I'm considering muting the words Signal and Telegram. It just makes me sad to see all the people go from one centralized non-free place to another centralized non-free place, while they're thinking it's a good thing.

Trying to explain and educate them about ethical options, feels as fruitless as emptying the ocean with a spoon.

@hund Thats what the people has learned for as long as the first internet 🌐

@sbasurto The right choice would be something that's libre software, decentralized, federated, lightweight (both server and client), platform agnostic, secure and easy to self-host.

For me, that choice is XMPP. And to my knowledge, XMPP is the only thing that has all of those things.

@hund I will try that one, thank's for the info. I guess some times the people make choises accordingly of what they know. Never give up with people, some times is just only a lack of Information :)

@sbasurto @hund You'll soon find that you have nobody or nearly nobody to communicate through xmpp though. Unless you can convert somebody with which I wish you good luck!

Yes! I think the same, that's why I talk to myself on xmpp and wait for others to join some day :D

@sbasurto Good luck! Let me know if you need any help. :)

@hund It's slightly better than WhatsApp. But I understand, there are other options that could fit the bill better.

@hund Baby steps. I don't expect my friends to go from WhatsApp to XMPP/Matrix.

@celia @hund
How is XMPP or Matrix better or more secure?
I've tried to understand it before, but I haven't really got a grasp on it yet.

@Platopus4 @hund I can't illuminate too much as I simply don't have the energy.

You might find this thread (only the replies, not the link in the poll) resourceful further down the line, though, when someone has pitched in re: XMPP and Matrix themselves.

@celia I have a few there. My few friends are technically knowledgeable, but not as fanatic about libre software and privacy as me. :)

@hund since all of you guys can't agree I'll stay on WA :)

@hund It depends on the priorities. Going from a centralized service that violates privacy big time to #Signal is a big step forward.
With no real decentralized option for the masses as well as the fact that mobile messaging is something that rarely has long-term aspects, Signal (with periodical backups you can decrypt) is a choice that I consider the best for now.

@publicvoit It's absolutely less bad, but I don't think it's the right way. Most have learned nothing out of this.

We have a decentralized option for the masses and it's called XMPP. :)

@hund I can totally see your point. Then there's the network effect and no substantial community for mobile XMPP even within my nerdiest bubble.

@hund No. And none of my peers. The privacy-sensitive people all switched to Signal many years ago.

@publicvoit I hope I don't offend anyone know, but anyone who calls themselves "privacy anything" and then use Signal and Apple products are very naive users.

If not even you use XMPP, how would you expect to any of your friends be using it? :)

@hund I do think that that opinion is not a general consent.
For example, take a look at "So… which app(s) should I use?".

@publicvoit It's not an opinion, it's a fact.

I'm not sure what I should look at? :)

@hund @publicvoit Pardon the intrusion, but I think that whenever someone says “it’s not an opinion, it’s a fact” in a subjective discussion, that usually means this person has no more valid arguments to add. And is just trying to brute force a “victory”. Food for thought?

@bighi @publicvoit It's more like a case of me doubting myself if I really want to waste any more time. I know I can say whatever, I'm not going to change anyone's mind about this in this debate. You either care about ethical software and privacy, or you don't. :)

This is the reason why I want to filter out the conversions/posts about it to begin with. I'm bad at ignoring subjects like this. :P

@hund @bighi I do think it's more complicated than that. At least less binary than that. I may as well be concerned about privacy topics & still prefer $badapp because all of my peers are using that app or because I value a certain level of comfort such that "more effort for privacy" is the bigger evil for me.

This is why a choice for a tool is not information enough to me. I always ask on what basis the decision was made. This is where the cool discussion starts.

@hund @publicvoit
Do you have recommandation abt phones for privacy? Im thinking abt changing it but dont really see good alternatives.
Currently with apple, kept my phone since a couple of years now

@Ryu @hund Maybe but I don't have own experience. I'm using Pixel 4a with stock ROM and many disabled features + firewall-app.

