Alternative Technologies

Information and Communication Technology
December 16, 2020
Author Article Technology

No – not that sort of alternative technology. I mean alternatives to the various ICT platforms and social media outlets that we have all come to know and hate. It is very likely that some of the well-known platforms will stop serving Christian content; we are already aware of a number of topics that get censored by well-known social media outlets. So this article will help explain my reasons for choosing some non-traditional sources.

This website, for example, is built with open source technologies. The content management system that I used to build the site is ClassicPress, which is built using PHP (an open source web scripting language) and MariaDB, an open source alternative to the MySQL database server. The theme and some of the plugins used for the site were built by me, and I have control over them, delivering new versions from GitHub – and open source community code-sharing site. Then the whole site has to be served from an Internet Server. I pay for this service, and it is always possible that the company may turn against Christian content. But I keep a backup of the site on my own storage, so I could move the site to a new Internet Server if necessary.

Social Media

One of the biggest problem areas for Christians today has to be social media. The big players here are Facebook (which also owns Instagram and Whatsapp), Twitter, and Google (which owns YouTube). It is useful for me to maintain a presence on Facebook, but, as I suggested, it will soon not be possible for Christians to use this platform without censorship. So, here are the alternatives that I am using.

MeWe

This platform is somewhat similar to Facebook, though with a better, more honest business model. If you just want a personal platform, then it is free, but I have chosen to pay a small amount, so that I can have a page for this ministry. I keep my personal page for actual friends only, so I am not publicizing that URL here. However, the Proverbs 18:20 Ministries MeWe page is at:

https://mewe.com/p/proverbs1810ministries

Parler

Parler is an alternative to Twitter. It is better than Twitter, as you can use 1,000 characters, enabling a better exchange of views. My Parler account is available for followers (though trolls will be blocked).

@pftaylor61

Rumble

This is the newest technology to me. It is important to serve videos through my websites, and I have traditionally used YouTube or Vimeo. I preferred Vimeo to YouTube as the videos looked more professional. But Vimeo appears to be even more left and anti-Christian than Google and YouTube!

So, I came across Rumble (rumble.com). I have not used it much yet, though it seems to be as easy to use as YouTube, and can support channels in a similar manner to its more famous counterpart. I have not yet discovered what its free speech policy would be like.

Web Tools

The most important web tool is the browser that you use. On that browser, you are presumably going to use a search engine. Finally, some people, myself included, still find it useful to have an email client.

Brave

The most popular browser is Chrome, which is owned by Google, and tracks what sites you visit. So does Edge, owned by Microsoft. And Firefox seems to have got in on that act recently.

So I use Brave, which is built on the same open source core as Chrome, and therefore will show up on browser-sniffers as Chrome, even though it isn’t. Brave shares no information with anyone.

DuckDuckGo

I remember when Google first started, and I thought it was great; much better than Yahoo and Excite, which were the two main players at the time. But as Google has become a massive company, snooping on everything I do, I have fallen out of love with it.

I now recommend DuckDuckGo – https://duckduckgo.com

Email Client

I have use Thunderbird for a long time. But I am more concerned about it lately. I have not yet found an alternative. On my (Android) phone, I use BlueMail, which I have discovered does not interfere with my settings, whereas Gmail takes over all my settings for me. I notice that BlueMail now has a desktop client, but I haven’t tried it, and don’t know if it is secure.

You are probably more secure if you use a webmail system, especially of you use an encrypted email system, such as protonmail.

If you have questions or suggestions, please add them in the comments below.

When I get around to it, I shall start reporting on what I use for operating systems, office applications, and other productivity apps.

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