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6 Alternative Social Media Sites We Hope Will Crush Facebook

By Jody McCutcheon

Recently, many people have been searching for alternative social media sites after feeling seriously betrayed by social media giants.

Whistleblower Edward Snowden has even decried Facebook as ‘surveillance disguised as social media‘, since the CIA and NSA have long been monitoring all of our activities on that platform – every like, post and comment. Using nine internet firms including Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Yahoo, the NSA tracked online communications in a sweeping surveillance programme known as Prism. Britain’s electronic eavesdropping agency GCHQ was also accused of gathering information on the online companies via Prism. No matter where you live or who you are, they know your name, address, and even have a database to be able to spot you via your personal pictures anywhere in the world, thanks to CCTV cameras and Facebook’s facial recognition software.

Facebook has also been caught selling our data to every corporation and organization that comes a-knocking – even really nefarious ones like the CIA and Cambridge Analytica. And let’s not forget that Facebook also owns two of the other most popular social media sites in the world: Whatsapp and Instagram. Do you really feel comfortable using those now?

And then there’s Google-owned YouTube. Once a way to communicate news and ideas to the world via video, it has more or less blacklisted many non-traditional ideologies it doesn’t like—for example, they’ve hidden LGBTQ content and censored or demonetized channels they consider to be ‘alt right’. No surprises there, since Google has also lowered the rankings of any sites they feel go against their political position, calling those ‘fake news’. Right now, their focus is on anything against the mainstream narratives on political issues like Syria or Russia. But how long before they bury alternative health news that threatens mainstream medicine, information about veganism that threatens beef and milk lobby groups, or even corporate disasters similar to what happened at Rana Plaza? We have many reasons to worry.

Despite all these pitfalls, social media still has its claws in us. We’re social creatures. It fills a need. We want to connect, to share, to stay informed. Social media is basically a newspaper, greeting card and a personal letter all rolled up in one—and interactive, to boot. No wonder some of us are hesitant to quit social media altogether, despite all the caveats.

But with mainstay sites like Facebook and YouTube behaving so badly, doesn’t it make sense to look for alternative social media sites for your connection fix, while also taking more control of your own privacy and data protection?

Below are what we think are seven of the best Facebook alternatives, and new options to choose instead of more mainstream social media sites.

Alternative Social Media Sites

1. MeWe

“Like Facebook, but with privacy.” That’s the motto of MeWe. Engineered with privacy in mind, MeWe sticks two fingers up to Facebook and other social media companies with a revolutionary service that emphasises privacy and social sharing where people can be their real, uncensored selves. Benefits include:

  • No Ads
  • No Spyware
  • No political biases or agendas
  • No facial recognition
  • No newsfeed or content manipulation
  • MeWe members are #Not4Sale and enjoy the protection of a Privacy Bill Of Rights.

Available on iOS, Android, and desktop, MeWe is an integrated social network and chat app with all the features people love, including:

  • private 1:1 and group chat
  • private and open groups
  • disappearing content
  • custom camera with Gif creation
  • live voice and live video
  • next-gen voice messaging
  • secret chat with double-ratchet encryption
  • personal social cloud
  • custom group profiles

and much more.

MeWe members enjoy total control over what they share along with full ownership of their content and data, which will never be sold. The next-gen social networking platform allows members to see every post, chat, comment, etc., made by individuals and groups they are connected to, in true timeline order with no interference.

Alternative Social Media Sites

2. Ello

Calling itself The Creators Network, Ello is a Pinterest-like network launched in 2014 for those who create art or enjoy looking at others’ art. Your profile is based on your interests and your preferred content (writing, architecture, visual art, etc.). The more wide-ranging your interests, the more categories you can choose. Once you’re set up, your feed consists of posts catered to your specific interests. You can comment, like, repost, follow and buy, and meet new people in the ‘Discover’ section. Best of all? You can also share and sell your own content.

Ello is free to use, although they’re considering the idea of offering some paid services in the future. And with the goal of being the alternative social media network of choice, Ello is marketed on three principles.

  • They don’t sell user data to advertisers or third parties. In fact, data collection is restricted to what you provide on the Settings page and in posts: name, email address, location, creator type, etc. The rest of your data is anonymized.
  • They are emphatically ad-free.
  • They don’t force you to use your real name.

If you’re the creative type, Ello could be the social network for you. It even offers an opportunity to earn commission on the sale of your art.

3. Diaspora

Diaspora is an interesting case study. The creators of this open-source project were obviously very skeptical about centralized power, so they dreamed up a decentralized system. Launched in 2010, the Diaspora platform actually consists of many different networks, called pods.

