As #Signal has had severe problems recently due to its centralised nature, here are some decentralised libre alternatives with Fediverse accounts:
➡️ @snikket_im - Initiative to give XMPP a consistent look and feel on instances and apps, to make it more attractive to new users
➡️ @xmpp - XMPP standards foundation
➡️ @delta - Decentralised messaging through email
➡️ @matrix - Best known for the Element client
➡️ @briar - Peer-to-peer encrypted messaging
➡️ @Jami - Peer-to-peer Skype alternative
@FediFollows 😂 Since Signal has severe problems due to its centralised nature, here some messengers that have severe problems due to their decentralised nature :D
Like decentralised systems never fail 😂.
As long as the fediverse, for instance, doesn't have roaming profiles you still have a single point of failure 😊.
Not to criticize these great alternatives, but more to make people aware of realistic expectations and issues 😊
Moving and roaming isn't the same thing, and you can't move when the service is down.
It's a hard problem to solve cross instance. That's why I chose to mention it.
Moving is like leaving one place, and settling on another. Roaming is the ability to use the same profile everywhere. (Example: distribute profile data so firstname.lastname@example.org can use email@example.com and have the same synchronised data, as long as authenticated recently against y.com).
With centralised networks like Signal, you are entirely at the mercy of a single instance forever, there is no other option.
With decentralised networks, if something goes wrong you can move to another instance.
Even in a worst case scenario, on decentralised networks you can start a new account on a different instance without leaving the network. This "new instance, same network" option does not exist on centralised networks.
Yes, I understand how this works 😊. Roaming profiles would fix the issue of users losing data and access in that case.
Imagine your full profile being federated instead of interactions.
I recommend you take a look at https://scuttlebutt.nz/, it has roaming profiles like you say. Its a p2p distributed system which can also include servers as part of the network, its like a combination of federation and complete p2p. @manyver_se is an android client for the scuttlebutt protocol.
Note: Scuttlebutt is still under development and its not very reliable as of now, but its an interesting project nonetheless.
That's not what a "single point of failure" is. The Fediverse has many points of (partial) failure - i.e. specific instances can go down and frustrate users of those instances for sure.
But when Signal (or any other centralized system) goes down, that's down for absolutely everyone on that platform.
That kind of situation is impossible on a decentralized network.
I would prefer redundancy here: maintaining multiple channels with both centralized and decentralized ones.
The pain point is that you would have to persuade your non-tech savvy friends with the idea having multiple channels which must be unfamiliar for them.
@FediFollows please be careful here. don't recommend non-mature, unreliable apps as alternatives to a reliable solution just because you're trying to push decentralization. are you 100% sure all those apps are as reliable as Signal is? provided you are one, have you asked feedback about this to any other IT security experts?
Signal and the security it provides mean the difference between freedom or jail to some people.
I am recommending people follow these accounts and try the platforms out.
We will end up in trouble if we rely on centralised platforms, and we can only get off centralised platforms by building decentralised ones.
Signal's behaviour has been somewhat strange and inexplicable, for example continuing to require phone numbers despite promising many years ago that people could use usernames instead. Their sudden introduction of cryptocurrency was worrying to many too.
Centralised platforms are innately dangerous.
The people running them can become corrupted, or misguided, or coerced, or they might sell out to an untrustworthy corporation, and if that happens the users are locked in by the network effect.
This is what happened to Whatsapp, for example.
Signal is owned by the Signal Foundation. The Signal Foundation is headed by the billionaire Brian Acton. Brian Acton created Whatsapp, then sold it to Facebook.
This is not very reassuring.
Yes, the "network effect" is very strong on messesngers, totally sympathise if it's not possible 😔
But for those who have already switched to Signal (at least to some extent), maybe they could work on switching to one of the options above.
The options above are potentially more sustainable than Signal because they are decentralised, so if something goes wrong with a provider they can switch providers without leaving the network.
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