anything they can about me and the people I associate with to sell to the highest bidder? Why was I letting them use this information to fine tune their marketing and advertising efforts, PR departments, and propaganda? Why was I watching them silence any and all opinions that they deemed unfit for their platform and shrugging because it was ‘their service.’ The modern town square is social media. Would I feel the same if the owner of a real town square did not allow people to protest?
I have been thinking a lot recently and have decided to opt out of all this and start fresh. To be about that life. There are more options than ever before that make transitioning into this world of privacy and censorship resistance simple and I wanted to share a few of them for anyone that may need that extra nudge in making their exit. Please keep in mind these are the tools and platforms I am using and there are plenty of other options out there. I just wanted to put together a list of things as a starting point.
In this I cover an alternative computer operating system, internet browser, email, social media, and video streaming.
Here is my referral link to Brave. Using this link supports me so if you would like to try Brave and want to have them send me a few Bats for it, please use this link.
Dlive is an alternative to Twitch and YouTube that uses the Lino blockchain. It provides a payment processing system that brings more money to the streamers than Twitch or YouTube as they are not taking an outrageous percentage for facilitating the transaction. They also will not shadow ban or de-rank users based on political ideology or speech. PewDiePie has recently made the switch that helped spike Dlive user base by 67% in two months. This is a great start of Dlive and I hope more and more larger personalitys and streamers make their way over.
I am sure you all are familiar with Minds as this is the only place this article exists to my knowledge. But for just a quick run down it is social media platform rival to Facebook but it is not collecting any data on it’s users and will not ban or censor for arbitrary reasons. Minds too uses an Ethereum token called Minds. By posting, sharing, liking, and commenting users can earn Minds they can use to support others on the platform. It has already drawn many like minded people together under the privacy banner with Tim Pool of Subverse being the largest YouTuber advocate of Minds.
Many are weary of Linux as it can be intimidating to anyone unfamiliar. Command line and scrolling code may look like something from the Matrix or Swordfish and can appear too complicated for a everyday computer user but I am here to say that this is not true. There are plenty of Linux versions that are simple to use and familiar to anyone and they are all free! Ubuntu and Mint are two of these. The real trick to using Linux is to not be overwhelmed and give it some time. It is quit simple once you are used to it and there are plenty of helpful tutorials and guides that will make installation and set up a breeze. Anyone who uses Linux for a month will have it down enough for everyday use and will have the knowledge and ability to trouble shoot any issue they run into.
With the recent news of Microsoft Word beginning to edit documents as you type to make them more politically correct and Apple over charging people to spy on them, it is well worth the switch as I am sure these practices are only going to grow and become more intrusive than they already are. One set back is the amount of Steam Games is a bit limited but this is changing as many studios are adding support. More people making the switch will only speed up the support from game studios.
If you do not want your emails being scanned and stored without your knowledge or consent, I would offer you Proton Mail. It is an encrypted email service that focuses on privacy. It is free but there are payment options for anyone who needs more features. It is important to note that if you loose or forget your password, there is no recovery. Proton Mail does not even know your password. Please keep this in mind when signing up.
Again these are just the programs and services that I am using. There are plenty more out there and even other methods of maintaining privacy that I have not covered. Please let me know what you are using and anything I am missing that you would recommend. I hope you found this helpful!