More Unfriendly Privacy Experiences

I said it before and I’ll say it again: the road toward online privacy is a lonely one. Almost every time I explore further there’s discouragement and frustration. This time, I tried to learn more about GrapheneOS.

I started by posting a few questions about Graphene on its subreddit. Almost immodestly I got an auto-reply directing me to the IRC and Matrix chats. I decided to go ahead and left my post there in case someone responds. But they won’t.

As it turns out, my post was filtered as spam by Reddit (because I use VPN? Because my account is somehow flagged?) This happened before when I asked for advice on the privacy Reddit and was blocked because I don’t have enough “reputation”. I have a few Reddit accounts, and this specific one was supposed to be for privacy-related questions, which means it is useless for me now1.

Reddit was never a good place for anything technical, let alone privacy concerns, so good riddance. I have the org-mode Reddit in my RSS feeds which I check now and then and that’s mostly what I will keep using it for.

Meanwhile, Matrix wasn’t much more helpful2. There are two rooms, one much smaller than the other. Apparently, the smaller one is where you can ask questions: I was informed that I’m probably not going to get answers from the main channel there. IRC was no different: someone informed me that my questions are “not technical” so they do not belong in the channel.

My conclusion so far is this: I can either wipe my Android, jump head first without researching and asking questions, or I can piss off.

Before you take the violin out for me, don’t worry. I grew accustomed to getting no answers and RTFM-snappy-like responses from folks on IRC since I was in high school. It’s nothing new.

I just hope this blog is evidence enough that I’m trying to be different.

Footnotes


  1. As I’m writing this, turns out the account was also flagged it as NSFW by Reddit (which is interesting, because I do actually have a NSFW Reddit account, which ironically is not flagged). Well, it means I’m doing something right if I’m raising so many flags. ↩︎

  2. Happy to report that I got some useful responses this morning from a couple of more friendly folks. There were only three or four of us chatting at the time, and no one was from the US as far as I can tell (which is important when you discuss reception and carriers), but it was somewhat of a contrast of the experience I experienced in the last couple of days. ↩︎


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