Social Network Decentralization

    And your calendar is online, so everyone can see: you have no dates on Friday. And your status: “in search”. You inform free of charge that they say I am not married, I am in search. Spying on you for nothing. All this formed quickly, before we had time to blink an eye, as we found ourselves in such a situation. "- Eben Moglen February 5, 2010

    Users of habrahabr Eben Moglen is familiar with his speech at a meeting in the New York branch of the Internet Society. The report was very simple in content and concise. The freedom and rights of Internet users were discussed, including freedom of choice and the right to inviolability of personal information. I would like to briefly touch upon the problem of social networks.

    VKontakte, My World, Classmates, Facebook, Google+, Twitter - the list is huge. Social networks provide a wide range of interactive services: instant messaging, blogs, photos, data storage. Lucidly explaining that all personal data is collected without reference to the person. We are pleased to use the services of companies without worrying about our own security. Of course, obviously, absolute anonymity is a thing of the past. They may object to me: “an honest man has nothing to hide”, “if you don’t want, don’t post something that could compromise you.” But this is not entirely correct. We have lost control of our own information, we have forgotten the original goal of the Internet - freedom and equality. For the sake of marketing, companies store on their own servers all the information about our friends, preferences, age, acquaintances, personal correspondence data. All this is not protected by anything except the password and user agreement. And if everything is honest and open, why is personal correspondence not encrypted? Or completely do not give at the discretion of the user to delete their own data? These questions can be answered in different ways.

    Is there a way out?

    The good news is that in parallel with commercial technology, there is an open source community consisting of a huge number of talented people who are still upholding the basic principles of the Internet. In the era of Web 2.0, decentralized social networks can be an alternative to many services. Projects like DIASPORA *, Friendica, Movim and Tent are proof of this.

    On the pages of Habr, there were posts about some of the named projects, but Friendica undeservedly bypassed.

    At the moment, the project is actively developing. Friendica is not just a decentralized social network, but also a meta-network. It allows you to combine accounts from other social networks, blogs and email services in one place. “Connectors” or “connectors” are provided, by configuring which you get such wide possibilities.

    Unfortunately, I did not notice VKontakte support, but you can send a message directly to Facebook, Twitter, Livejournal and other services without leaving Friendica. Convenient is the function of connecting the RSS feed directly to your “wall”.

    The IRC-Chat Plugin installed on Friendica creates a general chat in which you can select sections by interests or other criteria. Also, the owner of the site can be installed Jappix Mini, allowing you to interact with your Jabber / XMPP account.

    If your friend is registered on another server, or is a member of DIASPORA *, there is no problem - all users can exchange messages with each other.

    You are in complete control of your data. For example, you have a post, but a repost has been made many times and you urgently needed to delete it. All that is needed is to delete the original. The whole chain will collapse.

    At any time, your account and all data can be permanently deleted from the server in fact, and not like VKontakte or Facebook.

    Flexible settings give you complete control over your personal information. You will determine who and what can view. From regular posts to your interests, photos and profile data. There is support for connections over the HTTPS encryption protocol, keys up to 256-bit long are used.

    Many servers are available around the world, including in Russia. At the moment there are one and two . In addition, many Russian-speaking users are registered on a German server.

    Since Friendica is an open source project, you can freely download and install its software module. Thus creating a new segment of a social network or an autonomous service of your choice.
    You can install the software module on the Apache server with mod_rewrite and Options All enabled in the host settings, with support for PHP 5.2 or later (encryption requires PHP 5.3), as well as MySQL 5.X databases.

    Friendica software module is available through the links on the project website, there you will find detailed installation instructions. Unfortunately, those who want to install Friendica can not do without knowledge of English or online translators.

    Friendica was founded by Mike McGrivin, who previously worked for Symantec Corporation, America Online (AOL), Sun Microsystems, Netscape Communications, and Stanford University. It grows and develops through voluntary donations and an open source community.

    Of course, there are still a lot of interesting projects implemented at the expense of enthusiasts like Mike. All this gives hope that the Internet will remain a free place where totalitarianism and censorship are absent.

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