Welcome to our course on creating a better social network. In our previous course, Create Your Own Community Network, we explained how to use a Joomla website to create a small local community network. While this is ultimately the best way to meet your neighbors and build your local community, there is also a need for larger social networks on a state and or national level. These large social networks might have thousands to even millions of members. In this course, we will explain how to use a free open source program called Freedica combined with the open source Hestia Control Panel to create your own social network.
The two most well known large social networks are Facebook and Twitter.
Each of them has hundreds of millions of members. But they both suffer from major drawbacks. The biggest drawback is that your data is subject to data mining not only by greedy billionaires but also by unelected bureaucrats that view even parents attending a school board meeting as domestic terrorists!
In fact, far from being social networks, Facebook and Twitter are really user manipulating ad networks that make billions of dollars by getting people addicted to using them.
We will therefore review how you can create your own social network – a social network that is better than Facebook or Twitter – and is completely under your control – using the the free open source program called Freedica.
Difference between Bottom Up Community Based Information Technology and Top Down Billionaire Based Censorship Technology
In response to this draconian dominance of Corporate Information Technology, a new kind of Community driven Information Sharing Technology has appeared.
As we have explained in our previous courses, to avoid Windows ransomware and remote controlled spyware, the Windows operating system can be replaced with the free open source Linux operating system. There are are also free open source website building tools such as the Joomla Content Management System.
There are free and secure video conferencing and file sharing programs such as Next Cloud and Jitsi. There are even free social network building tools such as Freedica which allows any group to set up their own Facebook-like social network – a network you control rather than being controlled by billionaires.
These new Community-based Information Sharing Technology tools are not only free but much more secure than Corporate Profit Driven Information Censorship tools. As just one example, in 2022, the Windows operating system had 863 security flaws while the free open source Linux Debian operating system did not have a single security flaw.
In this course, we will explain how to use Freedica to build a locally controlled social network to make it easier for us to share ideas and build social networks in our local community – and we will explain how you can do the same to start your own bottom up political movement!
12 Benefits of a Better Social Network
Let’s take a closer look at each of these 12 benefits:
#1 Freedica costs next to nothing
Twitter just cost Elon Musk over $40 billion dollars. Facebook costs its share holders over $500 billion. It has been estimated that Donald Trump and his supporters paid more than $900 million to set up Truth Social.
All three social platforms have ongoing costs of millions of dollars every year to pay not only for servers but for technical advisors. By contrast, you can create your own better social network for under $20 per month. No need for expensive technical advisors and no need for complex coding skills.
Freedica is easy to install and maintain. With a relatively easy and low cost program like Freedica, you can create your own social network where your ability to share knowledge is not restricted by a data mining mega corporation.
#2 Freedica does not subject your members to data mining
Twitter makes about $5 billion per year by selling your data to advertisers. - and still loses money as their expenses are more than $5 billion per year. Facebook makes about $30 billion per year selling your data to advertisers.
By contrast, Freedica does not make any money from selling your data. Best of all, there is no need to make money because nearly all of the underlying programs are free.
#3 Freedica gives you more freedom to customize the appearance of your network
The social network we will build during our course is a free open source social network program called Freedica. Freedica can be easily installed on a virtual private server. Because Freedica is open source, we are free to modify it as much as we want. This allows us to customize the appearance of our network log in page and member Timeline and Profile pages. We can even choose which functions to offer on our social network and which ones to hide. We provide you with a way customize your own version of Freedica in less than 5 minutes just by editing a couple of files! Freedica is easy to learn and even easier to use. Here is our custom Freedica Home page:
Here is the Community Timeline page:
#4 Freedica offers Friendlier Friends
Both Twitter and Facebook are filled with fake accounts called Bots, mean people called Trolls and thousands of government monitors called Fusion agents. All of these dark forces will openly attack you if you post anything approaching the truth.
While you can have completely open enrollment on your better social network, we provide you with a simple approval system where you can get to know people – what their background is and what their reasons for wanting to join are - before you accept them into your social network.
#5 No Thought Police
You can post a well researched article on Facebook or Twitter that includes links to dozens of scientific studies – and be immediately attacked by fusion agents and trolls whose will accuse you of posting fake news and misinformation.
