Blogging for privacy

Yes, you’ve read the title correctly … contradictory as that sounds, I have started blogging to have more privacy, or at least to regain control over my posts. Let’s be honest: we all like social media. Sharing pictures, opinions, status updates, locations, or even research and articles can be loads of fun. The interactions they lead to can be interesting and invigorating. But there is a dark side to all of this: posting updates, text and pictures implies losing control over them.


By accepting Facebook’s Privacy Policy you grant a commercial enterprise the right to use your posts in it’s advertising campaigns. As I value my privacy (and do not want to appear in any campaign with that forgotten sunday morning picture in my jammies), I have always refrained from posting too much. Additionally, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and the like build up a profile about your activities, preferences, events, friends and locations and sell them to basically anyone who pays for them … Big Brother with a large bank account and banners, indeed.
Switching to just any blog or image hosting service does not solve any of those issues. When using services like Blogger, Blogspot, Picasa, Flickr, Google+, etc. the problem simply shifts, and you replace Big Brother for Big Uncle. Self-hosting (having a blog on your own server or webspace) is key. Your webspace, your website, your rules. If you don’t mind advertising, at least the revenue is yours.
One major caveat: when setting up a self-hosted blog, one loses most of the social interactions we like all like so much. Back to square one? Maybe not.
Most blogging packages such as WordPress, Movable Type, ExpressionEngine, Habari, and Chyrp offer links to social media, and are capable of posting your entries on those websites. The content remains on your very own server, and Facebook cannot claim any right to them. The social media are just the antenna to your private broadcasting service.
Ideal? No, but it’s a compromise I can live with.

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