What it's like to get locked out of Google indefinitely

“It's just one reason why it's so important that we fund and develop human-scale small tech as an alternative to the stranglehold of big tech on our lives." – some guy who goes on about this stuff a bit

HT @robby

@aral @robby
What would be a good alternative to google, for non-very techy people who don't want to spend a lot of money?

@machado @aral @robby duckduckgo, searx, visit alternative software website. All them are foss

@Theehermit @aral @robby Meant more in a sense of email services. I'd like to move my relatives away from depending on gmail and outlook. I'm thinking maybe protonmail.

@Theehermit @machado @aral Just note that only the DuckDuckGo mobile app is FOSS. Their service is proprietary. Searx is a really nice choice for a search engine alternative though. I’ve been using a Searx instance for my primary search engine for about half a year now.

@machado @aral @robby Well, you could make a Tutanota or Protonmail email account then link all your important stuff to those. If you want to keep that email unknown to services that you want to use but don't trust use something like Firefox Relay that generates an email address and redirects all the received email to your main account (which would be the tutanota/protonmail)

@machado @aral @robby NOTE: This is only for the email side of Google and that the methods here are all free but do consider donating to Protonmail or Tutanota to try and keep them going.

@aral @robby This is why I am working on tools like – that human scale small tech is going to need backends that don't require a town sized data hall and an army of SREs to be cost effective. We need to take the cloud back and make computing personal again.

@angdraug @aral

make computing personal again

I wonder if that would fit on a hat 🤔

@angdraug @robby Looks very cool. Would love to hear your thoughts once we have up as a proof-of-concept. My eventual goal is that people can get up and running with their own “Facebook” in under 30 seconds (a VPS instance that they own and control at their own domain in a system where they can move it to any other hosting provider with a click or two).

@aral @robby This fits nicely with my plan for giving people a hosting provider they can set up with a few friends on a bunch of NUC, Pi4s, and refurb 1Us.

@angdraug @robby Very cool. Let’s keep an eye on each other’s progress. Will ping you when there’s something to look at on :)

@angdraug @robby “Barley takes away your options until what's left is simple enough to just work.” – This is exactly the approach we’re taking with Site.js ( :)

@angdraug @aral @robby Barley looks like a very cool project! I’ve got a couple of Pi4’s to play with, I may try it out on them (maybe with Site.js!)

@trevormeier @angdraug @robby Please do! I’d be very interested in hearing about your experience :)

@trevormeier @aral @robby Pi4 will likely need some tweaking, I don't think it will work out of the box with pxelinux. If you get it to boot please send patches!

It does work great with a NUC, which I think is a better home server platform. Even with an 8GB Pi4B, the cores-to-RAM ratio is too high for a typical read-heavy CDN-fronted web hosting scenario. Depends on what you use it for, of course: you might need those cores for a Jitsu bridge..

I wonder if the poor guy lives in the EU -- because if he does he has a legal right to have all his data sent to him, due to some law made to make the internet impossible or something like that...

@aral well geeze! I've already been working to migrate to self-hosted services in place of Google's offerings, but I hadn't realized I should be migrating my accounts away from my Gmail. Thanks for the wake-up call!

@kd0bpv Check out FastMail (what we use) or Hey. There are also encrypted alternatives like @Tutanota

@aral @kd0bpv I’ve been considering FastMail, but their hosting jurisdiction is a sticking point. How do you feel about that aspect of their service?

@trevormeier @kd0bpv I don’t consider email to be private to start with. It’s a postcard. I’d still rather it wasn’t mined six ways to Sunday if possible :)

@aral Thanks for the mention, it's much appreciated! Any questions, we're here to answer. :) @kd0bpv

@0 @aral Most definitely not. They might stop associating new data with your old account, but even as an "accountless user" they are more than likely building up a new "shadow profile" of you, in order to continue targeting ads at you.

@0 @aral @robby They track you even if you never had an account. My question would be, do they delete what they know about you when you close your account? They should under GDPR, but I wouldn't bet my house on it.

@aral @robby I'm missing the explanation though. I was once locked out for one day due to google plus policy citation, appealed, they reverted. I still have my avatar from back then. ;-)

@aral @robby

It’s a little like having your house burn down

Well yeah, because it’s not your house, dumbasses.

I can’t blame them though. People are also forced into rental contracts by financial pressures, and eviction destroys their lives as much as Facebook could ever do, with Facebook and landlords protesting muh property even as they rob people blind.

Sign in to participate in the conversation
Aral’s Mastodon

The social network of the future: No ads, no corporate surveillance, ethical design, and decentralization! Own your data with Mastodon!