Commenter Patrick suggests that using “commercial” social media platforms leaves the user subject to being censored by the platform owner, and that to be more free one should use blogs and RSS.
The problem with this is amply illustrated by the recent (temporary) takedown of Brian Krebs’ self-hosted blog. His analysis is here. At least with a commercial hosting solution, you’re at the mercy of one, somewhat predictable, potential censor. One that can be named and shamed, or even sued for breach of contract if necessary. If you go it alone, you’re a lot more vulnerable to attack.
It’s all very well and good to say “well, this shouldn’t be possible.” But when you get down into the nitty gritty, it gets a lot more complex. And the easiest (and therefore cheapest) way for your upstream provider to protect their own interests is to cut you off. Facebook, Twitter, and Google can afford to pay for world-class DDoS protection. And, in fact, their “normal” traffic would look like a DDoS attack to Sebastian’s self-hosted solution.
There is no perfect solution, no magic bullet. But the reason people have gravitated towards Facebook and Twitter (and the rest) is because it makes a lot of the problems of running an internet presence Somebody Else’s Problem.