Digital freedoms and privacy have been amongst the most discussed topics online this week, starting from conservative internet users calling for boycotts in protest of social media platforms banning accounts of outgoing US President Donald Trump. Yet, another call to boycott the world's most used messaging app Whatsapp has been endorsed by Tesla's Elon Musk and Twitter's Jack Dorsey, following changes to the apps privacy terms.
Use Signal— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) January 7, 2021
Recently, Whatsapp users have been required to agree to a new set of regulations and terms including allowing the app to share data with Facebook, triggering a wave of criticism over what has been described "as an attempt to undermine users' privacy. "
????For those who worked for years on social media Apps such as FB, Twitter, WhatsApp ....etc, it basically means you have two choices: YES or YES!— Ali Bakeer (علي باكير) (@AliBakeer) January 9, 2021
This is nothing but the new face of the modern digital dictatorships pic.twitter.com/yLExyTRHNo
Even though this is not the first time Whatsapp and Facebook have faced accusations of mismanaging data shared by users, the current call to boycott the application has been supported by two endorsements from two of the most famous figures in the tech world; the founder and CEO of Twitter Jack Dorsey, in addition to the world's richest man Elon Musk.
Just switched from Whatsapp to signal.— Official* Pope of Muskanity (@RationalEtienne) January 11, 2021
It feels good to no longer have my Data be a commodity for Suckerberg to profit from.
Now if we could also switch from Bitcoin to a less energy intensive cryptocurrency, that'd be great. ?⚡ pic.twitter.com/LKJqoT3c8X
Musk called on his 42 million followers to start using Signal, suggesting that the alternative messaging app offers greater protection for users' information, including E2E encryption and other features that block other users from taking screenshots of private messages.
Responding to the growing number of calls, thousands of Twitter users reported having switched to using Signal, posting screenshots of the app installed on their phones. Consequently, Signal's shares surged by over 500% last Thursday.
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