As just one example, the recently released Twitter files found that Twitter had been blackmailed by Biden supports in the FBI, CIA and Congress into labeling the Hunter Biden laptop scandal as “Russian Propaganda” in the weeks before the 2020 Presidential election.
I have a Masters Degree in Science Education and have spent more than 30 years teaching the Scientific Method as the best way to learn the truth. However, I was given two strikes by Facebook for posting scientific studies confirming that cotton masks do not stop viruses. The way to fight this top down censorship is by creating a series of bottom up social network channels that are under your control rather than being controlled by billionaires and government agents.
#6 Freedica is much easier to use
The most common function of a social network is a place where you and others can post information and hold discussions on a community wall – also called a Community Board or Timeline, which is a News feed page that is constantly refreshed with posts from your Friends or Followers. Freedica offers three kinds of discussion boards – one with just your posts, one with the posts of your friends, and one with the posts of your local community. You get to choose who sees your posts. Our better social network comes with a post editor that makes it easier for you to add images, and videos and provide links to pages from other websites on your posts.
#7 Form Custom Groups
With Freedica, it is easy to form as many groups as you want – much like Facebook groups. But unlike Facebook, your groups consist of people you know rather than being invaded by trolls and bots who are often nothing but a front for the Deep State.
#8 Create Better Events
Freedica comes with an event creation system which allows you to create events which are then posted on your social network calendar. Skip data mining Facebook events and Google calendars. The Freedica Event creation system is under your control without data mining those who attend your events.
#9 More Secure - Open Source means no hidden back doors
Open source means we can inspect the code used by the program. Thus secret back doors – which allow access to hackers and fusion agents - can not be buried in the code. Being Open Source makes Freedica much safer than any closed source program.
#10 No Distracting Ads
You and your social network members will never be bombarded with manipulative advertising.
There is no need for advertising or data mining as the cost of maintaining Freedica is very low.
#11 Build Communities – Not Monopolies
Freedica allows us to create bottom up local Distributed Networks.
Rather than being limited to a couple of networks controlled by billionaires, you can create your own group to help people in your own community make connections. This can range from a group of parents in a local school district to a group promoting peace in your state or even the entire nation. This bottom up method of sharing content is called a distributed network because the social networks are distributed across a large number of independent servers and or virtual private servers.
Top down social networks concentrate millions of users on one website, where it is relatively easy for a few billionaires to control what gets posted and what gets censored. Because top down social networks are extremely expensive to build and maintain and because they are driven by greed rather than the desire to share information, their owners sell their users data to the highest bidders in order to pay for the commercial network. Freedica networks, on the other hand, are developed by a local community of people, independent from any company or official institution.
#12 Escape from Big Brother!
Taking a page from the book 1984, in May 2023, it was revealed that the US federal government has set up several new federal agencies designed to control public opinion and combat “disinformation” by expanding their own propaganda. In 2017, the FBI established the Foreign Influence Task Force. In 2018, the Department of Homeland Security established the Countering Foreign Influence Task Force. In 2021, this new agency was updated to include a misinformation and disinformation team as well as a Foreign Influence and Interference Branch.
In 2022, yet another agency called the Disinformation Governance Board. Now in 2023, the Pentagon created the Influence and Perception Management Office to oversee its various counter-disinformation efforts. There is no question that this new Ministry of Truth will use the Two Headed monster of Facebook and Twitter to spread their own dystopian version of the truth.
Supposedly, all of these agencies have been set up to stop Russian bots from using Twitter and Facebook to influence US elections. Ironically, on January 28, 2023, Matt Taibbi used the Twitter Files (internal Twitter documents) to expose the fact that Twitter had done their own study and found that the claim that Russia that Russia was using social media to deceive the American people was a hoax.
The Russian Scare was used as an excuse to shadow banned and target the posts of thousands and perhaps even millions of Americans who were secretly and falsely labeled as Russian bots.
Here are a couple of quotes from one of these internal Twitter emails:
“These accounts are neither strongly Russian nor strongly bots.”
“I think we need to just call this out on the bullshit it is.”
Taibbi contacted these so-called Russia bots. Here is what a man from Chicago said: “I’m listed as a foreign bot?… As a proud taxpaying citizen, charitable family man, and honest son of a US Marine with a Purple Heart, I’m hurt. I deserve better. We all do!”