Ad-free, Diaspora is built on three egalitarian philosophies: decentralization, freedom and privacy, thus returning social networking to the people. Similar to the Facebook setup, you can post status updates, share content and leave comments on others’ posts. Developers encourage users to report offensive content, as when ISIS propaganda surfaced on the network in 2014. Otherwise, censorship can only happen with approval by pod admins.

Since it’s decentralized, Diaspora can’t be owned by any one individual or corporation. Data is carried on individual pods, rather than being held by a central provider. Indeed, with enough knowhow, you can even operate your own pod, which basically acts as a server. Thus you can be certain that your private data remains private. You really do own your own data and control your own privacy settings. Otherwise, you can register at any pod of your choosing, communicate with any other user on any pod and download desired data from the network at your leisure. You choose who reads your posts. And you needn’t use your real name.

Alternative Social Media Sites

4. Reddit

The self-proclaimed “front page of the internet” is a social news aggregate and discussion forum that’s been around since 2005. Registered users (redditors) submit content in a variety of subjects—news, science, music, books, video games, etc.—and other redditors vote the content up or down. Submissions with more upvotes remain nearer to the top of their subject board, or subreddit, while those with enough up votes hit the site’s front page.

The Reddit community is usually pretty much a self-policed one, thanks to up-or-down voting on posts either raising them to full visibility and comment, or making them disappear completely, but this is easily manipulated by paid trolls to up or down vote comments that are, say, anti-Israeli, anti-Trump or whatever. Many have also recently complained that moderators have censored them in various ways…so it seems Reddit is well on its way of becoming the new Facebook, but there’s still a smidgen bit more freedom here.

Alternative Social Media Sites

5. Bitchute

Launched in 2017 in the wake of YouTube’s stricter censorship and demonetization policies, this YouTube competitor is a peer-to-peer video hosting service. The idea behind Bitchute is similar to Diaspora’s decentralization concept: the site uses WebTorrent to operate P2P video-sharing over the BitTorrent network. WebTorrent works inside web browsers and requires no installation.

The cost of bandwidth is normally the biggest obstacle for new video-sharing platforms. With their ad revenue, YouTube can afford it—but consequently, they must also toe their advertisers’ censorship line. This isn’t a problem for Bitchute: they needn’t provide bandwidth because users provide their own.

To register with Bitchute, you can give your name or remain anonymous. In order for Bitchute to collect your personal information, you must give consent. Rest assured, unlike YouTube and Facebook, they won’t sell it to third parties or advertisers. But refusal to offer your personal information may result in an inability to engage in certain service-related activities.

Alternative Social Media Sites

6. Steemit

This blockchain-based blogging and social networking site started in 2016. Perhaps the most innovative alternative to mainstream social media sites, it rewards authors with payments for their contributions with a cryptocurrency called Steem. You don’t mine Steem with an expensive computer rig, but rather by creating and commenting on content, which then is written to the Steem blockchain and stored in a permanent blockchain ledger.

So far, Steemit claims over 900K user accounts and over USD$40,000,000 of payments to contributors – incredibly innovative, considering Facebook uses all our content that we give for free, in order for them to make a profit. It’s free to create one account and post content, but if you want to create multiple accounts (which theoretically would allow you to post and vote on more content), you’re charged a fee. You must provide an email address and phone number to join, thus allowing admin to verify that each user has signed up for only one free account. Anonymity isn’t discouraged, but if you claim to be someone specific, you must give evidence that you are that person.

Steemit is ad-free, but according to their privacy policy, they will share your personal data if it helps ad partners “carry out work.” Getting paid to blog is an attractive idea, and it’s a neat introduction to cryptocurrency, to boot.

Alternative Social Media Sites

Did we miss any alternative social media sites you love? Tell us in the comments, below!

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30 Comments

  • Avatar
    Reply
    Anonymous
    Nov 8, 2018 at 10:33 pm

    Yeah you forgot about MeWe.

  • Avatar
    Reply
    Heidi Richards Mooney
    Dec 18, 2018 at 9:34 pm

    Thanks for sharing! I recently updated an article I wrote about the same topic – 5+ Ways to Hack Online Networking and the Places to do it! and am happy to learn about a few you mention. I also listed Brandergy, Alignable, BlogHer and ThirdAge to name a few – I will update my listing to include some of yours and appreciate the list yo compiled, especially what each network does and how to find them. Great job!

    • Chere
      Reply
      Chere
      Dec 19, 2018 at 1:50 am

      Thanks for your comments, Heidi!

  • Avatar
    Reply
    Karri
    Dec 25, 2018 at 4:37 am

    The title of this article alone sold me! Can’t wait to try some of these recommendations. Thanks!

