Instagram, Facebook, Youtube, Whatsapp: You should boycott it too

I deleted my Instagram content.

Censorship is getting worse on all social media, including Youtube. Even the president of the United States along with dozens of his employees were censored for voicing a troublesome opinion that could make people behave in unwanted ways. If you are uploading to such a platform, you are directly supporting such a toxic, undemocratic environment.

In addition to censorship, the EU is now (summer 2021) suspending fundamental privacy laws in order to make way for a gigantic mass-surveillance program, the biggest and most dramatic yet world-wide ever to be created. Any private text messages of any person anywhere, including pictures and videos, will be saved in some domestic data center plus copied abroad to a privately controlled company inside the US (likely owned or sniffed by the NSA) in order to be screened by AI surveillance algorithms. Because the false positive rate of those algorithms is as high as about 90%, thousands of human agents will be necessary to constantly check on it, and they therefore must be granted some form of (probably VPN-alike) access to all your private messages and those of any other person you know in any EU country. You can read more about it here.

Any commercial program, such as Whatsapp, Wire or Signal is being forced by the EU to send those clear-text copies of your messages to selected third parties for surveillance. Pretty much the only alternative left to use is called XMPP and you have to use an open source client.

Concerning Instagram I will some day migrate my content to Pixelfed, which is very alike it. But Pixelfed is not quite ready yet as of spring 2021. It is literally just one more step away from it. As an alternative to that, I could just post pictures here on my blog in a gallery. But I would rather like to post them to a community specialized on pictures.

If you are still using autocratic platforms or services controlled by large companies or governments then please just stop using them.

It is time to care now about the digital environments that we are in, and that we support and legitimize by our continued use. Like we care about democracy and what parties we elect, we need to care about what software we elect to use and whether or not it grants us fundamental rights and freedoms. If we don't care, some day we will find ourselves in a digital fascist regime that looks like 1984. Are you the kind of person who sits idly by, out of ignorance and comfort, until denying it no longer hides the pain of living in it?

Censorship never directly affect silent consumers. Think about it: How would you ever notice that your reality has been tampered with? Censorship affects content creators, journalists, activists, people with difficult opinions and in difficult positions. That is, the people who present the reality that you see to you.

Mass-surveillance never affects average Joe, it only affects people of importance. That is people like Edward Snowden who uncover war crimes. Journalists and activists who uncover conflicts of interest. People who are deemed a bad influence on society, because they question the state or they advocate certain truths that can easily be misunderstood. And people who have been wrongfully targeted out of error or carelessness. In other words: it potentially targets anyone who is important to the integrity of our society and our fundamental values. As long as you never stand up for anything in this world, mass-surveillance and censorship won't directly affect you. But you are trapping people who really matter into those platforms by proxy.

This is exactly why censorship must be fought in any form and with any means necessary.

And especially by us, me and you, who are not directly affected.

This page or post was last modified on 2022-09-15 .