Devol Nath

TECH TRENDS

Mark Zuckerberg’s decision to permanently suspend the Twitter account of former US President Donald Trump had led to much consternation among social media users against the tech giants like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and WhatsApp, which are all owned by Zuckerberg. This was further accentuated by the harsh-toned dictatorial order by WhatsApp to accept its terms and conditions to link its WhatsApp account with Facebook for certain type of users.

Facebook’s gross profit for the 12 months ending September 30, 2020 was over $64 billion, a 17.53  per cent increase year-over-year. Its annual gross profit for 2019 was over $57 billion, a 24.62 per cent increase from 2018!

Of course it would be dumb to expect that gigantic social media services would come free. Nothing comes free.

Most of us are aware that Facebook and Google have all the information we exchange with others; including some info that we don’t share, such as where we were at what time. If we Google a certain product, we find advertisements of the same or similar products on our Facebook News Feed. These data, which are seemingly harmless, are some of the things we know that have been shared by Google with Facebook. It’s another thing that Facebook News Feed algorithms decide exactly what you do and don’t see.

We all know that “sharing is caring”, but for the tech giants, sharing is profiting. For them it’s datadollar, similar to petrodollar!

It is important to understand the power of monopoly businesses and what it can lead to for people like us. Imagine the power they have if they can suspend Trump’s account. Facebook is the king of the social network market, but in countries like Russia or China, they have alternatives to Facebook.

There are numerous known alternatives to WhatsApp, such as Telegram, Hike, Signal, etc. But there are very few alternatives to Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. The alternatives to Facebook as of now are not up to the mark, but they do the job and more importantly, they do not share your info with others.

Here are the top four Facebook alternatives: Diaspora, Ello, EyeEm, and Vero. But remember, these are not free. If you feel unsafe about the privacy of your data, do check the above.

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