[Air-L] More secure alternatives to popular social media?

Rex Troumbley rextroumbley at gmail.com
Sun Aug 18 07:08:40 PDT 2013

Those are very good questions and they would make for a great research

I recently did a survey of several of the top social network alternatives
biggest barrier to studying activity on these alternatives was that their
emphasis on security and privacy make it very difficult to determine how
many people use them, what they use them for, or what groups they attract.
However, some networks like Diaspora provide nearly real-time information
on how many users they have. Facebook and Twitter still have the most users
by far, but several of the alternative networks I looked at also had
followers/members on mainstream social networks too. There are many more
alternatives available than the ones I examined, but most required
considerable technical skills so I didn't include them for the blog's
general audience.

I'm as interested as Dr. Ess in answers to the questions he posed, but I'd
like to add another. Before PRISM, I recall a number of studies which found
that people generally would not be willing to pay money for a secure social
network which does not mine user data. In addition to Dr. Ess' questions,
does anyone know if new studies have been done to determine whether people
are now willing to pay for social networks which don't collect and share
user data?

Rex Troumbley, PhD Candidate
Department of Political Science and Alternative Futures
University of Hawaii at Manoa

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