Fri 3 Apr 2020 8:31PM

How do we use Signal?

J Jezzz Public Seen by 33

We use Signal groups a lot, but what are the best practices and protocols/rules for using it? What is the process for dealing with people are abusing the group? What about people who are non-responsive?


Jezzz Fri 3 Apr 2020 9:18PM

Someone made some joking comments that seemed to me to be irrelevant to the group's purpose, and potentially legally dangerous for me to be witness to. I spoke up about why the comments seemed to me to be unacceptable and then, decided to leave the group.

I think that Signal groups, despite being encrypted and thus potentially protected from our telecoms companies and the State monitoring through those channels, are not very secure in terms of group accountability. Anyone can add anyone to the group at any time and there is no way to moderate inappropriate comments, or even to remove members who we no longer want in the group. In this example, I had already attempted to discuss with the person who made the problematic comments 1 on 1, in order to clarify how we might work together effectively in the Signal group. I found that they dismissed my concerns as a personal problem, didn't show up to the meeting where we were going to discuss making a protocol with others from the group, and didn't respond when I messaged them after the meeting. Since they showed no interest in being accountable to me or others, I realized that there was actually no way for us to moderate whether they continued to participate in the thread. The only logical choice which protected myself from further consequences and frustration, was to remove myself.

I'm not totally sure that leaving is the best means of changing the situation, it just seemed to me like the best choice for me at the time. I wanted to break it down a bit in the hopes of clarifying how we expect to use Signal and Signal groups for MACC communications.


Matthew W (he/him) Mon 13 Apr 2020 2:08AM

Hey - I'm just discovering these threads and exploring Loomio. I think that ideally we will move more and more over to this platform, and use signal for quick speedy communication when necessary. If that happens - the limited ability to moderate there won't be as much of an issue, since it won't be a workhorse platform. My concern with too many protocols is that they overwhelm, frequently can't be digested by everyone, and then can lead to further conflicts and confusion when only a select group tries to apply them. As you know, I think many of these things are cultural issues ahead of process or protocol issues. Openness does not have to mean infinite tolerance, and there's a timidity about confronting people or chiming in on heated debates. I really think here in the U.S. the idea of "expelling" someone from a group, asking them to leave, or simply removing them because they aren't helping you achieve your goals is very controversial. Hopefully we can cultivate a culture of dedication, reliability, mutual respect, and serious disagreement when required. Inevitably there are serious disruptions that can't be allowed to stand and they require a critical mass of people to apply any sort of sanction.