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element and all other clients for the federated secure messaging system matrix have been banned from the google play store. in the wake of the parler ban, i expect google and other tech companies to start exercising this power more and more going forward. signal probably isn't safe either.

element.io/blog/element-on-goo

if you use android, i recommend installing the open source app store F-Droid and installing any available apps from there instead of google. i usually post from Tusky, an android mastodon client that's available on F-Droid

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@bp it's worth noting that f-droid works like linux distribution repositories where the maintainership of the f-droid release is separate from upstream (though may be the same person)
it's subjective whether this is an upside or a downside

@bp i do think there's a pretty big difference between element and parler
parler was an intentional and calculated move
google robots randomly taking down moderately popular apps for inexplicable reasons is different and not new, there's just way more eyes on it now
(to be clear, i do think this is also awful, i just don't think it's especially comparable to parler)

@leo the process is so opaque that we don't really know if this is an instance of robo-banning or a calculated decision, and anyway both have the same result

@leo i'm wagering it was calculated because it seems like *all* matrix clients have been banned

@bp of the android clients listed on matrix.org:

Element was taken down
NeoChat was never on the Play Store
Ditto Chat is still on the Play Store: play.google.com/store/apps/det
Pattle was removed from the Play Store but the GitLab repo is archived and hasn't been committed to for 6 months, so I'm guessing this was done by the author
FluffyChat is still on the Play Store:play.google.com/store/apps/det

@leo huh you're right, i didn't know about those two. also lmao "FluffyChat"

@bp yeah, but on the other hand google released a formal statement, parler was in the news, and they only did so after apple
as far as i'm aware google hasn't even acknowledged this outside of automated emails

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