5 Alternatives to Un-Social Media

Russ Linton
5 min readJun 20, 2018

Facebook weaponized by foreign agents. Actors fleeing abusive comments on Instagram. Child stars being cyberbullied on Twitter in bizarre culture war pseudo-assaults. We’ve all seen the news — or have we?

Many of these companies tout personal control of your feed while remaining aloof in regards to their responsibility for moderation on their platforms. In reality, they’re the only ones in control.

The Russia scandal has been particularly divisive, likely for the same reason Facebook was chosen as the beachhead: users are routinely divided into camps by algorithms which relentlessly mine their data and surveil their every online move.

Maybe it’s time for a few alternatives…

Steemit

A crypto based social media site, Steemit provides both a place to blog and engage with communities while actually profiting off of every post. Admittedly, the ongoing beta passed it’s second year mark in March and the economic model of author and curation rewards is overly complicated. There have also been complaints about how these payments are too easily influenced by the early adopters, or “whales” who have amassed virtual hordes of the currency, Steem. However, if you are seeking an alternative to the typical social media site, young enough to still feel experimental, and which offers a unique community and ecosystem, this should be your first stop.

Diaspora

Another distributed social media service though not blockchain based like Sttemit, Diaspora offers anonymity and a clearly stated agreement which leaves you ownership of your posts, data, friends, activity, and all things you. The service offers ways to integrate with existing social media platforms as well so you can keep in touch with friends waiting for the deck to be below water before they make the plunge…

The layout is reminiscent of a less cluttered Facebook (or a traditional webpage — the tech is a browser based, webserver platform under the hood) and easy to use. Interestingly, a note in the sidebar reminds users to “be excellent to each other” and links to the community guidelines. With no banning, the system is entirely based on people choosing to not be dicks. It will be interesting to see whether that works or not over the long term.

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Russ Linton

Nomad, science fiction author, former cryptocurrency miner, trailblazer. Find out more at https://www.russlinton.com