@BradReed @hund @publicvoit
Just saw that it uses microG so not really degoogled unfortunately :/
Also seems to have major privacy concerns.

Pixel + grapheneOs is what im currently interested in. Didnt saw major problem with it, except having to buy a google phone but thats a tradeoff im willing to make

@Ryu @hund @publicvoit
Can you tell me more about these privacy concerns and why microG is a problem? I switched to it already but I'd like to know anyway. Makes me a bit sad I didn't realize before.

@BradReed @hund @publicvoit
I saw that article about it.

microG is not really the problem. But it's a system that uses the bare minimum of GMS (google) to work.
So if you want to be completely degoogled, u have to avoid microG too.
As someone told me, thats a choice of life. Do you want to live without google or do you still need some of their apps. Because without microG, some apps will not work.

@Ryu @BradReed @hund The questions is probably related to the decision of avoiding Google as a principle versus consuming the (minimal) service for notifications and whatnot.

@publicvoit @Ryu @hund

I mostly want google to stop spying on me, not using anything made by google is a secondary thing.

Ok I read the article, thanks a lot! I also read a reply by @gael and it made me happy to see they're aware of the problems and working towards the improvement.
I'm now gonna stay with /e/ and give it time. I'm really happy about it so far except maybe few little inconveniences.

@Ryu @publicvoit It depends on what level of privacy your after. Pretty much all phones have a radio, but if you're okay with that, then any phone that supports LineageOS I guess, if you're okay with unlocking the bootloader. How about the Fairphone 3+?

I too would prefer a decentralized messaging app.
Nevertheless moving from using WhatsApp to Threema and Telegram doesn't sound like a bad move at this moment.

What are the alteratives?

@hund Like rats fleeing a sinking ship.... and the next one

@hund I agree, but I also see hope when people actually care to move to a slightly better platform.

@hund Well, you could write awesome tutorials on how to super easy switch to your preferred solution that would be as easy to switch from WhatsApp to Signal. I have already moved my family message group to Signal because a) I knew exactly how to do it (no research for me) and b) I knew I would have a shot to convince my family. However, I might switch other groups to e.g. XMPP in the future if I knew how to do it. I am lazy and I guess other people are as well

@samuel I've been meaning to to do that for some time now. :)

@hund knows its not possible to choose XMPP where the group is not homogeneous. But there are many people tooting about moving their family groups that can most of the time be migrated to anything. Parents and grand parents does not care, they just want to click an icon and write to family member. Choosing any of the free xmpp servers out there, registering and installing app from play/apple store is almost as simple as choosing signal

@hund "Signal ... non-free"
How so? You can get the source on GitHub (, it's developed by a non-profit organisation (Signal Foundation) that was expressedly founded with purpose "to develop open-source privacy technology..."
While not decentralized it provides proven E2EE and ease of use even for non-tech folks.

@vvv It's not libre software which is the definition of the old (and somewhat confusing) term "free software". It's also not decentralized or federated. :)

@hund I'm confused. Signal uses GPLv3 and AGPLv3, which makes it free or libre per definition by the FSF.
What ist your definition of "libre"?

@vvv The opening line on FSFs webpage "What is free software?"[1] is:

"'Free software' means software that respects users' freedom and community."

Signal forces you to use proprietary software to use Signal, via Apple or via Google.

And sure, you could self-host it, and then what? Talk to yourself?

"Signal forces you to use proprietary software to use Signal"

Which proprietary software are you talking about?

"And sure, you could self-host it, and then what? Talk to yourself?"

I'm pretty sure you could change the clients to connect to your server, which makes it libre as in "Freedom 1: The freedom to study how the program works, and change it to make it do what you wish"? Federation and decentralisation are no requirements for software to be "libre"


so, what's the elitist rich kid's option for poor and/or non-tech-savy people?
as long as not each individual hosts everything themselves on their own hardware, on their own ISP, there will always be non-free centralization... is centralized, almost 15k people all hooked to 1 single instance...
do you have control over it?
and there's the energy you need to run everything from, everything ethical on your end i guess ;)

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