  • Avatar
    Reply
    Jay
    Jan 31, 2019 at 10:21 pm

    How about putting in a good word for Minds dot com ?? Thank you!

    • Chere
      Reply
      Chere
      Feb 1, 2019 at 3:07 am

      Sure, why not? 🙂

  • Avatar
    Reply
    Joey
    Feb 2, 2019 at 2:55 am

    Great information!

  • Avatar
    Reply
    Dora
    Feb 2, 2019 at 11:22 am

    I ask you for a recomandation if I want to leave Facebook. I remember there was something social media with the first letter “V”. It wasn’t mentioned jere. Thank you.

  • Avatar
    Reply
    Larry
    Feb 23, 2019 at 6:00 am

    Minds, mewe, freedomvine, codias, canund, oneway, vk, hub.life, etc.

    • Chere
      Reply
      Chere
      Feb 23, 2019 at 9:59 am

      Got a favourite in that list? 🙂

  • Avatar
    Reply
    Kate
    Mar 25, 2019 at 6:09 am

    Hi, I was going to use MeWe but I saw it’s run by a guy I am guessing is Jewish – considering that the NWO is run by Zionist Jews are you concerned that this is still not a safe platform? Look at where Zuckerberg has got us. I had heard of one started by a Russian guy but for the life of me I can’t now find it…. would you know what that one is?

    • Avatar
      Reply
      Kenneth Ortner
      Mar 29, 2019 at 9:04 am

      You are unbelievable! You don’t even know this person, never bothered to research the site or him and are passing judgment, and putting that judgment into the cybersphere. I don’t know what the NWO is but will look it up but, again spreading hate. I will CLEARLY state here that I am an independent and vote for those who will do the best for humanity at large regardless of where they are at. Please, for humanities sake, look within and try to find a way to help us ALL instead of tearing some down. Ken

  • Avatar
    Reply
    Tony
    Apr 10, 2019 at 2:30 am

    It is always good to know that there are facebook or instagram alternatives out there!

  • Avatar
    Reply
    Bud McClure
    Apr 29, 2019 at 10:02 pm

    After FB’s repeated scandals, I’m shocked folks continue to trust and use the site.

  • Avatar
    Reply
    Josh
    May 2, 2019 at 10:06 am

    You left out Buddylist. It is the oldest alternative and still working to this day.

    • Chere
      Reply
      Chere
      May 2, 2019 at 7:45 pm

      Good to know, thanks for the info!

  • Avatar
    Reply
    Peter Macdonnell
    May 6, 2019 at 2:44 am

    I am looking for honest comment ( A French philosopher said I don’t like what you say but I will defend you with my life to say it 250 years when freedom of speech goes so does society love ? Australia ??

  • Avatar
    Reply
    Ray
    May 26, 2019 at 5:36 pm

    What would be the closest alternative to Instagram? The look and capabilities? Any information on growth of these platforms? Thanks for a great article!

    • Chere
      Reply
      Chere
      May 27, 2019 at 4:05 am

      Veryyy interesting question!! Anyone with answers? For me, it could be Tumblr, no?

  • Avatar
    Reply
    Tony
    Jun 7, 2019 at 12:05 am

    There are other options besides these. There’s also http://www.bareit.us.

    • Chere
      Reply
      Chere
      Jun 7, 2019 at 6:54 pm

      Thanks for the info! Always good to know about more of these sites

  • Avatar
    Reply
    Jolyn
    Jun 8, 2019 at 2:15 pm

    Ty for your time and effort to effort to comply this information..I was on FB..until I was hacked..however they closed my account and asked ME for proof ..you can not talk to this company in person only thru messages and they asked my to give them a photo ID ..with my name ..date of birth..so on from a driver’s license..passport so on..all things you just don’t give out..told me in a form this would be held ..then deleted in 30 days..I refused to share that to get my acct. Reopened ..so I have been removed and locked out of FB. Although I had been hacked liked 5 other times and never asked this before ..they seemly fixed the problems..however I will be honest I did ask them ..if they were the hackers..we were a month from the election and I’m a straight conservative..A 100% trump voter ..i believe FB is closing off conservative acct.s as i saw and spoke to others having same issues..THEY ARE LOOKING TO CORNER THE COMMUNICATION AND DOING IT. I was sad to see Google + dissolved last month empowering FB more..we need social medias to be uncensored..like it pr not ..that is our rights to our true freedoms..I hope FB is seriously challenged by other medias to balance their censorship.

