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Decentralized Tools for Activists


These websites are great to compare different software solutions, and help you choosing free alternatives over proprietary.

This very good article is analyzing why GAFAM is a problem:

Reasons for this workshop


  • we want more people to use decentralized tools for political action
  • it makes their activism more effective
  • decentralized services are more resilient, don't support the monopolies, and are important for privacy
  • decentralized services require some extra knowledge
  • big tech's monopoly is creating a cyberpunk dystopia


  • make people aware of the problem
  • teach people how to use the alternatives (effectively)
  • it would be great if they can spread the knowledge afterwards


  • a workshop on how to use them
  • directly trying them out?
  • stories on why this is important
  • how to find an instance?

The Problem: Monopolies

Tech monopolies gain more and more power

  • their means of production are user data
    • selling advertisements
  • knowledge is power:
    • manipulating elections
    • mass surveillance
    • influencing customers
    • repression
    • and we don't know how they can use the data in the future
  • most of these services are monopolys; this way they can exploit the data
    • Segmenting: much easier to find people who are interested than with conventional advertising
    • Deception: easier to find people who are easy to deceive, power to withhold information from people
    • Domination: monopoly over all sources of information of a person
    • Mind Control techniques?
      • there are some tricks which manipulate decision making: e.g. auctions, countdowns on purchase websites, "your friends bought this", gameistic addiction tricks
      • Not very effective: most people adapt to techniques like that quickly. Only a fraction of people, those who can't adapt, can be manipulated for longer
  • network effects + user lock-in: the more users they have, the more they want


Bad Examples:

biggest tech companies: Google, Amazon, Facebook, Apple, Microsoft

eBay, PayPal, Twitter, YouTube (Google), ...


  • But there are alternatives
  • Decentralized services
    • not owned by a single company
    • everyone can set up their own server
    • interoperable; the servers can federate with each other
  • Also important: Free Software/Open Source
    • everyone is able to use, read, edit, share the source code -> trustworthy



Jitsi Meet is a videoconference-tool, which is easy to use, provides encrypted communication & which can, but doesn't need to be installed. You can just send people a link to your channel and they can join.

Use case: secure audio/video-chat



With CryptPad, you can make quick collaborative documents like spreadsheets, for taking notes and writing down ideas together. It's a private-by-design alternative to popular office tools and cloud services. All the content stored on CryptPad is encrypted before being sent, which means nobody can access your data unless you give them the link to your pad.

Use case: Working collaboratively on press statements, transcripts, or any other text.



WordPress is a free and open-source content management system . It was originally created as a blog-publishing system but has evolved to support other types of web content including more traditional mailing lists and forums, media galleries, etc. WordPress can be installed on a web server, like, or a computer running the software package in order to serve as your own network host.

Use case: Host your own blog / homepage, where you can easily add posts and pages.


Instances:,, ...


Mastodon is a free and open-source self-hosted social network. It allows anyone to host their own server node in the network, and its various separately operated user bases are federated across many different servers. These nodes are referred to as "instances" by Mastodon users. These servers are connected as a federated social network, allowing users from different servers to interact with each other seamlessly. The users communicate via short posts (calles "toots") which can be viewed in ones timeline.

Use case: microblogging: quick, short posts to keep the world up-to-date.



A free and federated tool to get events away from Facebook. Create an event description, date, website. Then people can click ‘participate’ for others to see. It federates with Mastodon, so people can show that they will attend with their Mastodon identity.

Use case: Invite people who don’t have facebook to an event.



With framadate you can plan an appointment quickly and easily. No registration is required. You just add some options (like days for a party), send the link to your friends, and they can click on the the days where they have time.

Use case: Find a date for a party, meeting, or action, where everyone has time.



A classic forum, where people can talk in threads about a topic. Good for asynchronous communication about a shared cause. Sends mail notifications

Use case: Build a community about a certain topic, to organize a campaign or movement.


ownCloud /Nextcloud

ownCloud / Nextcloud is a cloud-hosting software for creating and using file hosting services. It is free and open-source, thereby allowing anyone to install and operate it without charge on their own private server. Features include shareable calendars, audio player etc.

Use case: Backup & share your data. Synchronize files across all of your devices.


Instance: If you need an account, write to


A special kind of to do list. Kanboard makes it easy to organize tasks, assign them to people, and track the progress of your project. Great to have an overview about what’s to be done; but it only really works if the whole team is dedicated to use it.

Use case: Project management; organize a team to get a project done.


Instance: If you need an account, write to