31 votes

Google has suspended the Element Matrix client from the Play Store due to abusive content (It's back)

@Element:
Google have suspended Element in the Play Store without notifying us; we're reaching out to find out what's going on. Apologies for the inconvenience; in the interim there's https://t.co/aaZ9qXz69W but it's a few versions behind. We'll post updates here.

27 comments

  1. [5]
    alex11
    Link
    Hard to think of a legitimate reason for it to get banned. Anyway, this shoot first, ask questions later thing that the tech industry does is really silly

    Hard to think of a legitimate reason for it to get banned. Anyway, this shoot first, ask questions later thing that the tech industry does is really silly

    21 votes
    1. [4]
      Whom
      Link Parent
      I wouldn't be surprised if this is where we see the trend of legitimate action taken against hateful platforms extend to nuking decentralized and private options for not really being able to keep...

      I wouldn't be surprised if this is where we see the trend of legitimate action taken against hateful platforms extend to nuking decentralized and private options for not really being able to keep shitheads off. With the fediverse apps can at least ban known shithead instances, but I have no idea how you'd do that for a chat application.

      Or it could just be something minor, I dunno.

      6 votes
      1. vord
        Link Parent
        The reality is there is no way to stop users from using communication tools. It's dead easy to spin up an arbitrary chat platform, so as long as the userbase has a single backup channel, it's an...

        The reality is there is no way to stop users from using communication tools. It's dead easy to spin up an arbitrary chat platform, so as long as the userbase has a single backup channel, it's an excersize in futility.

        Blacklisting such tools, even temporarily, is a form of censorship, and a serious infringement to the right to free association. It will almost always result in average users being disrupted more than the undesirables.

        5 votes
      2. [2]
        lionirdeadman
        Link Parent
        You can still have clients blacklist and servers defederate, just like on the fediverse.

        You can still have clients blacklist and servers defederate, just like on the fediverse.

        2 votes
        1. [2]
          Comment deleted by author
          Link Parent
          1. lionirdeadman
            Link Parent
            I meant homeservers, to be clear. On the fediverse, you can defederate users afaik but it's usually servers because the admin of the blocked server doesn't want to moderate/hosts awful people...

            I meant homeservers, to be clear.

            On the fediverse, you can defederate users afaik but it's usually servers because the admin of the blocked server doesn't want to moderate/hosts awful people (terfs, nazis, etc.)

            I've recently came to know of such a homeserver in Matrix which seemed to be filled with neo-nazi terrorists, I believe. (I can send in DM the homeserver if you want to see for yourself)

            4 votes
  2. Cycloneblaze
    Link
    They've got a "why" now: Kind of depressing that the solution is probably going to be getting it into Google's awareness that... it's a platform and it's not responsible for the Nazis who use it....

    They've got a "why" now:

    Morning all. We've had contact from Google confirming that the suspension is due to abusive content somewhere on Matrix; we're working with them to explain how Element works and get the situation resolved.

    Kind of depressing that the solution is probably going to be getting it into Google's awareness that... it's a platform and it's not responsible for the Nazis who use it. Again. It's not like it's Parler, where it was incredibly easy to tell that the point was to facilitate alt-right bile.

    18 votes
  3. [2]
    petrichor
    Link
    I'd have to agree with the Hacker News poster who said this is likely Google testing the waters. Matrix is dangerous to Google and Google's three-letter partners.

    I'd have to agree with the Hacker News poster who said this is likely Google testing the waters.

    Matrix is dangerous to Google and Google's three-letter partners.

    8 votes
    1. vegai
      Link Parent
      I think people attribute to malice what was probably incompetence and a lack of resources.

      I think people attribute to malice what was probably incompetence and a lack of resources.

