Why the fuck does so many people recommend signal?

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@selea I guess because Elon Musk and Edward Snowden recommended it.

@blueberry Well... Whatsapp is also E2EE... so is Matrix...
I doubt Edward isn't aware of Matrix, Elon can just piss right off XD

@finlaydag33k for WhatsApp, only messages are E2EE. Matrix is difficult to understand for non-technical people. I鈥檝e only used Matrix once before, but I didn鈥檛 really understand how to use E2EE

@blueberry Oh in that way.

Also, yes, E2EE in Matrix is kinda "ehhh"...
I mean, it's easy enough when you are willing to look around in the app, but most people just "fire&forget", sticking with whatever is the default.

@selea Because they dont know about element/matrix probably!

@zem @selea I definitely only heard about Element/Matrix as a WhatsApp or Signal alternative from within this community.

@zem @selea

Element/Matrix isn't all bliss either. But sure, it's better than Signal

matrix is in my opinion the best compromise between digital souverenity, data security and useability at the moment.

matrix also has bridges, federation and multidevice capability. 馃槑


@zem @selea

I know, but biggest fails of the system:

1 Forced encryption instead of optional. In areas with bad coverage messages gets corrupted and so not reliable.

2 Element, is still very buggy. Every update brings new and important stuff (confetti), but loses more important stuff, like seeing if someone logs on in a room.

I rely more on that my messages get delivered than totally secure and unreadable (read encrypted but not decrypted)


Regarding the element thing, if someone joined a room.
This is now a setting, that you can enable actually :)


@selea @zem

Show member stat events......yeah, about that. It isnt working at the non-beta. Since the last confetti update it stopped working. Not very convinient for moderating.

And yes, there are other Android clients, Element is atm really the best.

BTW it isnt all negative, i love matrix, i love the rooms, i love chatting on it. But i am on the network about 18 months at the moment and it has it ups and downs. The user experience needs a lot of polishing.

@zem @selea

btw Signal is much worse, I found out that it can be very unreliable. There was a problem with a sms server and Signal trashed all messages. Also I found out that erasing a (unsecure) messages in Signal doesn't always erase the message and can be restored by installing another sms app.

@WandelStock @zem @selea That's definitely a big bug; but if someone who's really motivated to view deleted messages happens to have access to your phone, I find it highly likely that this person also knows a thing or two about storage forensics anyway; so does it _really_ matter?

@fcktheworld587 @zem @selea

To me matters if a application says it deletes something but it doesn't , i find that at least misinformative.

@zem @WandelStock @selea what do you mean with "usability"? It's not ready for populus, heck, it's not ready for nerds like me to "just use", which places it below #IRC on my scale.

Also, #IRC has bridges, is federated, etc, etc.


The thing that I love about matrix is that it is a open standard, where you can use whatever client you like.


@selea @WandelStock ... and on the other hand with that electron reference implementation a full featured client for all platforms is available.

Best of both worlds.... 馃槈

@mark I've been following this and other discussions with considerable interest. I deal with a lot of people who are not technical(*), and I'm hearing many people say that the options based on Matrix or XMPP are simply not fit for non-muggles to use.

How would you answer them, and what would you recommend?

(*) Really, *really* not technical.

CC: @selea

Hi @ColinTheMathmo
Firstly, I'm no great techie!

I use #Matrix with Fractal on the laptop and FluffyChat on the phone. I'm a fan of it. I've managed to persuade a group of friends to join. None of them had any problems doing so. And none of them are techie either.

Perhaps Matrix's Achilles heel is the server thing... Some signed up and stayed with the Matrix server, others changed after a period of time.


@mark That's useful data ... I wonder how up-to-date the critics are.

But having said that, you're in the fediverse, and some of my colleagues are struggling with the concept and usage thereof. They're intelligent people, but they have some massive blindspots that Twitter and WhatsApp sit outside of.

I'm working on them, but they really seem to struggling with things I think are trivial.

I'll re-investigate ... thanks for responding.

CC: @selea

Obviously I'm an Open Source and fediverse / decentralise fan, and concerned about privacy, but actually the dialogue was simply: "Let's chat. I use Riot (as it was then)." It's easy enough for people to download it and create an account.


@mark So why (something based on) Matrix and not (something based on) XMPP?

There's still a lot of choice out there, and the network effect is strong.

CC: @selea

Simply because of the availability of an app for my phone... I have @ubports on a Nexus5. There were actually 2 Matrix apps - FluffyChat and uMatrix (at the time) - but nothing for XMPP.


@mark I need to start listing all the alternatives ad their pros and cons. My immediate circle has decided "Signal, because it's immediately available, works like WA, and lots of people are switching to it. We can change later if we need/want to."

The choice of xxxx/Matrix and/or xxxx/XMPP needs more thought, because I'm hoping it will be home for multiple years.

CC: @ubports @selea

For me (re Matrix):
- No meta-data needed (You don't have to give a phone number or an email address. Nor do you have to use your real name)

- You can have more than 1 account... Backup for if a server goes down or is running slowly

- Strengths of federation: not a corporation. Not based in any 1 country. Basically resilience.

- Opportunity to run one's own server (though I'm not techie enough for that!)

- Obviously no data-mining / ads.

@Unairedspecifics I wrote a script to recursively pull toots and their meta data, reformat it all, then fed it to GraphViz.

