The path to a free Internet
There are a growing number of Web services that do not violate your freedom. Many could benefit from your contributions, especially ones that aim to replace commonly used but problematic services on the Web. This includes social media, source code hosting, Web frameworks, technical infrastructure, and more. Notable free software systems include Mastodon, Pleroma and GNU social, which implement distributed social networks, and Pagure, a Web-based git hosting system.
Of course, software freedom is not just about security concerns. It also matters that we have control over our own computing, so we can run the code that we want, on our computers, on our servers, and so that we don't have to deal with antifeatures or limitations upon further improvement. With free software, we get to share that software with our friends, including our own changes. This is much harder to do, and often illegal, with proprietary software. SaaSS (service as a software substitute) presents a similar problem: even if a Web service makes use of some free software, if it's replacing computing you would do on your local machine, you don't have the power to modify the software, so it doesn't respect your freedom. Ultimately, we want all frontend and backend code to be free software.
With all of this said: how do you protect yourself from the perils of problematic Web services?
If you want to take things a step further, setting up your own instance of a freedom-respecting Web service can be rewarding if you're willing to put in the time and effort to maintain and upgrade its installation. If you don't want to put in the effort, using such a Web service hosted by others will help to grow the user base and network of free software communities.
Let's help the people who are creating freedom-respecting Web services, by donating resources and offering encouragement, even when opening issue reports, because they are helping us to build an ethical future in which greater amounts of software are fully free. Together, we can make freedom-respecting Web services the best options on the Web, for all purposes, and increase the use of these highly functional and continually evolving systems.