This, right here, is why companies everywhere should not use social media alone for service status updates.

The fact that Proton's status page says we should go to Twitter for "more information" means that Proton is less accessible to folks without Twitter accounts. And that's no good.

Never make the assumption about your customer base that "everybody" uses X platform. You'll always lose people that way.

At the very least, Proton could be mirroring these responses somewhere publicly accessible, and referencing that on their support page.

This very much reminds me of the restaurant up-the-road from me that changed their entire menu and put it on Instagram only.

When my to-go order was grossly incorrect (website not updated), they told me "nobody uses websites anymore, we put our info on Instagram".

I assured them that lots of people don't have Instagram, and I haven't ordered from them since (because I don't know what they sell anymore).

I might be "out-of-touch", but I'm also not spending my money there anymore.

Also, yes I know about Nitter and use it daily. It's no replacement for a thorough status page.

@vkc especially as, increasingly, social media sites are trying to force people into signing up by making content unavailable if you don't have an account. In fact I'm not sure I can think of one that *doesn't* do it, except YouTube, if that even counts.

@nev @vkc try opening YouTube in a private window and see what Google thinks of that

@meena @nev @vkc mostly it thinks I should watch *a lot* of ads ;)

Which is again, a surprising reminder if you personally use it ad-free and have the completely different, better experience of a paid user.

Hosting your stuff there forces others to watch the ads that you don't see.

@vkc A lot of retails and some restaurants went full Facebook, they didn't had a website anymore. Same problems as you got, same difficulties to explain to them that Facebook isn't Internet and Internet isn't Facebook, that many people had good reasons to avoid those plateforms..
For a decade now it's mobile apps, so many content is only on the seller app now.. when you don't have a smartphone or not an Android/iOS one, you're excluded.
Some of them seems to not care at all losing customers :(

@Epy @vkc
This is my experience. Tons of businesses are Facebook only now. AFAIK, Facebook allows you to set whether a page is visible to people not logged in. Half of these Facebook only businesses have their pages set so I can't see them if I'm not logged in! They are working very hard to shrink their customer base.

@Photorat Maybe if we could show them real recent usage statistics of Facebook, the slow decline, the fact that youngs move quickly from one plateform to another and so, are already losing interest on Facebook, they will _maybe_ think again about being only on a closed platefom.
I would like to have time and knowledge to make a flyer explaining why its bad for everybody.
Probably the same thing a communication agency would tell them: don't exclude any part of your potential customers ?

@vkc Our local Japanese restaurant has its own web page. the page is nothing more than a high resolution jpeg image of their menu, with their address and phone number at the top.

That works for me just fine! It's always up to date and easy to read for my tired old eyes.

@dannycolin @vkc
No, and I'm a huge fan of photo descriptions as I have several blind followers, mostly on Twitter.

I should tell them how they can include a flat text file with everything in it for those who can't see the menu.

I'm not glad flash is dead, just those websites made entirely from it.

@vkc That menu thing is a classic case of self-selection bias.

If you post your menu only to Instagram, then yes, in time, those who order online will have arrived via Instagram, and all your customers will be Instagram users.

It's the non-customer-but-potential-customer population you need to be concerned with.

This is also why services which scrape-and-post Restaurant (or other small-biz) sites work. The scrapers are far more Web-savvy than the business owners themselves.

@dredmorbius @vkc it gets worse. In Brazil, I wasn't able to contact two public service providers because they only provided Whatsapp contacts for support. Not even an email address. And I am sure this is the case for many other public and private service providers in the country.

@p10 Email seems to be suffering a long, slow death.

I'd started noticing that public email addresses were increasingly hard to find as of about 5 years ago.

Individual people and businesses had of course been deprecating them long before, but it's rapidly becoming the norm not to find one.

I've all but completely abandoned personal email. I do retain a pseudonymous account.

Postal mail is the new email.


@dredmorbius @vkc in my working environment we use email constantly and it was the same in my two previous jobs (around five years timespan). Personally, I still keep a few email accounts, each for different use cases. Services like ProtonMail and Tutanota seem to bet on a future where people will still be using emails to communicate. To be honest, I hear about email falling into obsolescence for around 10+ years now and it still didn't happen. Some tech just seems to be more resilient (take SMS for ex).

@dredmorbius @vkc the impediment for its obsolescence might be related with the fact that people used to be spread over different messaging services or social networks. In some countries though - Brazil for instance - WhatsApp became so universal that is replacing email and becoming the de-facto communication tool. It is worrying though, to say the least. When you look at what happened in the country's last election process, for example, it's a serious problem.

@p10 The case(s) against / arguments for the decline of email:

  • Security and privacy weren't baked in. Attempts to bolt it on (STARTLS, e2ee) have made progress (more for the former than latter) but are still bolt-ons.

