Survivalism & Self Sufficiency Topics > Communications

Social Media Alternatives to FB


I'm attempting to diversify my comms plan. Right now, I communicate frequently through the book-of-the-face with my family and friends who are spread far and wide. I am well aware of the limitations of this specific platform, but it is so widely used that it meets my needs for now. What are some other sites? I am aware of MeWe, but are there others? Also, I'm aware that in a BIG event, digital comms would likely be interrupted or go away completely, this is only one component of the plan.

Mr. Bill:
Facebook is getting increasingly frustrating, and I've been trying a few alternatives.  The big problem is that nearly everyone has Facebook, the same way that nearly everyone has e-mail, and there is no substitute for this.  You won't get even 5% of your friends and family to switch to another platform, because they won't get even 5% of their friends and family to switch, etc.

So I've quit looking for a general-purpose Facebook alternative, and instead I'm looking for social media options for specific uses.

For example, we've got this forum. 8)  You won't find all your friends here, but you'll find a bunch of people who share some overlapping common interests.  Most Internet forums are like that, so you can pick a few that match your own interests.

Since forums are so antique that many people don't even know what they are anymore, I wrote up an intro:
An Introduction to Internet Forums for Facebook Users

MeWe is an okay privacy-enhanced Facebook emulator, but it's hard to find friends and discussion groups unless you already know where they are.  Since Jack started pushing MeWe, a fairly active TSP group has gotten going there:
As is typical for MeWe, you can't find out one damn thing about the group until you join it.

The alternatives that really get my attention are the decentralized networks, and there are a lot of them, and most are teeny.  The basic idea is that a whole lot of people set up "hubs" or "nodes" or whatever, and information is shared between them, such that you can be a menber of one hub/node and interact with all the members of all the other hubs/nodes.  There is no big central server, so the system doesn't operate at the whim of one central authority.

Mastodon is positioning itself as the largest decentralized alternative to Twitter.  I haven't tried it yet.  A female friend of mine gave it a try, and said she was inundated with crude propositions and dick pics within 2 hours, so she deleted her account.  Apparently there are features in Mastodon to help avoid such problems, but newbies don't know how to set them up.

I've heard that this is a problem for most of the decentralized FB alternatives.  A too-large part of the membership already got booted off Facebook and Twitter for violations, and they have moved to "unregulated" networks where they can freely engage in their favorite assclownery.

Because of this, I'm looking most favorably at Hubzilla (and its simpler, but as yet poorly documented, offspring Zap).  Hubzilla/Zap are functionally something like Facebook, plus extra features, and with good built-in ability to control who you interact with.

Which is cool if you can find anyone to interact with.

But this is an entirely different model of social media.  Some people are setting up Hubzilla or Zap hubs just for their immediate family.  This lets all the family members share calendars, have access to a Dropbox-like file storage system, and exchange messages with each other.  As a side-benefit they can also interact with members on all the other Hubilla and Zap hubs, plus (if the site owner enables the option) other networks such as Mastodon.  I think this is a believable usage scenario -- the resident nerd of a family or group of friends sets up a hub, and it's not open to the general public, but it still provides connectivity to the rest of the world.  I'll probably try setting up a Zap hub just for me and my wife next year.

Thank you. I knew I could count on members of this group for a thorough answer.

It is a little like the wild west out there, but I'm willing to check it out as frustration with facebook is growing and I expect that someday there will be big changes that are even more intrusive and/or limiting.  I have one dear friend that is on Mewe, and one that (ironically) is someone that I would not seek out in even the most minor emergency. Thanks for the suggestions. I'll have to look them over and see what might be closest to a one-size-fits-most platform. I'd love to hear more reviews if anyone else can chime in.

Also, I can't believe that there are some people who don't know what a forum is. That is all I use when I need customer "support" with the phone, internet, or cable or the kids' xbox.


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