With all the news about Big Tech's missteps, it can make you wonder whether online tech is a lost cause, having turned into a morass of surveillance machines, soulless slot-machine apps, and dark patterns, all fueled by "the weaponization of UX," as Evan Selinger put it.
But there's hope. Small teams on the edges, most of them nonprofit, are beginning to create better tech that actually tries to benefit users, rather than exploit them. Some are more established, while some are just starting out, but they represent a new beginning, which we badly need.
Here's what I'm seeing so far:
• DuckDuckGo instead of Google
• FastMail or ProtonMail instead of Gmail
• Diaspora instead of Facebook
• Mastodon instead of Twitter
• Framatube, aka PeerTube, instead of YouTube (Framatube is one of several services from France-based FramaSoft)
• Good Todo instead of Google Tasks (full disclosure, Good Todo is my own service)
• Platforms like Civil and Tim Berners-Lee's Solid that promise to decentralize the Web
• Lists of alternatives like NoMoreGoogle.com and RestorePrivacy.org and FramaSoft
Do you know of others? Post a comment below to let me know.