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Crypto Leaders Worry over Threat from Big Tech Censorship

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Social media users are leaving traditional providers in droves in favor of more independent platforms over fears of unwarranted data collection, censorship, and refusal of service. A change to WhatsApps terms of service has triggered a mass exodus from the messaging platform to more private and independent rivals like Telegram and Signal, which have registered millions of new users over the last week.

Rather than agreeing to new terms specifying the apps right to share user data with Facebook, millions of WhatsApp users simply gave up using the platform, abandoning it for lessintrusive competitors. Telegram alone has been downloaded 25 million times in the last 72 hours. Some of those new signups include refugees from the free speech platform Parler, looking for a way to connect and organize after the rightwing Twitter alternative was suddenly yanked offline by hosting services provider Amazon Web Services AWS.

The ability of web hosting giants like AWS to unilaterally close down sites and infrastructure has some in the cryptocurrency industry worried for the future health of blockchainrelated projects. Ethereum cofounder Vitalik Buterin described Parlers takedown as very worrying in a series of tweets, noting that AWS was much more of a common infrastructure provider than a social media site. Buterin also expressed a certain level of dismay over Twitters decision to permanently ban President Donald Trump from its platform.

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