Bubbling Under

These aren’t quite ready to go on the main switching.social list, but are highly developed and well on their way.



An open source federated alternative to YouTube, PeerTube lets anyone set up their own video sharing site, or join an existing PeerTube site.

The owner of a particular PeerTube site can federate with other sites on the network so that visitors can access a greater selection of videos, and if a video goes viral the federated sites can share the load.

There are already lots of PeerTube sites out there, but it is still in development and there isn’t much content on the sites yet.




An open source federated alternative to Instagram, PixelFed is a photo-oriented social network.

Once it’s ready anyone will be able to set up their own PixelFed site and federate with other PixelFed sites, and also federate with other social networks based on the ActivityPub standard (such as Mastodon).


PIXELFED SITES – PixelFed.social, pxlfd.me, pix.diaspodon.fr, pix.hostux.social, admires.art


Purism Librem Five

Purism’s Librem 5 is a new kind of smartphone which runs entirely on open source software and includes lots of features to protect the user’s privacy (including physical off-switches for the camera, microphone, wifi etc).

Purism are already known for making high end privacy-oriented Linux laptops, and this will be their first phone.

It’s currently due for release in January 2019. More details and pre-ordering from the link below.

WEBSITE – Librem 5



GetTogether is an ethical open source alternative to Meetup.com. Unlike Meetup, it costs nothing and anyone will be able to set up their own site as part of the federated GetTogether network.

It is currently still under development so there aren’t many events listed, but you can take a look or post your own events on the first GetTogether site below.

FIRST SITE – GetTogether.community



Funkwhale is an open source federated version of Grooveshark or SoundCloud, which lets you easily discover and share music online through a music-oriented social network. It’s still being developed, but you can try it out at the demo link below, or join one of the “whales” listed on the project website.


DEMO WEBSITE – Funkwhale Demo



Snips is a privacy-by-design voice assistant, an ethical alternative to Amazon Alexa, Apple Siri or Google Home. Unlike those other voice assistants, Snips processes your voice commands on your own device or computer. It works entirely offline without sending your data anywhere, so no one is listening in on you.

It’s still in development and currently aimed at businesses and developers/hobbyists, but it should eventually become available to a wider audience.




Home Hosting / Home Servers

A big reason for privacy being under threat is that your data is usually stored on a large faceless corporation’s computers, and you have to trust them not to do anything bad with it.

One alternative is to store your data at home instead, on a computer (or “server”) that you leave plugged into the internet. It runs all the time, sort of like a fridge for your data, and when other people want to connect with you (for example to send you an email) they connect to your home server. Also, because it’s connected to the internet, you can access your server from anywhere in the world through your phone, laptop or tablet, for example to check your email or to upload photos.

Traditional server computers used by large companies have a reputation for being massive, expensive and power-hungry. However, because a home server is only used by a small number of people, it can be tiny, cheap, and low-power. Modern microcomputers (such as the Raspberry Pi) are popular choices for home servers as they are physically about the size of a packet of butter, cost as little as €50 and use very little electricity.

The main stumbling block at the moment is the technical difficulty of setting up and maintaining a home server, which can be quite demanding. However, there are a number of projects which are trying to make it as simple as possible:

WEBSITES – Freedom Box, YunoHost, LibraryBox, Lima


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