I am considering signing up for either Librem 1, or to a Mastadon account, or maybe even setting up my own Mastadon instance. The driving motive of course, is to avoid surveillance capitalism while enjoying some online socialization. But I have a question.
Obviously, companies like Twitter and facebook will feel threatened by services like Mastadon, and will want to diminish its value and to advertise to Mastadon users, regardless of our efforts to opt-out of their services.
What stops companies like Google and Twitter from signing-up for a Mastadon account and scraping and cataloging and using all information that exists in the entire Fediverse? Fuzzy logic and complex algorithms are already honed at Google and Twitter and the like, to match profile information from different sources to the same individual. And if I join any social media platform (which I have not done yet), I want to use my real first and last name with my friends and family.
I can see the possibility that I get my Librem 5 and sign up for Librem 1, ditch my Samsung phone and my Google account. Then I join a Mastadon group on say, amateur radio and another group on pet adoptions. Sure enough, Google comes along and scrapes the entire Fediverse. They match my name to my Amateur radio call sign (and thus, my address) and to my interest in animal adoptions. The next thing you know, my address on file at the FCC starts receiving junk mail about pet supplies. And it all starts with my intended safe place on a Mastadon server. My question is this: Is there any place out there that is safe from surveillance capitalism? This example may sound outlandish to some. I think it’s inevitable if not here now. You can run but you can’t hide unless you want to hide behind fake names and not disclose your interests to your friends.