In light of recent news, let’s talk about Mark Zuckerberg and Meta’s non-confidential social media innovation, Threads.
What is Threads and how does it treat your privacy?
The echoes of the scandalous news after Elon Musk bought Twitter and introduced controversial changes to the functionality that were not met with enthusiasm by many users have not yet died down. That’s where Meta comes in with its Threads, trying to lure disappointed users.
Immediately after its launch, Threads tells us that it will track our location, record all interactions with the app, and generally all information from our phones (and more). More surprisingly, it claims to be able to collect data on credit histories and credit scores. Similarly, if you want to delete your Threads account, you will also lose your Instagram account. However, this is not surprising for Meta. And most importantly, don’t forget that this information can be transferred to any other company or government agencies on behalf of Meta.
Why do you need to read user agreements?
Let’s be honest, we agree to all of this when we sign a user agreement. Almost none of us take the time to read these agreements when we sign up.
The first episode of the sixth season of Black Mirror (Joan Is Awful), which was recently released, ironically reminds us of how important it is to know what you are signing and agreeing to, showing how a girl suddenly discovers that a major streaming service has released a drama series about her life, starring Hollywood actress Salma Hayek.
Fediverse: An alternative to traditional social networks
There are alternatives that we have already talked about before – federated social networks, for example, the same Mastodon.
Fediverse works on the principle that users of one of these networks can interact with users of other networks without creating separate accounts. The key feature here is that the user’s data is controlled by the user, not by a centralized provider, as is the case with traditional social networks. For example, users can choose which server their data is stored on and can move it to another server at any time. This allows for a level of privacy and control that cannot be achieved with traditional social networks. Mastodon, Diaspora, Friendica, and Hubzilla are examples of services that are part of Fediverse.
What are the prospects for Threads in Fediverse?
Currently, Threads exists as a social media platform similar to Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter. But it’s becoming clear that Meta has much more ambitious plans, and in fact, the company wants Threads to communicate with other federated social platforms. Meta claims that Threads supports the “ActivityPub” protocol so that it can assimilate into Fediverse. If Meta’s plans come to fruition, Threads users will be able to communicate with users of other social networks within Fediverse, even if they have not registered with Threads.
The closest example of a similar ecosystem is email. Whether you have a Gmail account or use Outlook, you can send and receive messages from your Yahoo account in the same way. All of this happens through interoperable protocols similar to ActivityPub. Threads is not currently part of Fediverse, but it will be soon.
Time will tell if this is a good thing or a bad thing. But given the past merits and experience of Meta, one suspects that a large corporation is beginning its expansion into the decentralized cyber world.
Remember, your privacy is your right and your choice, and federated social networks are your tool to protect your rights and freedom 🔐