Due to Facebook's ongoing censorship, I recommend that all of my friends on Facebook move to the https://movim.eu/ social network.
You can find me there at firstname.lastname@example.org, and see my public blog here:
I've also created a public chatroom to which all of my FB friends are invited:
Another acquaintance of mine, Mathew Crawford has just been issued a 30 day ban from Facebook, evidently because he posted criticism of the Pfizer vaccine, and of Pfizer as a company—including its record of public deception and fines.
Matthew and I sometimes disagree, but I think he's an intelligent person who is not prone to conspiracy theories. In my experience, he tries to be careful not to argue beyond evidence available to him. Silencing his voice is unjustified, IMO.
Similar bans have been imposed on other people I consider reasonable, including myself. Such bans have been imposed even for posts made years ago that were in keeping with FB's policies at the time. And some friends have been banned for no apparent reason that I can discern.
Due to Facebook's censorship, it has become impossible to have a discussion of controversial topics without fear of being banned.
As a result, I've investigated a number of alternatives to Facebook (Diaspora, Scuttlebutt, Dreamwidth, MeWe, Minds, Hive.io, Discussions.app, Flote.app, Hubzilla, Element.io, Signal groups, etc).
From my perspective, it doesn't make sense to switch to an alternative that has features (or anti-features) that will eventually cause them to behave just like Facebook.
For example, many of my friends have switched to MeWe. MeWe is not nearly as censorious as Facebook, as they're prioritizing growth over censorship right now.
Yet MeWe is a proprietary services with TOS very similar to Facebook. And, like Facebook, MeWe's TOS allows them to boot anyone for any reason at any time with no recourse. And MeWe's staff has already booted/censored many individuals and groups for discussing verboten topics.
Therefore, I don't recommend that people move to MeWe.
In order for me to consider advocating for an alternative to Facebook, it must meet the following criteria:
- Open source
- No user hostile features designed to "lock-in" users
- Friendly to federation
- Decent UI
- Competent dev team
- Respectful of user privacy
- Support for most of the important features of Facebook (private user groups, encrypted chat, easy discovery of like-minded groups and individuals, etc)
- Business model aligned with users
- Respectful of free speech
Nice to haves:
- Standards based
- Multiple service providers
- Mechanisms for exporting user data
Unfortunately, none of the Facebook alternatives can fully replace all of the functionality of Facebook. And certainly none of them have degree of polish of Facebook--it's hard to compete with the billions of dollar FB pours into improving the features, quality, and reliability of their services.
However, I think I've found a Facebook alternative that's "good enough": Movim.
Movim is an open source social network that is based on XMPP, a old and well-tested communications standard. (Google and Facebook used the XMPP standard for their messaging services before they switched to their own proprietary protocols).
Although XMPP was initially developed to support messaging, the standard supports features that allow for other social networking features such as:
- picture/video hosting
- public/private groups (called chatrooms in XMPP parlance)
- news feeds
- voice calls/video chat
You can see more of the features here:
While Movim is designed to be a social network, under the covers it's just another standards-based XMPP client. So if you don't like the Movim web client, there are many alternative XMPP clients for all of the major platforms (Windows/Mac/Linux/Android/iOS/Web).
Here are the clients I recommend for each platform:
- Web: Movim
- Windows: Gajim
- Mac: BeagleIM
- Android: Conversations
- iOS: SiskinIM
- Linux (Desktop): Psi+
- Command Line: Profanity
You can find download links to all of the clients here:
Movim.eu has three servers (in Netherlands, Japan, and Germany). But there are hundreds of XMPP installations all over the world. You can post to public chatrooms on Movim, chat with Movim users either from Movim directly, or from other XMPP servers. And there are XMPP bridges to many other networks, such as Matrix, RocketChat, Discord, Slack, IRC, and Telegram.
Movim can also be self-hosted (Docker and Guix packages available).
So, if the administrators of Movim turn evil, there are many alternatives to which you can switch.
Movim has its imperfections, mind you. The most important flaw is that Movim currently doesn't encrypt messages. As a result, the Movim sysadmins can read your chats on their server.
That said, it's no worse than Facebook now. The XMPP standard supports encrypted messaging, and I know the Movim devs are working to support OMEMO. So I suspect that Movim will support encrypted messaging soon. But if you need encrypted messaging right now, you can use clients / servers that currently support it, such as Gajim (client) and
However, despite it's warts and lack of certain features, I've been very happy overall with the service. And I hope that many of my Facebook friends will choose to join me there so that we can chat freely with less fear of censorship.
External review of Movim: