TTFA2: Replacing Twitter

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Contents

Microblogging Beyond Twitter

This chapter will;

  • Encourage you to sign up to identi.ca or indy.im
  • Explain the issues and limitations of Twitter
  • Show the advantages of using Status.net
  • Point you to help signing up for an account and using the service

True Story: http://tiny.booki.cc/?UJ3W.

Imagine my surprise this morning when, without warning, my shiny new Twitter account (@d_seaman) was suspended and taken offline.My crime? Talking too much about Occupy Wall Street ... and talking too much about the controversial detainment without trial provisions contained in the FY 2012 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA)

Sign up to identi.ca or indy.im

Logo3 0.pngIf you want to use a replacement for Twitter, you can sign up for get an account on https://identi.ca or if you know someone who uses https://indy.im then they can invite you to use that service as it is currently set up to work by invite only due to the problems of span users.

Both of these communities have a vibrant user base, Indy.im is more of an activist base and identi.ca is wider with a lot of computer enthusiasts.

The Limits of Twitter

So what is the problem with Twitter anyway? In recent years Twitter has been an invaluable tool to human rights campaigners and a great source of activist news. However, because of its centralised structure it is at the mercy of pressure from the State to release the personal information of Twitter users. [secure-updates-using-statusnet#InsertNoteID_16 1]

Status.net - identi.ca and Indy.Im

Statusnet is a microblog service, similar to twitter, but it's decentralised, which means you can run your own statusnet installation. You can get an account on https://identi.ca or� https://indy.im or you can install your own statusnet installation. Statusnet has some neat features.

  • You can automatically attach pictures or video to posts, so you don't need to hand your content to another party like twitpic or plixi
  • You can create/join groups. �Posts into groups are distributed to all its members, whether they are following you or not.
  • You can take an RSS feed from a blog and automatically bring its latest posts into your timeline.
  • If you have a newish mobile phone (e.g. Android or i.Phone), you can install a Statusnet application from your App Store, to make publishing and reading your timeline simple.

How is Status.net useful for activists?

Using https://indy.im or http://identi.ca allows you to update your twitter and facebook statuses without logging into those websites. This is much better for your anonymity.

  • Your connection to indy.im is encrypted. This is true if you are using the web client or a mobile phone. This means your network provider cannot see the content of your updates.
  • Twitter or Facebook will just see the IP address of indy.im, not your own IP address.
  • indy.im does not log IP addresses. It cannot tell where an update is coming from.
  • indy.im also can use the imc.li link shortener. This also does not log IP addresses, so the people who follow you and click through to you links will not be able to be tracked by the commercial bit.ly or tinyurl.org services (for example).

Say you need to update accounts used in the organising of events like demonstrations or others which may be subject to the intervention of the authorities. Once a Facebook or Twitter identity has been created, you don't need to return there to update the status. This means you only have to use anonymous browsing protection (Tor, proxies or VPN) once during registration.

Using Twitter via Status.net

You can connect up your identi.ca and indy.im account to a twitter account. The reason that you might want to do this is to support the open web without losing the ability to chat to your twitter friends. Also you can post to an existing twitter account without giving them the ability to log your IP address and therefore your location.

To connect follow the following steps; log into twitter and identi.ca (or indy.im), go to your identi.ca settings and click on the Twitter tab, enter the details of your Twitter account, click on the option you are given to Authorize App.

Twitterconnect.png

You can then set some preferences. The default ones simply allow you to automatically repost your 'dents' from identi.ca to twitter.

What Next?

  • Try to get an invite for an Indy.Im account or sign up to identi.ca
  • Try to get cross posting to your Twitter or Facebook account working
  1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Twitter_subpoena[secure-updates-using-statusnet#InsertNoteID_16_marker17 ^]
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