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Free and federated websites and services are a great idea, but let's face it: most of them still lack the trove of content that closed data silos like Google and Facebook own. However, there are still some ways that you can still make use of them without completely compromising your privacy: use an alternative frontend.
These are 3rd-party websites that either scrape or use the main service's API to receive and present the same data you'd find there, minus all the tracking and usually in a much more lightweight manner. The very best of these allow you to browse the website almost completely anonymously.
The trade off is usually that the service becomes read-only (after all, posting would mean identifying yourself). If this is not an issue (most of the time it isn't for me), then the experience is smooth and straightforward.
This list presents as many alternative frontends as I know of, with a browserless alternative (desktop or command-line program) whenever possible:
Note: you're highly recommended to browse each project's repository's instance list, as they are much more likely to be up to date than the instances listed here. Diversity counts here - and a lot!
If you don't wish to automatically be tracked by a webpage you don't know or trust but don't have Tor or VPN available or a viewer like the ones listed above, a web proxy might be able to help you - slightly.
You can also indirectly use the Internet Archive as a proxy by prepending
https://web.archive.org/web/ to any address you wish to visit. This is intended for archival process, but can be used to proxy the connection between you and the site. Be careful though, as the Internet Archive is not a CDN and this is not its primary use intended. Be responsible with the requests!
The fact that these frontend services help out on privacy by no means mean that we should forget about the other huge pillar in the fight for Freedom: producing Free Content.
Having private or anonymous access to content is good, but much much better is to port or create content that is freely available across mutliple servers in the internet without the need to jump any hoops. That's why we need to be actively producing and posting as many new contents as possible to federated services like Mastodon/Pleroma, Diaspora, Peertube.
This is a two-front fight: active and passive approaches are equally needed!
Got any other frontend that I have not covered here? Open an issue and let me know! I'd love to hear more.
Made with love by kzimmermann