Telegram Is Not The Safe Haven For Free Speech

by | Mar 7, 2022

For sometime now Telegram has been considered the safe haven for free speech. I’ve always been critical of this opinion primarily because of one thing: it is centralised.

It doesn’t matter how much an organisation would like to uphold free speech on their platform, if the information is held on centralised servers and can be edited, filtered or deleted by a centralised authority, at some point in time, it will. Local and international law will, at some point demand it.

So when the following news began to circulate the internet, I was not surprised.

Telegram bans Russian state media after pressure from Europe – Politico

Of course, eventually, Telegram would be required to bow down to the agenda. Where there is a point of contact, one which can change the distribution of information within their networks, there is vulnerability. This attack vector will always be breached, eventually.

I am not in any way attacking Paval Durov for his management of the platform, I think the Russian born 37-year-old entrepreneur has done a stellar job of holding his ground on free-speech policy. But, eventually, this was inevitable.

Time for Free Speech to find a new home

In light of these recent events, I have been actively looking into alternative platforms we could use here at the People Empowerment Project. I had been looking for something a little more feature rich and collaborative anyway, something more like discord, but not discord.

I wanted it to be less vulnerable to censorship, something resistant to outside forces, something decentralised, but easy to use, feature rich and free.

Enter the Matrix Protocol

Matrix is an open standard for interoperable, decentralised, real-time communication over IP. Huh?

OK, that may mean very little to some of you, so let me try to explain in simple terms, bear with me!

The Matrix protocol is made up of a network of servers. Each time a message is sent, it is replicated over and over again across the servers whose users are participating in a given conversation. 

Anyone can run their own server, or you can utilise existing servers. This setup ensures there is no single point of control or failure.

The act of communication with someone elsewhere in Matrix shares ownership of the conversation equally with them. Even if your server goes offline, the conversation can continue uninterrupted elsewhere until it returns.

This means that every server has total self-sovereignty over its users’ data – and anyone can choose or run their own server and participate in the wider Matrix network. This is how Matrix democratises control over communication. –

SOS – Save our Speech

While our telegram group is still running, we will be actively moving across to the Matrix protocol via the Element App.

Join us now by clicking the link below:

Another benefit to using Element is that we can organise the discussion better, setup video conferences, have public and private rooms, add live charts to our various rooms, live spreadsheets and much more.

We look forward to seeing you over on the Matrix Protocol. 

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