  • Avatar
    Reply
    Alex
    Jun 21, 2019 at 6:28 am

    Great article! Very well balanced and researched. I know I’m about 6 months late but GAB is making headlines. Everyone banned from Twitter and FB have headed over there. Gotta watch out for a few crazies though 😉

    • Avatar
      Reply
      Alex
      Jun 21, 2019 at 6:32 am

      Sorry, I forgot about Telegram, Parler and if you’re really hardcore 4chan (not for the easily offended).

    • Chere
      Reply
      Chere
      Jun 21, 2019 at 8:05 am

      Got a link to that?

  • Avatar
    Reply
    Ayodele Ogunlana
    Jun 26, 2019 at 6:14 am

    Social networks have shifted focus from satisfying users to satisfying their own financial interests mostly at the expense of users privacy, security and satisfaction.

    https://ayocer.com is a new social network that aims to correct the misdeeds of the old networks.

    With Ayocer you get the same features you get on all existing social networks plus:

    1) Every user has wallet on the site that enables them to receive money in the form of gifts from the people who love their posts (rather than the conventional Likes).

    2) Integrated with Twitter and Pinterest so when people follow you on the site they also automatically follow you on Twitter and Pinterest.

    3) You can write and publish full blog posts on the site.

    4) You can also make money up to 70% from the people you reffered to the site (The site automatically build your referral by tracking people who have viewed your profile, read your post, or viewed you photos or videos without been logged in so when they sign up they are registered under you – of course you can still promote the site yourself to grow your referral much more faster but it’s completely optional).

    DISCLOSURE: I’m the founder/ceo of ayocer and I’ll be happy to personally provide you with the details about the platform if you need. You can write me at admin@ayocer.com

  • Leave a Reply

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    By entering any Eluxe Magazine contest, you agree to abide by these Official Rules and the decisions of Eluxe Magazine, which are final and binding in all respects.

    Contest Eligibility

    Eluxe Magazine Contests are open to anyone who is eighteen (18) years of age at the time of entry. Employees, officers, and directors of Sirius, their respective partners, agencies, related companies, and agents, as well as the immediate family (defined as parents, spouse, children, siblings, and grandparents), and same household members of such employee, officer, and director, are not eligible to enter.

    Contest Entry

    The specific contest entry requirements will vary with each contest. All entries must be made in conformance with the relevant contest’s requirements. Non-conforming entries will be rejected and ineligible for contest prizes. Any entrant using fraudulent means to participate and/or win the contest will be disqualified. Any attempt by an entrant to undermine the legitimate operation of the context may be a violation of criminal and civil laws.
    Eluxe Magazine reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to cancel, modify, terminate, or suspend a contest for any reason and without prior notice. In such case, Eluxe Magazine may, as appropriate under the circumstances, select a contest winner via reasonable means consistent with the specific contest.

    Winner Selection and Notification

    The odds of winning vary from contest to contest. The winning entry or entries for a contest will be selected in compliance with the terms of the specific contest. Eluxe Magazine’s competition partners will contact contest winners by email to confirm a winning entry.

    The potential contest winner will forfeit the prize if he/she (1) does not respond to the initial notification email or return any required information within 10 business days, (2) cannot be contacted at his/her listed email address, (3) rejects the prize or the prize is returned as undeliverable, or (4) is disqualified for any reason. In the event of prize forfeiture, an alternate winner will be selected.

    Winners are solely responsible for all federal, state, and local taxes and all unspecified expenses or fees associated with prize acceptance, receipt, and use. Prizes may not be substituted or transferred by any contest winner and a winner may not receive cash redemption equal to the value of the prize in lieu of the prize. Eluxe Magazine reserves the right to substitute alternate prizes of equal or comparable value. Prizes are offered “as is” with no written, express, or implied warranty, including but not limited to, quality, condition, merchantability, or fitness for a particular purpose. Eluxe Magazine is not responsible for replacing prizes as a result of damage prior to, during, or after shipping or events beyond Eluxe Magazine’s control. Winners must look to the manufacturer or service provider for any potential warranties or guarantees.

    Release

    By entering a contest and, if applicable, receipt of any prize, each entrant and, as applicable, winner agrees to release and hold harmless Eluxe Magazine and its officers, directors, employees, and agents from and against any claim or cause of action arising out of participation in a contest or any contest-related activity, or from the receipt or use or misuse of any prize, including claims or causes of action related to alleged damage to an entrant’s computer or electronic systems from downloading or using any material from Eluxe Magazine’s website, regardless of whether the material is connected to Eluxe Magazine’s website by a hyperlink text.

    Use of Collected Data

    Eluxe Magazine will collect personal data about entrants for purposes of administering contests. By entering into a contest, entrants agree to Eluxe Magazine’s collection and usage of their personal information. Eluxe Magazine does not, and will not, disclose entrants’ personal information to non-affiliated third-parties.

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