(JustPatriots)- As Big Tech goes all-in on censoring conservatives, more and more users are turning their backs on traditional messaging and social media apps and finding alternatives that protect user data. And it looks like Facebook’s attack on speech is backfiring, as the company’s popular WhatsApp messaging platform is now facing serious competition from alternative apps Telegram and Signal.
According to a report from The Independent, WhatsApp has seen a massive decline in downloads after Facebook changed the app’s terms of services. Many users, having read the new terms, decided that their privacy was less protected than it was previously and are opting for platforms that don’t harvest data.
Between January 5 and 12, WhatsApp downloads dropped by over two million compared to the week previous, to 10.6 million. While still significant, the drop is notable and possibly a sign of worse things to come.
Meanwhile, ultra-secure messaging app Signal saw 17.8 million total downloads and Telegram saw 15.7 million, both during the same week.
Signal’s greater number of downloads is perhaps a result of the app’s commitment to end-to-end encrypted messaging. Telegram offers end-to-end encryption though not by default, while on Signal, it is used for all messages. It means that the only people who can read the messages are the sender and the recipient, and even someone with access to servers cannot see the content of the messages.
WhatsApp’s 2 billion users were asked to accept new terms of service recently, and told that they may lose access to the app if they do not accept it by February 8. The terms apply to users outside of the United Kingdom and Europe, meaning they will be subject to a new data-sharing agreement between Facebook and WhatsApp. It will require users to share their phone number, browser information, and IP address with the social media giant.
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It prompted a huge number of people leaving the platform, and the massive increase in downloads for Signal caused the app to stop working late in the week. Signal told users on Friday that they were working to fix the problem and restore access to the messaging app as soon as possible.
Telegram called the migration to alternative apps the “largest digital migration in human history.”