Facebook (which was originally called FaceMash) launched back in 2003 as a “hot or not” game for Harvard students. The website let visitors compare two female student pictures side-by-side, and let them decide who was attractive.
The website was disrespectful and even then, infringed on the privacy of the women whose photos were used without their permission, however it was nothing like it is today.
When Facebook first became available to the public, there were few if any privacy settings and people were posting detailed information about everything from what they hate to crimes they had committed – often with photos attached in which they “tagged” their associates. Truly it was the social media wild west. Toady, most of us know better. It is never a good idea to share intimate details on social media, because privacy can never be guaranteed.
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In the present day, there are about a 1/2 dozen social media sites which hold the majority of the market share. We know the major players: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Snapchat, Instagram, YouTube etc., and they all have experienced some issues pertaining to privacy and information. But what about the hundreds of other social media sites that exist? Are they better, worse, or the same?
To be frank, no social media platform can offer you privacy and exposure; if it’s online there is always a chance that someone who is not your friend will see what you’re sharing. However, if you are looking for something new, the information below can help you make a more informed choice.
Alternative Social Media Networks
These are just a few examples of the alternative social media platforms that are out there. Again, these are not necessarily better than the traditional social sites; they are listed to give you an idea of what else exists.
Ello.co: Ello.co is a social media platform by and for artists.
Minds.com: Minds.com is a cryptocurrency fed social media site that has many of the features of Facebook with fewer rules regarding posting or free speech.
MeWe.com: MeWe.com has one of the founders of the internet sitting on its board of directors and yet, it isn’t very well known. It is very similar to Facebook and claims to be much more private.
Tagged: Tagged enables you to socialize with others through games, browsing profiles, and common interests. Users must be at least 18 years old to have an account on Tagged.
Pros for switching platforms:
- The majority of information hunters focus on the most popular sites (Facebook, Twitter), so technically, using a lesser known platform should reduce your social media imprint;
- You might have a specific interest or group that has its own social media platform or chat forums;
- You might find that other sites have different security requirements that better suit your needs;
- You find a space where you feel more comfortable communicating with friends and family
Cons for switching platforms:
- Going to a lesser known site means, well fewer people know about it. This can mean less traffic to your feed and less acknowledgment of your activities;
- Your friends may not want to switch to another social media platform with you;
- Not every social media site has a phone app for it;
- Using an alternative social media platform could result in user fees or other costs in some cases;
- You must still exercise caution when switching to another social media site
At the end of the day, nobody needs to be on social media; it’s both a convenience and inconvenience that we choose to be involved in. While using smaller, less known social media networks may be appealing to you, just remember that they are not necessarily more secure, and in order to communicate with others, they still need to join the same site that you do.