So what do you lose? Are you interested?
KEVIN Honestly, not really?
Obviously not good for public safety as neo-fascists, far-right militias, and other dangerous groups are trying to communicate and organize, and those ways increasingly involve code. terminal chemistry. We’ve seen this happen for years, back to ISIS, and it certainly made things more difficult for law enforcement and counterterrorism officials.
At the same time, there is a real benefit to getting these extremes out of mainstream platforms, where they can find new sympathizers and leverage those platforms’ broadcast mechanics to spread the word. Their message to millions of potential extremists.
The way I think of this is in a kind of epidemiological paradigm. If someone is sick and is at risk of infecting others, ideally you should remove them from the general population and quarantine, even if it means taking them somewhere like a hospital. where there are many other sick people.
That’s a pretty bad metaphor, but you get what I mean. We know that when they’re on major, mainstream platforms like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, extremists don’t just talk to each other. They recruit. They join completely unrelated groups and try to sow the seeds of conspiracy theories there. In a way, I’d rather let the 1,000 tough neo-Nazis do bad things together on an encrypted chat app than let them hack into 1,000 different local Dogspotting groups or whatever.
BRIAN I understand where you are going with this!
When you open Facebook or Twitter, the first thing you see is your timeline, a general feed of friends’ posts. But you can also see posts from strangers if your friends re-share or Like them.
When you open Signal or Telegram, you will see a list of the chats you are doing with individuals or groups of people. To receive a message from someone you do not know, that person will need to know your phone number in order to contact you.
So to complete our analogy, basically Facebook and Twitter have billions of people gathered in one giant auditorium. Encrypted messaging apps like Signal and Telegram are like big buildings with millions of people, but each living in a separate room. Everyone has to knock on each other’s doors to send messages, so spreading false information takes more effort. On Facebook and Twitter, by contrast, a misinformation can go viral within seconds because people in this room can hear what everyone else is screaming.