[nSLUG] Facebook, Google - Why avoid and what else to use?

Jack Warkentin jwark at bellaliant.net
Fri Apr 19 13:44:41 ADT 2019

Hi Oliver

As I think I have said before on either nSLUG or HCC, I don't have *any* 
social media presence - *that I know of* - the caveat being that  FB 
seems able to get information about people through apps downloaded from 
the Google Play store. I do this because (1) I value my privacy, (2) the 
business plans of social media outfits depend on harvesting as much 
personal information as possible from everybody they possibly can, which 
is abhorrent to me, (3) I don't want to be bombarded with targeted adds 
and (4) once you allow any personal information to get out there, it 
absolutely impossible to ever get it completely erased.

I know of no alternatives to social media, although as a result of Mike 
Spencer's post I wondered if it would be possible to set up Usenet news 
groups for communicating with people you don't want to be exchanging 
frequent emails with. I haven't used Usenet since I retired in 1996 but 
would be prepared to do so if this were possible.

On my desktop computer I use duckduckgo.com for web searches to avoid 
being tracked, and for my desktop email I use a direct POP3  connection 
to my ISP. On my android smartphone I use K9mail for email (only when 
traveling), and Google search, chrome, maps, and contacts, but not 
calendar or photos. But, I *never* do *any* financial-type stuff (eg 
online banking, ordering stuff from Amazon) on my smartphone.

No doubt I an still being tracked in some ways or others but short of 
not using web browsers and search engines at all I see no way around this.

Everybody is entitled to her/his/their personal views on these issues, 
so I have every expectation of there being a completely civilized and 
non-inflammatory discussion about these issues.



Oliver Doepner wrote:
> Hi all,
> I use Google for web search, gmail, maps, calendar, photos, contacts
> and news aggregation.
> I use Facebook for communicating with many people in a way that is
> more flexible than reply-all emailing or distribution list email
> conversations. I limit FB use to about 1h a day, as I find some of the
> interactions with not-so-close "friends" or even strangers easily
> confrontational and too time-consuming.
> Some people on this group seem to have strong reasons to avoid or even
> denounce these companies and their services.
> Can you explain why and what the alternatives are, for the above uses?
> Both companies have made significant contributions to Open Source, by the way:
> - https://opensource.google.com/
> - https://opensource.facebook.com/
> Let's have a civilized and non-inflammatory discussion about this, please. :)
> --
> Oliver Doepner
> http://odoepner.github.io/
> _______________________________________________
> nSLUG mailing list
> nSLUG at nslug.ns.ca
> http://nslug.ns.ca/mailman/listinfo/nslug

Jack Warkentin, phone 902-404-0457, email jwark at bellaliant.net
39 Inverness Avenue, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, B3P 1X6

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