Why everyone suddenly switched to Signal



Recode. Ronnie mola's explain. Hey ronnie why is signal so popular right now. Okay there's there's three reasons. what's app. It's facebook competitor. another encrypted messaging app has changed. Its privacy policy upsetting people the capital riots usually after any sort of social unrest people. Download this app and then finally elon. Musk the up. The richest man in the world now tweeted about it. He said you signal toured. Yeah that really made a lot of people download it. In fact on friday signal went down because so many people signed up. So let's let's each of those. So you mentioned a privacy. Update at whatsapp right. Which is the massively popular. Messaging service owned by facebook very popular overseas. What did what's app change about. Its privacy policy so it just changed some language that made people think that you were going to have to share your contacts and some other information with facebook. They came back and said that. That's not actually what the language meant but people widely interpreted to be that okay so actually the privacy policy. Update doesn't look to be that bad but everyone thinks that it's bad people aren't going dig into the details. Yeah yeah and i. It's just it's owned by facebook. So i feel like that's like enough for some people. Yeah a signal different from what's up when it comes to privacy. They're not that different. In the sense that they're both end to end encrypted that means that it's encrypted on both sides and you know it's supposed to if they interceptor message. It's supposed to look like garbled text. The difference is the ownership. I think one's owned by facebook and one's own by a nonprofit that's committed not selling it to a big tech company. Actually what's up spit in sharing your data with facebook since two thousand sixteen. But it's just a pretty small amount. It's just your phone number. Everyone's sort of mad about this privacy update but it actually doesn't mean you're gonna share anything more with facebook but since so many people misinterpreted the privacy update the company said. They were going to push it back till may and what's up is owned by facebook writes. A lot of this is about perception. Even if whatsapp is encrypted also it could just be seen as less secure. Yeah and it's not hard to imagine that facebook would like to eventually make some money off of it and you know incorporate some of its information into its ad network and is signal going to be a nonprofit for forever. I mean what's up was an independent company to at one point and bright and then it got bought by facebook and suddenly all these people using facebook product could the same fate come for signal That's what the the the people who founded signals say. They say because it's a nonprofit. They can't sell to one of the big tech companies. You know it just makes it a little harder less likely And and they just don't want to that's like built into the ethos of signal one of the founders actually is also the founder of what's up it was sort of a messy breakup with facebook He left after facebook. Bought whatsapp and around the same time started working with signal And how big a deal. You think the capital riots. Where you mentioned those earlier. Can you just walk me through the logic here on why the riots might explain why more and more contacts of mine or yours or listeners might be joining signaled first place. So it's hard to know for sure if you know people who are involved in the capital riots are now signal users. But every time there's been sort of the perception of social or political unrest signal sees a lot of downloads when donald trump was elected. A lot of people downloaded the app again. The black lives matter protests this summer. A ton of people downloaded it. The idea is that if you're doing something that could even be perceived as illegal or if you're just worried about the government or things like that you want an app where you feel like you're communications or so you don't know for sure that people who maybe have been d platform from a bunch of social media companies need a different way to communicate but i would speculate that has to be the case in some instances so apps like parlor and telegram have been linked to the capital riots our list in the aftermath account the riots. More more folks are flocking to them has signal had any of the same sort of concerns. I know obviously private platforms can be used for good and for evil and for people who are joining signal for its privacy protections. That can be abused right. I'm i'm curious. If signal has had any similar troubles the concern is certainly there but the nature of a an encrypted app like signal means that we don't really know Have been subpoenaed before for a trial and they were only able to turn over like very little information about the user sorta by one. They started their account in the last time. They were on the account So they say that in the event of law enforcement wanting access they wouldn't really be able to give that much

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