There has always been activism in social media. Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram etc. have played a vital role in spreading democracy and aiding the reporting of news some political forces would prefer remain hidden.
As we move into a new administration here that seems to consider news the enemy and free speach more a hinderence than an American tradition. Sadly, Social Media providers seem to be aiding in this march toward exposing our lives for profit.
Googles former pledge "Do no Evil" no longer applies. They and others appear to be gathering much of our personal and private information on servers in easy reach and perhaps even with direct connections to NSA and other government databases. We are not permitted to know who is collecting or what they collect. We have no means to purge our data when we no longer wish it available.
The internet is forever.
Of course it is also true that much of what we as individuals choose to post online is done is our own decision and we cannot blame others for our own sharing. DON'T DO THAT !
As of May 26th or thereabouts, many people are being locked out of Twitter, ( Hope they lock Trump out! ) unless they provide a valid cell phone number.
Now if you're poor, or an activist who requires anonymity, this basically slams the door to using their platform. Google has done this for awhile and Google owns Twitter. As soon as you link your phone your ID can be compromised. For any activist or political desenter this can be dangerous, even deadly.
Some sites used for activism are now blocking users behind a VPN further compromising personal privacy and safety.
This highlights one of the main reasons why Net Neutrality is a good thing as it illustrates where corporate interests clash with public interest and privacy matters.
I will begin another list shortly. Alternatives to the "big" anti privacy, anti-invasive providers. It is still up to you the users to filter what you put online and where.
Just for starters, I no longer use Google as a primary search, I use http://duckduckgo.com as they do not log searches.
Google will log every search you make and attach it to your identity unless you use a VPN, but then you may spend 5 minutes clicking images on their horrible CAPTCHA as a form of punishment for not sharing your id and location with them.
You want a free anonymous secure email? Try http://tutanota.com. Located in Germany everything you do is encrypted and even they cannot read your emails unless you chose to send non-confidential. As long as your recipient has a pre-arranged password everything is locked up tight.
Check our article on VPN use and do that FIRST then activate your VPN to make the rest of your accounts.
Without VPN your ISP can and does record every site you visit. They will sell this to advertisers and if you visit sites with a political component who knows who will get that information. With a VPN they see the IP you connect to and no more.
Beware corporate giants online, they server their shareholders, not their users. You are their product!