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Anyone want to comment on this? (Remember the subject is a service that claims to respect user privacy) Is the report legit?
This entry was edited (1 year ago)
Given the overall gestalt of MeWe, this is not even a tiny bit surprising.
I think that the fundamental problem with MeWe is that the CEO is neither a programmer nor much of a social media user. As such, he lacks any vision for what's fun or exciting about a social media platform.

All he ever says about MeWe is that it's better than Facebook. But what this really reveals is a lack of any idea what a social media platform could or should be other than Facebook.

So, unsurprisingly, MeWe copies from Facebook and looks a lot like Facebook in most every aspect.
I am highly suspicious of any online service that leads with the argument of "respecting user privacy" (including Disaspora*). Without hyperbole, "respecting user privacy" is simply following the law and with hyperbole it likely is a promise that can't be kept in the real world.
The trackers in there are common enough - they are used by the developers to configure features, do betatesting and get crash reports. Firebase is incredibly useful in that regard, same as crashlytics. And building that sort of infrastructure oneself is.. hard. One can do that, but the only result would be that it wouldn't show up as a tracker.

The permissions are also par for the course if you want to do a social media sharing app - of course you'll want camera, microphone, and similar access. People should be able to easily post a selfie and such.

I see nothing in there that implicates bad privacy in itself. (And I am highly critical of MeWe for a lot of other reasons, least of all is that they are my competition :) )
This analysis seems to have been done without much context. As Christian points out, from a social media app I would expect that it has access to camera, microphone and the like. After all the whole point of a social media app is to share things like pictures, sounds and more. So labelling access to the camera as dangerous is a bit pointless as it seems to use the same approach for absolutely everything. That just doesn't make any sense.
My problem with me we is the focus on chat. I don't do chat and the chat window that you cannot close in groups is too distracting. I deleted my account there. I like and Diaspora.
Not a popular position but I do think social media should only be done on desktops or laptops, from browsers. Putting an app on your phone is far riskier.

But then, look at what I do for a living.... :)
I'm with you but I know there are users who don't have desktops or laptops.
As a desktop user, I do not give the browser authorization on the MeWe url to use my mic or cam. I don't bother to look in groups to avoid chat. I always mark all chat as read except private messages from people I know. I generally mark all groups as read as well. No need for me to look at anything but my home stream and notifications. I spend very little time there - promo events for virtual worlds is the only reason I have an account there. So far, it is not producing new attendees to events so over time, I expect to drop it if that does not change.