  • Self-hosting is increasingly untenable if you plan on communicating with others, most especially at mainstream hosting services (Gmail, Microsoft, etc.)

  • Spam remains a huge issue. It's a bit like spacecraft reentry: most of the time the nasty stuff stays on the outsie, but it takes a hell of a lot of engineering, and when that breaks / fails, things just get immensely bad.

  • Attachements always have been an issue.

  • Email is increasingly abandoned by various entities, from the Youngs (who use Messaging-Platform-De-Jour) to institutions (who either use MPDJ or their own roll-your-own solution or ticketing systems, or simply become unreachable).

  • There are very real limits to how many messages / how much messaging is tenable. 10--50/day is fairly typical, peak performers might hit 300/day (Stephen Wolfram, Walt Mossberg, both quantified). Depending on my role, messages can hit 1,000s (granted, as a large-installation sysadmin / SRE).

  • Lack of conventions / standards. Back in the day, railroads, Du Pont, and other emerging large corporations standardised corporate correspondence. Email arrived from several cultures (Unix/Internet, IBM / Lotus Notes, Microsoft / Outlook) each with its own formats and practices. Now Webmail's taken over. The result is an utter bastardisation of any standards. and War-and-Peace length forward chains.

Business and government will likely be the last to leave SMTP-based email. The Youngs will flit from messaging-flower to messaging-flower. Monopolies will attempt lock-in.

I really don't quite know what, if anything, will offer replacement. I'm not very optimistic however on anything.


#email #DeathOfEmail #messaging #Standards #Noise

@dredmorbius @vkc Even though I agree email is far from perfect and I don't intend to defend it whatsoever, it is our only alternative in being able to reach businesses and governments in these days without depending necessarily on a big tech or giving up privacy (on your own end, at least). But I agree that I don't see a good outcome from this situation, because inevitably email will fade and we don't have a good alternative.

@p10 Agreed with most of that.

It's still dying, however slowly or quickly.

There's also still postal mail in most cases. Which leaves tangible records.


@vkc Especially with some social media platforms deactivating accounts willy nilly. Instagram deactivated my account and won't tell me why. I never used it to post, only to follow friends and message them. It's not worth it to try to get it back (and I'm kind of relieved because, well, Meta), especially when they want you to jump through hoops that give them way too much insight into your life.

I never assume anyone has any specific social media, so why are businesses?

@vkc the epitome of "incorrect information is worse than no information"

@vkc I totally still use websites, and got annoyed a lot of times by the fact that the only up-to-date info were on Facebook or Instagram, which are the worst when you don’t have an account and Instagram is a disaster on mobile when you don’t have the app

@vkc I've had the same problem with my local bus company. Always pushing their app which is exclusive to the #Android/#iOS duopoly, with physical passes being more expensive to order, and that is if they are available at all - most of them are not.

The ones who are out of touch are those pushing Android/iOS exclusive apps as if the rest of us don't exist. They will claim it's "convenient" when it's anything but when you aren't neck-deep in either Google or Apple's specific walled garden.


That's like the cafe near me that closed early one day and only posted it to Instagram and TikTok.

Like... What does a "we're closing early" TikTok even look like?

(I wouldn't have seen the post no matter where it was posted, just thought TikTok was a weird choice)

@vkc I know one restaurant that has their *eat in* menu only on Instagram. You literally can't eat there if you don't have Instagram.

@vkc I believe that every restaurant **needs** to have their menu on a website. Hosting a menu doesn't cost much, so there's no excuse.

The reason why I miss out on so many events in my area is because they all use Facebook to announce them instead of using a shared page where all the event announcements also appear.

@vkc Anything that forces someone to create an account just to *read public information* sucks.

This is a decent workaround in this case.

@vkc I totally agree and this would be a good reason to avoid them.

However if you personally find yourself in a position where you need to continue to use them, you can use a Nitter server to get this information. Nitter even supports RSS

@vkc More Nitter instances here (or run your own if you are capable and that way inclined)

They were mirroring.
Until they decided to stop updating their @protonmail account.

@skobkin @vkc @protonmail maybe they didn't like the flak they were getting for their extremely bad politics?

@vkc Those that require me to have an account on an intrusive site/platform leave a bad taste in my mouth. Information such as status updates should be free and available to the public. Status Pages exist for a reason. You can put all the info you want in these pages.

@vkc @protonmail Oh, I see now that they've deactivated their mastodon account. blah...

@kf @protonmail I didn't know they ever had an account, but that's pretty crappy that they disabled it for Twitter.

I mean, come on.

@vkc @protonmail yeah, one more reason why I will probably move to another provider at some point in the not too distant future…

@RL_Dane @kf @vkc @protonmail Thanks for recommending our secure email service. If you have any questions, we're here to help! :)

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A community centered on the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota, and their surrounding region. Predominantly queer with a focus on urban and social justice issues.

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