So, I don't doubt that many of you have thought about the same thing that is going through my mind these last few weeks, that the amount of ads, paywalls and endless banners regarding cookies and privacy is getting out of hand. Monitoring, limitations of information that should be free, endless herding of humans as they were cattle.. I've been thinking about this for a while now and I think I might have a solution, or at least a starting point to a sound solution.
First of all, I love a free internet. I love the Fediverse, I love Open Source and I love thinking about others than myself. And I actually do believe there is a lot of people like me out there. I think we can make a difference, I think we can make the internet a better place. I think we can make it free again.
I've also seen article and blog posts such as this one. A lot of people agree that the internet has become a thing that the corporate world think they own and have full rights to everything (and everyone) on it.
The first thing I did when I started believing that I could actually do something, was to start hosting a Mastodon server, mostly for those who are in the Vanlife lifestyle or insterested in it, the instance has been going well and except for one donation, I've paid for the server out of pocket and I don't regret it at all. I've been thinking about setting up a Pixelfed instance as well, but haven't had the time to look into it yet.
But now that Google is trying to force us to be labeled and tracked, I've been trying to see how we can go against what they want to do to the internet we all knew and loved.
One way I can see it working is that we set up a new federation of DNS root servers, which hold information about the domains that belong to the free internet and where they are hosted. This would be a federation of servers, which would be hosted by people like you and me, people who want to make a difference. To be allowed to be listed on such a network, you would have to agree to a set of rules, which would include things like:
- No intrusive ads or something that would be considered "clickbait" or "fake news"
- No ads that use excessive colors or animations
- No tracking
- No selling of data
- No using of cookies for anything other than session management and related things
This could actually work, or at least I think it can. It could make a difference and make the internet a better place again. I'm not saying it would be easy, something like this could take years to roll out into a successful network, but I think it would be worth it if we tried.