Censorship is real and I wouldn’t take anyone’s word for it who denies it.
No matter whether it’s a developing country like India or a country like America. It also does not matter who’s the ruling government (or how good/bad they are), censorship exists.
Maybe if I take a stand against any government’s decision here on my blog — the Indian government would potentially blacklist it, who knows?
So, a publisher has to think twice before trying to share something with the netizens. But, I wouldn’t think twice to share what’s right, backed with facts and of course if it promotes an open and uncensored web.
Of course, censorship-free platforms does not mean that you won’t have moderation tools — but the moderation will be limited to abuse, spam, and some common rules in the code of conduct. In addition to that, it’s the users who will be the moderators not a company behind it. So, you can feel free to share your critical views about something without any intervention by the platform personally or the government.
To give you some perspective, the Indian government has blocked 3433 social media URLs in 2019.
Not just limited to censorship, most of the popular social media platforms aren’t pro-privacy either.
So, in this article, I will focus on decentralized social platforms where you don’t have to worry about the government tracking your every move or trying to censor what you want to share with the world while keeping your data private.
Best Decentralized Social Media Networks for India
Mastodon is an incredibly popular open-source decentralized social media platform that respects your privacy and gives you a great user experience as well.
It’s similar to Twitter but better in a lot of ways. You can host your own instance, interact with other federated networks, and enjoy the freedom of speech without any political bias.
In fact, a lot of Twitter users in India moved to Mastodon because of Twitter’s political bias and censorship. And, the user base for Mastodon is increasing every day. Just because it’s decentralized, you’re free to choose different instances. For example, if you care about technology, you can join a Mastodon network that is only about technology and nothing else.
So, you get the freedom to share information and also get to tailor your network — that’s the advantage of a decentralized social media platform. Not just as a Twitter alternative, but it’s a great social media platform!
Minds is yet another interesting social media platform that uses blockchain to rewards its users in the form of tokens. Basically, the more content you create and traffic you drive, you get more tokens that you can transfer as cryptocurrencies or just use them to unlock more features and launch advertising campaigns to expand your reach.
It’s also a distributed social media network which is open-source and does not get affected by any political influence.
Yet another open-source social media network that aims to give a clutter-free experience without any advertisements, cookies, tokens, and so on.
It’s still something in active development and may not offer a big user base but it works just fine.
Diaspora is an impressive social media network similar to Mastodon. You get more control of what you do and your data. This is also a decentralized social media platform that you can use to tackle censorship anywhere across the globe.
There are some pretty good alternatives to Reddit (like Lemmy) and other social media platforms as well. But, just because it’ll be too overwhelming for you to get started, I’ve focused here on the best decentralized social media platforms that an average user can get started with easily.
Fret not, I’ll be doing a series of article to highlight plenty of options to defend open web and free speech in India. Stay tuned for that!
What do you think about social media censorship in India? Are you switching to alternatives to ensure that you enjoy a free-form of communication without any political influence? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!