      6 votes
  4. [12]
    Cycloneblaze
    Link
    Ironically, this made me want to download Element on my phone to continue some conversations about this from my PC. And of course the point is that I can't

    Ironically, this made me want to download Element on my phone to continue some conversations about this from my PC. And of course the point is that I can't

    5 votes
    1. [11]
      edenist
      Link Parent
      F-Droid is your friend :-) https://f-droid.org/en/packages/im.vector.app/ In case you aren't aware, F-Droid isn't just an apk mirror with potential malware, it is a complete play store alternative...

      F-Droid is your friend :-)

      https://f-droid.org/en/packages/im.vector.app/

      In case you aren't aware, F-Droid isn't just an apk mirror with potential malware, it is a complete play store alternative for open-source applications. You can also just sideload the apks from the link above if you don't want to install the app.

      11 votes
      1. [10]
        vord
        Link Parent
        This is why Android is superior to IOS, despite how terrible Google is. If Apple pulls an app, there is no recourse. It's why I'm only buying phones with unlockable bootloader's anymore, and am...

        This is why Android is superior to IOS, despite how terrible Google is.

        If Apple pulls an app, there is no recourse.

        It's why I'm only buying phones with unlockable bootloader's anymore, and am looking forward to getting a pure Linux phone someday.

        11 votes
        1. [2]
          edenist
          Link Parent
          Android still is superior, but on the current trajectory it won't be for much longer. Every single android release they remove another bit of freedom and "linux-ism" from the OS. I'm a big user of...

          Android still is superior, but on the current trajectory it won't be for much longer.

          Every single android release they remove another bit of freedom and "linux-ism" from the OS. I'm a big user of termux on my devices, and just take a look at the issue list to see the features which we keep losing from it from nothing else other than Google's ever increasing API restrictions. First it was SMS access, then lower-level process+hardware status access without root, now it's at the point where they have actually had to pull the app from the play store entirely while they try to rework it around more restrictions.

          F-Droid certainly helps when apps are pulled, but it can't do anything if the underlying OS is removing features from the API and locking everything down.

          I'm also hoping purism et al can make a daily-driver capable device before it becomes completely unusable.

          7 votes
          1. vord
            Link Parent
            Biggest problem I would have is needing proprietary apps for work...Duo specifically. I've noticed my usage has trended toward "Firefox, FDroid, Play Store" to try to do things. 99% of those...

            Biggest problem I would have is needing proprietary apps for work...Duo specifically.

            I've noticed my usage has trended toward "Firefox, FDroid, Play Store" to try to do things. 99% of those things can be done without the Play Store.

            That should help with the transition.

            3 votes
        2. [7]
          mxuribe
          Link Parent
          I used to feel that android's superiority was above and beyond iphone's for the very reason of freedom to install other software, more customization options (vs iphone), etc....And, even if iphone...

          I used to feel that android's superiority was above and beyond iphone's for the very reason of freedom to install other software, more customization options (vs iphone), etc....And, even if iphone had better hardware or specs in some fashion, or even if the IoS UI was better, i always justified to myself that the software freedoms that came with an android phone was worth it in the end. But lately (as in, the last few android phones that i've had and the last few years), it feels like this freedom is so minimal, and dare i say almost fleeting...? I still buy android phones, but i can not WAIT until the several linux phones (e.g. pinephone, purism, etc.) become ready for daily driver use!!! :-)

          6 votes
          1. [5]
            Comment deleted by author
            Link Parent
            1. [2]
              vord
              Link Parent
              Ditto. I suggest going used instead though. You avoid paying Google, and can flash a a de-Googled OS before activating. It's pobably the best privacy/performance/dollar you can do right now. The...

              Ditto. I suggest going used instead though. You avoid paying Google, and can flash a a de-Googled OS before activating. It's pobably the best privacy/performance/dollar you can do right now.

              The difference between the 3 lineup and the 3a lineup is fairly negligible, so go for whichever you can get for a better price.

              On Swappa you can get a pretty good one for < $150. Make sure to get Google edition, and especially not Verizon...the Verizon bootloader is perma-locked.