I'm trying to get the time to figure out how to open source it, but at the moment it just runs on my linux box.

@ColinTheMathmo Using something like Yubikey (FIDO2) login could help with onboarding since they would not need to generate or remember the password (or backing up their pw-manager) and possible printing out the recovery key
as QR on a piece of paper,

But that'd still need them to remember they have that piece of paper. @selea

@mark @ColinTheMathmo @selea Another achilles heel seems to be that almost no clients (Fractal as an example) support E2EE. I guess it's a matter of time.

Although I'm privacy-minded, I have to admit that E2EE is not a big deal for me, since I'm not chatting about anything overly sensitive, or with powerful, important people... and I trust my host not to be interested in my mundane nonsense.

However, I believe that Matrix are working hard to bring E2EE to the platform, and that it sort-of works now.

@ColinTheMathmo @selea

@mark I think even if you think you don't care about keeping your chat away from other people, the problem is that by collating vast amounts of apparently trivial stuff can enable others to know things that you really don't want them to know.

E2EE is important, and absolutely should be the default.

CC: @mikael @selea

I rail against the surveillance state as much as anyone!
- It affronts me that there are face-recognition cameras everywhere I go (even in supermarkets now).

- I'm appalled that I can't go out with my phone unless it's on Flight mode, because I know the government is tracking people.

- And I'm incensed that government agencies have access to my meta-data, knowing what inferences they can make.

My Matrix account is small fry - and they are working on E2EE.

@mikael @selea

@mark Every little bit helps, and without making a start, nothing will happen.

It's a lost cause, I know, but:

"God grant me the courage not to give up what I think is right even though I think it's hopeless." -- Chester W. Nimitz

CC: @mikael @selea

I have several non-technical friends who use Matrix/Element. My friends have invited others. It is pretty straightforward to use. The only problem with general UX is choosing homeservers. All my friends are currently on
@mark @selea


Same here, even my mother in law who is everything opposite to technical is using Matrix with Element actually.

But I do agree that there should be something like "" (where you can chose homeservers) up and running. Maybe @jonah who owns the domain can do something about it ;)

@ColinTheMathmo @mark

@selea : " there should be something like "" (where you can chose homeservers) "
That's a very good idea.
@josias @jonah @ColinTheMathmo

@selea Because no XMPP client so far enables SMS in-thread with safe messages.

@selea because its a simple installable alternative to WA. I think if you're using it only for your private phone contacts its enough for "real-life" freinds and family .


Hehehhe ok thx馃槀馃槀馃槀 well to be frank idk why anyone does that. I like green terminals this is the only reason. But thx again and if you see other ones feel free to show me :D be so kind馃檹
@SeanGeil @selea

@selea Because it is easy to use, remember, users are stupid, also it works like whatsapp.

due to believe. Non professionals. Not even able to check requested app permissions themselves.

Tell people loud enough "it's for your safety" and they run.
Even if app can access same data and nobody of them can verify, which data are processed what way at server side.

@joacim @selea Same founder as Whatsapp. Even server side is open source:

But we don鈥檛 if this is the version they are hosting.

@selea It's a decent alternative to Whatsapp. Signal isn't perfect, for example it still requires people to sign up with a personal phone number, but all things considered it is still much better than Whatsapp.

Now that people are being told that even WhatsApp cannot be trusted, many people are switching to services they are heard of. Signal and Telegram are well-known alternatives that people consider first. Their similarity (activation via phone number, features, UI etc) to WhatsApp makes them easy for us to recommend it to get our family and friends off WhatsApp.

I don't think I could get my grandparents to use Briar. I am working on setting a Matrix instance for family.

@murtezayesil @selea My suggestion would be just setup a irc server with tls implementation on your vps/home server, then install an irc client(like revolution irc) on Android, and connect to server and that's it. From then people can join and chat. For limiting outside connections, you could setup static ip and implement iptable rules to block outsiders. Irc brings back nostalgia.

Not to everyone. My mum didn't know what chatroom is until I mentioned it few days ago.
- People want 1 thing to talk to as many people as possible.
- Receiving notifications in timely manner is important too. Revolution IRC dies or gets disconnected from time to time.
- Voice and video calls are important as well.
IRC is no go for my family. Especially for the elderlies learning how to smartphone.

@murtezayesil @selea I completely overlooked the video chat part. Sorry about that. Didn't know the problem with revolution irc either(haven't faced such issue myself). How about jitsi meet for video calling? Have you gave it a try? Also, what about xmpp, instead of irc?

@murtezayesil @selea Or matrix could be a pretty good alternative nevertheless.

Video chat is the most easily overlooked piece, so I am used to at this point.

I don't think it is a problem with Revolution IRC but how Android manages background apps and connections.

Jitsi en/decoding can be heavy on some devices causing them to overheat, especially on WiFi (I think). My sister's previous phone overheat to stop working completely while we were on a Jitsi call, thus being previous phone. So, Jitsi has a bad reputation in my family 馃槵
@anonymouskun @selea

I am learning more about XMPP and Matrix. YunoHost has XMPP and email support out of the box. I may be able to use it if I can also set secure chat and call with it. Else I may go with Matrix which shouldn't get heavy since it will be solely for the relatives.
@anonymouskun @selea

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