Frequently Asked Questions

CAN I QUOTE SWITCHING.SOCIAL’S TEXT ON MY OWN SITE? CAN I TRANSLATE SWITCHING SOCIAL INTO ANOTHER LANGUAGE?

Yes, the text on switching.social is available under a Creative Commons Attribution Sharealike 4.0 Licence. Please remember to link back to switching.social if you use content from this site, and to include a link to this licence.

 

HOW DO YOU DEFINE “PRIVACY-CONSCIOUS” AND “ETHICAL”?

The idea of this site is to provide alternatives that have better privacy but are as easy to use as whatever they replace. These are referred to on this site as “privacy-conscious”.

There are usually other alternatives that provide a higher level of privacy but require technical knowledge that most people don’t have. These aren’t listed in the main part of the site, though you may find some of them in the Advanced Users and Bubbling Under sections.

The word “ethical” is used in many different ways in modern English. On this site it’s used to mean services and apps that do significantly less harm to people’s privacy, because this site regards user privacy as morally good.

 

WHY ISN’T BRAVE LISTED IN THE BROWSER ALTERNATIVES?

Brave is funded by venture capital (including Peter Thiel) and its business model is built around advertising. They block ads on sites you browse, and replace them with their own ads. VC money combined with online ad-based business models has always resulted in privacy invasion, sooner or later.

 

WHY ISN’T RIOT.IM LISTED IN THE SECTION ON MESSENGER ALTERNATIVES?

Switching.social is meant for non-technical people. Riot.im is currently aimed at business people and tech projects.

 

WHY ISN’T WIRE LISTED IN THE SECTION ON MESSENGER ALTERNATIVES?

Switching.social is meant for non-technical people. Wire is currently aimed at business people and tech projects.

 

WHY ISN’T XMPP LISTED IN THE SECTION ON MESSENGER ALTERNATIVES? WHAT ABOUT CONVERSATIONS.IM?

XMPP is sort of listed, Zom uses XMPP.

XMPP as a general standard is tricky as the process for getting started isn’t very user-friendly.

Conversations is a great app and very user-friendly, but it requires people to sign up at an XMPP server separately, and that’s not easy to do. Alternatively, there’s a built-in account option on Conversations, but the free trial ends after 6 months and there’s no clear payment method for renewing it.

 

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