Here is what one lady said: “I am a 73-year-old snowbird in Florida… how could I be a Russian bot?”
Here is what Consortium News investigative reporter Joe Lauria, who was also targeted, had to say: “I’m not surprised but I am angered that we are once again falsely accused of spreading ‘Russian disinformation,’ this time on Twitter.”
The Twitter Files as well as recently released court documents have confirmed that additional targets for censorship included former Presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard and current Presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr.
We now know that the not only was the fake Steel Dossier fabricated by paid Clinton operatives, but there was another shady group called Hamilton 68 started by a Clinton operative named Laura Rosenburg who was behind another group called New Knowledge and was responsible for spreading the Russian Hoax across the Internet through thousands of articles published by the main stream media. If reading the Taibbi article does not convince you of the need to create an alternative to Facebook and Twitter, nothing will.
Integrate your Social Network with other free online community building tools
There are a variety of ways online communities can communicate with each other. In this course, we explain how to integrate Freedica with several other free open source online community projects. If your team wants to have their own video conferencing platform, where they can collaborate on creating team documents, we explain how to use Jitsi and NextCloud. If you want to write a book or create a course, we explain how to combine Freedica with the Joomla Content Management System (CMS) and the Moodle Learning Management System. Learn to connect content you create on your Joomla website with shared documents and video conferencing on your Nextcloud website and distribute your content on your Freedica Social Network. This is possible because all three programs are built using PHP – which runs 80% of the world’s websites.
During this course, we will explain how to integrate our Freedica social network with a Joomla educational website and a Next Cloud Team collaboration website – with all three using the same top level domain name and all hosted on a Debian Virtual Private Server using the free open source Hestia Control Panel.
To avoid your social network website from being taken over by hackers, it is also essential for at least the administrator of the website to learn how to use a Linux computer to set up and run the website. Sadly, both Windows and Apple have been outed as NSA Prism Partners – meaning there is no security in using either a Windows or Apple computer to run a social network.
We have covered setting up a Linux computer and a Linux VPS in our past courses. We will therefore provide just a quick overview of this process and a quick overview of how to set up a Joomla website before diving into setting up your own Freedica Social Network. Here are the steps in learning how to create a better network:
Create a Better Network Course Outline
Part 1 First Steps
1 Why we need a better social network
1.1 Why a Better Social Network is Important
1.2 Why Twitter is still part of the Evil Empire
1.3 Drawbacks of Facebook
1.4 Problems with Signal, Telegram & Discord
2 Create a Secure Foundation
2.1 Create a Secure Linux Computer
2.2 First Steps after installing Linux
2.3 Create your own Secure VPS
2.4 Use Midnight Commander to Change VPS settings
3 Setup your own Network
3.1 Use Hestia to Install Freedica
3.2 Network Admin Configuration
3.3 Customize your Network Appearance
3.4 Member Moderation
Part 2 More Steps… Create a Better Network
4 New Member Tips
4.1 First Steps
4.2 Set up your Profile Page
4.3 Share Posts and Comments
4.4 Expand your Network
5 Combine Freedica with Kunena Forum
5.1 Kunena Forum Structure
5.2 Create your Forum Categories
5.3 Manage your Forum
5.4 Kunena Forum Posts
6 Promote your Network
6.1 Create a Home Page Slideshow
6.2 Create and Post Videos
6.3 Add a free email newsletter tool
6.4 Add a Download Manager
Part 3 Final Steps
7 Manage Events
7.1 Add an Events Organizer
7.2 Jitsi Video Conferencing Tips
7.3 Record and Post your Video Conferences
7.4 Add a NextCloud Events Calendar
8 Build a Sustainable Community
8.1 Why Build an Open Develop Community
8.2 Dark Side of Current Software Development
8.3 Open Development Terms and Tools
8.4 Use Git Cola to Post to Codeberg
9 Final Network Tips
9.1 Connect Freedica with Joomla via RSS
9.2 Post and Edit Freedica Help Articles
9.3 Backup & Update your Network
9.4 Learn More
Are you ready to break away from Big Brother?
Let’s get started!