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Why You Should Join Diaspora Now, Like Your Freedom Depends On It

I never really “trusted” Facebook or Google+. That is to say, I never expected them to respect my privacy or keep my secrets. I’m not too secretive online anyway, and what I do have to hide, I just don’t post. But it is very clear that there is a great deal of corruption inherent in a business model which is based on concentrating the personal data from millions of users and selling that data to advertisers. At the very least, there must be a free alternative. But for that alternative to be viable, we need to use it. Identica has been around for some time now (and I use it — I’m “digitante”), and Diaspora is (after a long hard start) finally getting some wind under its wings. I’ve used it, and it’s Good Enough. In fact, you’ll find it’s pretty similar to what Facebook or Google+ offers, although there are still some rough spots.

We’re Free Software users. We’re Free Software advocates. Theoretically at least, we care about freedom. And it’s no good whining to Google’s management about the ethical bankruptcy of demanding full identification or rejecting pseudonymous users. Nor is there much point in writing cutting editorials about Facebook’s (lack of) privacy ethics. Neither company is likely to be responsive to these complaints.

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