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The process of getting people to switch from WhatsApp to Signal has proved much easier than I expected. I thought it would be the same level of difficulty as trying to persuade people to give a shit about climate change, but it's been almost as easy as telling colleagues there's free cake in the break room and inviting them to help themselves. Practically a stampede.

big tech, creepy behaviour 

But as all my social groups reassemble themselves over on Signal, it has been a bit unsettling to discover that so many WhatsApp groups have members I never even knew about because they didn't introduce themselves when I joined and have been completely silent for the months I've been a member.

I suppose it's a timely warning to be careful what you say, even amongst friends, because you never know who's listening.

But also: why do this? At best, it's the kind of laziness that makes extra work for yourself: you CBA leaving a group so you just put up with endless notifications that you ignore. At worst, it's fucking creepy. Silently following other people's conversations knowing that they don't even realise you're there.

big tech, creepy behaviour 

@griffinkate yeh it is weird. I'm looking forward to getting off it.

I'm just a bit worried about convincing my therapist because she doesn't know much about this kinda stuff and I want a secure comms channel.

big tech, creepy behaviour 

@kawaiipunk It might be easier than you think? But do bear in mind that WhatsApp is still secure in the sense that the messages themselves are encrypted. It's just the metadata and other info that Facebook will be taking.

big tech 

@griffinkate What are their incentives for moving to Signal? Most of my family are on both FB and WhatsApp so don't care if WhatsApp shares info with FB.

big tech 

@gendor Forthcoming changes to the WhatsApp ToS mean that (at least in the US) if you have the app on your phone, certain data will be shared with Facebook, including all your contacts.

I'm switching because the people who trusted me with their phone numbers did not consent for me to share them with Facebook, and that's effectively what I'd be doing if I keep the app on my phone after Feb 8th (although it's not clear if it really applies to Europe/the UK).

I'm on Facebook, but I log in using a computer browser rather than having the app on my phone. So it can't listen in to my phone calls, help itself to my contacts, etc.

big tech 

@griffinkate But how did you find it so easy to convince others to switch? What did you tell them? I would love for my family and friends to switch to Signal, but I doubt telling them that Facebook will have their phone numbers would convince them.

big tech 

@gendor I just said "do you know that soon WhatsApp will be changing to share your data with Facebook? How do people feel about moving this group to a different platform?" and that was enough. I was very surprised it was enough, but it was. Bigger groups are easier because there'll always be someone who was already concerned about privacy who'll be glad you spoke up.

big tech 

@gendor I haven't convinced every individual in the groups to actually delete WhatsApp, but I have convinced the groups to re-form on Signal and (I think) eventually abandon WhatsApp.

big tech 

@griffinkate That is surprising, and inspiring, thanks! I should give it a try too. Good point about there being others who who'll be glad you spoke up!

big tech 

@gendor Yeah, I hace been amazed at my own success and I'd say you have nothing to lose by trying!

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Sunbeam City is a anticapitalist, antifascist solarpunk instance that is run collectively.