Isn't it funny how within 24h the approach to changed from "it's secure and awesomesauce, use it for everything!!1!" to "I just use it to share stuff but warn users not to do sensitive stuff there"?

No, actually it's not funny. Because it keeps happening:

1. a new shiny startup does X in an open source but centralized way
2. a lot of "experts" saying how great it is; some greybeards warn that it's centralized but nobody listens - it's so shiny and cool!

3. startup makes a horrible business decision or gets bought up by someone onerous; it's inevitable, it's a startup.
4. everybody's shocked, shocked™, but still go with "using it for non-sensitive stuff, too late to move on"
5. rinse, repeat.

Do you know why we don't get a proper, decentralized, easy to use software solutions? This is why. Because we keep letting shitty startups crowd out the good projects.



Security is hard. Decentralization is hard. Usability is hard.

Being first to market is *easier* if you drop some, or most, of these.

So, shitty startups get to market first, and then crowd out the decent-but-necessarily-slower projects.

Every time you recommend a tool that follows this pattern of abuse, you are enabling it. You, personally, become a part of the problem. You, personally, help a shitty startup crowd out a decent project.



This is obviously not all black and white. There are edge cases, but then again there are clear red flags.

is a good example of an edge case. Decentralized? No. Startup? Also no. So, one red flag fewer.

Does this mean we can be certain Signal will not screw us over one day? No. But it not being a startup lowers that chance considerably, at least.

We techies need to be more mindful of this. After all, we are all complicit.


@rysiek It is hard to get enough people to use the system we prefer when the 'good enough' options are better to the average joe.

We need to keep trying to, but it is going to be a hard lift most of the time.


@LovesTha sure. but those "good enough options" often became good enough fast enough because they focused on UI/UX and cut corners on other things, like security and privacy.

And they could do that because there is almost no cost of doing so.

We must ramp up that cost. One way to do this is to stop absolving shitty startups of their sins as soon as they say "we're sorry" and make a :blobaww: face.

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@rysiek @LovesTha also maybe stop absolving “good” projects from the requirements of UI/UX. To Average Jane, UI/UX are 100% of “how it works“. After many years trying to educate people about this, I have come around to the view that Average Jane actually is 95% right.

@kopischke @rysiek I don't like percentages for importance, but I'll agree UX can't be a second class priority if you need lots of people to use a thing.

@rysiek the immune ☣ I dont understand. It keeps changing all the time (remember github) and people just dont seem to get it. Use decentralized FLOSS stuff and you are set. Specially the federated ones or p2p. How many more times you need to get burned to finally get it.
Startups come and go, decentralized, federated net stays up and running. The faster you realize this and embrace it the better for you :P

@muppeth @rysiek Yeah, but first of all, the people out there have to know that these decentralised, federated things exist. Which they don't because nobody advertises them.

We need people from our own ranks to go out to the tech media or even mass media and tell them that free, decentralised, federated alternatives exist.

And we need people who can talk to journalists differently than they'd talk to FLOSS coders, i.e. refrain from just bombarding them with under-the-hood tech details.

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