              Unlocked Samsung phones are also a great choice...I don't think they prevent unlocking bootloader anymore by default.

              5 votes
              1. mxuribe
                Link Parent
                Ah-ha, ok got it. I will research with a bit more of an eagle-eye. Thanks for the tidbit @vord!!

                especially not Verizon...the Verizon bootloader is perma-locked.

                Ah-ha, ok got it. I will research with a bit more of an eagle-eye. Thanks for the tidbit @vord!!

                2 votes
            2. mxuribe
              Link Parent
              Oh wow, i hadn't thought of that! That is a great suggestion, thanks @tindall!!!!

              they all have unlocked bootloaders

              Oh wow, i hadn't thought of that! That is a great suggestion, thanks @tindall!!!!

              2 votes
            3. ali
              Link Parent
              Also with how good the pixel a series seems, I wonder why anyone would get a ‘main series’ pixel...

              Also with how good the pixel a series seems, I wonder why anyone would get a ‘main series’ pixel...

              2 votes
          2. [2]
            KapteinB
            Link Parent
            I've been using Sailfish as a daily driver for years now. :-)

            I've been using Sailfish as a daily driver for years now. :-)

            2 votes
            1. lionirdeadman
              Link Parent
              I really wish Sailfish didn't have a proprietary UI, android compatibility and other stuff. I'd totally pay for it if it was entirely open source.

              I really wish Sailfish didn't have a proprietary UI, android compatibility and other stuff. I'd totally pay for it if it was entirely open source.

              1 vote
  5. Bauke
    Link
    Lol at the one dude in the replies promoting some supposedly better alternative that's just another crypto grift. /noise

    Lol at the one dude in the replies promoting some supposedly better alternative that's just another crypto grift.

    /noise

    12 votes
  6. [5]
    suspended
    Link
    I love it when my username is mentioned in a post title! This reminds me somewhat of the youtube-dl fiasco. BTW, Google is just a huge data mining company that doesn't give two shits about you. I...

    I love it when my username is mentioned in a post title! This reminds me somewhat of the youtube-dl fiasco.

    BTW, Google is just a huge data mining company that doesn't give two shits about you. I dropped them like I did Facebook over a decade ago.

    8 votes
    1. [4]
      vord
      Link Parent
      While this is all true, Google provides a lot more value for their privacy invasions than Facebook. Double-edged sword that is. I'd love to extract out of it, but I'm in so deep it's gonna take...

      While this is all true, Google provides a lot more value for their privacy invasions than Facebook. Double-edged sword that is. I'd love to extract out of it, but I'm in so deep it's gonna take years to get out of it, if it's even possible. Youtube is too god damn useful.

      And as much as I hate to admit it, I feel like Youtube would have died off by now if not for that aquisition.

      4 votes
      1. [3]
        lionirdeadman
        Link Parent
        You can use Youtube without an account though! RSS feeds allow you to still follow the Youtubers you like too.

        And as much as I hate to admit it, I feel like Youtube would have died off by now if not for that aquisition.

        You can use Youtube without an account though! RSS feeds allow you to still follow the Youtubers you like too.

        1 vote
        1. [2]
          vord
          (edited )
          Link Parent
          You can, but unfortunately you also don't need an account for Google to pinpoint precisely who you are. Facebook can do it, means anybody large enough can. And by using Google products, regardless...

          You can, but unfortunately you also don't need an account for Google to pinpoint precisely who you are. Facebook can do it, means anybody large enough can. And by using Google products, regardless of having an account, you're still contributing to Google's dominance.

          All the tech giants will only grow larger without serious regulation, if only from inertia. They broke through the creator/consumer chicken/egg problem that plagues smaller platforms.

          5 votes
          1. lionirdeadman
            Link Parent
            Of course they can do that however it does mean that I can delete my account. I think that has value in itself.

            Of course they can do that however it does mean that I can delete my account. I think that has value in itself.

            2 votes