The Privacy Hyprocrisy

Does anyone find it odd when some privacy enthusiast keeps active profiles on Twitter, Facebook, Reddit etc? Not just some anonymous profile but a real personal profile with true information.

The Snowden era has spawned hundreds of such “privacy advocates” who have profiles on the mainstream social networks that they actively and primarily use for their online interaction.

It occurred to me some time in 2016, when I joined Reddit to interact on the /r/privacy and similar subreddits, that I wasn’t helping the cause. Then I quit it.

Sadly, there has never been a viable replacement for Reddit, and many privacy enthusiasts still flock over there. I still browse Reddit without an account to stay updated on the latest privacy trends.

In contrast to all the “privacy gurus” on mainstream social media, I’ve come across random individuals on the Fediverse and privacy oriented social networks that have a great deal of knowledge on the subject and actually put it into practice. I’ve found these rare individuals to be disciplined and focused on preserving their online activities from the government and corporate surveillance net. And a discussion with them would have more impact than the hypocrites playing both sides.

Actual privacy comes with a highly definitive threat model. The privacy celebrities don’t seem to have a convincing threat model; privacy to them is a hobby of sorts and something to brag about rather than put to practical use.

On the same note, almost every privacy oriented service on the internet has accounts on Twitter, Facebook, Reddit etc. While that may be understandable, given that these services need to marketed to the general public, so that they too can be educated and make changes, I’ve found that almost all the developers of these services, also have accounts on mainstream social media, and use these accounts for their personal as well as professional activities.

It’s quite disheartening to see the developers of privacy services and networks, actively using the mainstream media. What kind of message does that convey to an intelligent regular person?

This reminds of me of some memes showing Google Devs using Macbooks and iPhones at work.

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