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article imagePrivacy concerned social network for activists launches Special

By Justin King     Sep 18, 2013 in Technology
Informed Planet began development in January as an alternative to social networks that employ data-mining and provide government spy agencies a back door to user data.
In the last month, membership has doubled, presumably over the recent domestic spying scandal in the United States. Tim Foote, an administrator with the site, explained why he thinks the site’s membership is skyrocketing in the wake of the Snowden revelations and why it is not just "Facebook for the paranoid."
“We're not interested in competing with any other site; we just want to be a place for people to come to where they feel welcomed by all and don't have to be afraid of censorship and the like. Given the recent information regarding the NSA and spying as a whole, we can safely assure that no third party agency has any back doors to the site, unlike Facebook…”
“No censorship, no data mining, no selling your information to third parties. This site really is for people to communicate and nothing more. Functionally, we have some great features within the site including blogs and forums, online chat between all users and the ability to have a news feed with information from everyone or friends only. We've also just started doing regular podcasts of which the offer is there for anyone to contribute topics that they would like to discuss in a round table situation.”
“We also take all member requests seriously and consider each suggestion for a viable change to the site. We treat all our members as people and not as a commodity.”
While the site is quickly being embraced by activists and privacy advocates, Foote says that the site is for anyone interested in world issues and topics. The goal of creating an educated person’s social network may seem a little naïve considering the trendy and faddish world of the internet, but some are certainly going to welcome not seeing images of people’s dinner or half-nude images of Miley Cyrus after her next public faux pas in their newsfeed.
The site’s promise to avoid data-mining its users is another point that is resonating with potential subscribers. Most social networking sites analyze the contents of a user’s profile, posts, and conversations to determine what advertisements to show that particular user. While marketing gurus applaud the targeted advertising, the pinpoint accuracy of the ads comes at a privacy cost to the consumer; a cost it seems many are unwilling to pay.
Functionally, Informed Planet promises all of the features social networkers have come to expect. Currently, the site has no advertisements and is entirely user-supported through donations.
More about snowden, Privacy, Social network, informedplanetorg, Activist
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