Privacy for social media

What is FnF?

There is an increasing number of people who were once addicted to Facebook etc, who have become disillusioned by these services. They do too much advertising, and submit a constant stream of notifications and friend requests unless you take the trouble to find out how to turn them off. If there is competition they buy the competing company - hegemony central!

Also they require you to submit a quantity of personal information in order to use them to their maximum capability. What they do with that information, and who has access to it, we do not know.

How would it be if you could communicate with your chosen group with your personal and group data in a private database, entrusted to a nominated administrator for the group. Groups that might find it of interest coulld be:

Friends and Family - FnF for short, provides these capabilities. It's also designed with the needs of smartphone users very much in mind.

But who will pay for it, you may well ask. Well you will. There's no such thing as a free lunch. A typical family group might include 30 members, and with invited friends, probably more. So together, to pay for an Internet hosting, each member might have to chip in less than $1 a month. If there's someone in the group who is computer savvy, that might be the only cost. If not, services will be available to set up and administer your system for a small fee (Try fnfhub.org ;=)). The hosting will usually also provide members with their own email addresses. Companies and associations might well already have a server that could be used.

What can FnF do? Well it provides a group forum where any member can post articles/posts viewable by all members of the group - a group news-feed. Such posts can be accompanied by attachments:

Individual members of the group can exchange messages not viewable by other group members, also accompanied by similar media or other file attachments.

The membership information can be viewed, including a profile picture, a general statement about the members' disposition, and all that information you forget about your relatives - birthday, address, phone number, email address, and so on. No worry about public exposure or companies selling your email address or trawling your messages for personal preference information to sell to advertisers.

Membership is by invitation, and can only be initiated by an existing member. So you'll get an SMS or a phone call asking if you'd like to join, and the sender will enrol you if you agree. Non members who visit the app will simply be unable to log in, and they can't just register themselves as a user.

FnF is designed with the needs of an inexpensive shared hosting in mind. Such hosts often don't have https available, so FnF uses encryption with a group key to send authentication information, and optionally messages in a form not easily broken into by someone listening to your Internet communications.