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[liberationtech] Facebook: Building Global Community - What's your response to Mark Zuckerberg?

Alberto Cammozzo ac+lists at
Sun Feb 19 11:57:11 PST 2017

There is a "privacy divide" emerging issue there.

Using FB may help to reach the masses, but some people (activists and
not) will never use a FB account and will be unreachable.
Same for Google: for instance, the link below to Google Docs is
unavailable with my privacy setting.

Some open source and selfhosted alternative to FB is listed here


On 19/02/2017 20:36, Yosem Companys wrote:
> First of all, I want to commend Steven for all he has done over the
> years. He was a pioneer of e-democracy in the 1990s, when the Internet
> was a mere curiosity for most people. And Steven has worked arduously
> over the years to help foster e-democracy around the world. That is to
> be commended and thanked.
> That said, Thomas, you raise important points. If we look at the
> alternatives out there for grassroots organizing, they tend to be
> proprietary like NationBuilder. I do not know any open-source
> alternatives off hand.
> Please review Rand Strauss's list at
> Kudos to Rand for putting the list together.
> If I want to look for good open-source solutions to start a movement
> and I'm not tech savvy, I need either someone to build it for me or I
> want it to be easily installed on a server.
> That is why Bram Wets' suggestions were so on point -- I repost them
> here in case you missed them:
>     Idea 1:
>     An idea list where the Liberationtech community can post ideas for
>     projects, upvote (and downvote) them, put your name with an idea
>     to contribute.
>     This would facilitate your call for ideas/projects ;-)
>     I actually like the format of software bugtracking. It maybe can
>     be used for such an idea list. Or a github-like structure with
>     pullrequests...
>     Idea 2:
>     An overview of tips, good practices, tools and apps for secure
>     communication and digital privacy. And the organisations and
>     platforms that work on this topic.
>     Yes, there is a lot out there and some organizations already have
>     done terrific work. So the focus has to be on the overview, not on
>     doing all there work over again.
>     Additionally we can add good practices in how to reach people and
>     teach them those privacy tools.
> Just having a simple wiki of tools and people willing to help for free
> or a nominal fee would be a contribution. Being able to evaluate tools
> with up or down votes would also be a contribution.
> In the meantime, if you go to sites like Progressive Exchange, you
> will see that pretty much everyone recommends closed-source software
> with questionable security for online organizing. Putting all your
> activist friends on NationBuilder, for example, is a security risk. We
> don't know if NationBuilder under a different management team might be
> tempted or forced to give the entire list to the government for
> surveillance purposes. 
> And Rick has outlined the risks of Facebook already, as Thomas writes,
> so I won't reiterate those. Maybe we need to build another Diaspora
> and this time build it right: open-source, best encryption,
> Napster-like one-to-one capabilities, hosting of data in servers in
> privacy-friendly regimes, ability to connect to the large social
> networking sites like Hootsuite for widespread dissemination,
> non-profit or at least cooperative status, and so on.  
> If this is a project folks are interested in, we can start doing some
> research on what it should look like and look for funding sources to
> make it happen.
> Best,
> Yosem
> On Sun, Feb 19, 2017 at 11:10 AM, Thomas Delrue <thomas at
> <mailto:thomas at>> wrote:
>     On 02/19/2017 01:46 PM, Al Billings wrote:
>     > Someone remind me again what the alternatives are to Facebook that
>     > are actually easy to use for "normal" users and which they will be
>     > able to quickly sign up and use...
>     Oh, and before I forget, why the need to "sign up"? Why is that a
>     requirement? If you're doing something that at some point could be
>     deemed subversive, why would you maintain a list of members of said
>     activity/thinking that can easily be requisitioned or compromised?
>     Why does everyone need everyone else to sign up and hand over
>     information in order to use a simple website? Why does everyone
>     want to
>     lock up everything behind a login-wall?
>     Maybe that's the big problem... Everyone thinks that you need to
>     maintain a list of users and a login form in order to run a simple
>     website...
>     --
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