Sunsetting deprecated messaging tools

Moving away from WhatsApp could take time. Here are dates, and more.

Sunsetting deprecated messaging tools

I’m moving away from several messaging products in the next 6 to 12 months. This post is written so I don’t spring these changes on people who may expect me to be somewhere I won’t be.

While the big picture effects are for now unclear, these changes will help me solve at least two immediate problems:

  1. I cannot trust that the information and behaviours shared by my contacts into these questionable products will not be used against their interests. By using these products, I implicitly encourage people to also use them.
  2. I cannot be open with my friends and family about my thoughts and experiences, nor can I expect them to talk and text with the same level of candor, knowing that the very act of communicating with fellow humans will then be used to nudge our decisions.

What’s out 🏌️‍♀️

  • WhatsApp, in 6 months. Why? WhatsApp is run by Facebook - who have shown in the past (2010, 2018, 2020) and will do so in the future (2023) that the company’s interests work against the short- and long-term interests of humans who don't own stock in Meta.
  • SMS is an outdated technology. But iff your choice to talk to someone is only between WhatsApp and SMS, choose WhatsApp. We shouldn’t even be using SMS for 2FA.

I’m no longer active on Twitter, although until the sunset deadline I am still using it for DMs.

Sunsetting products I use is a staged process; the above are just the ones that are at the head of the line.

What’s in 🎁

Signal (about, download) and Threema (about, download). I have both of these installed, although I don’t know anyone yet on Threema and it’s crickets for me right now (its userbase seems to be in Germany, I don’t live near there 🇨🇦).

Signal is open source. Threema is partially open open source, and audited regularly by external reviewers.

The sunset plan 🌅

I’ll return to this post and update the plan as needed.

Product Deadline Replacement
WhatsApp February 2021 Signal, and Threema
Good ol' texts (SMS) February 2021 Signal
Twitter November 2021 if necessary, Mastodon