Signal now allows you to report and block spam messages
Signal added an easy way for users to report and block spam directly from message request screens with just one click of the mouse.
Message requests were added to Signal last year, August 2020, to allow new users to contact other Signal users even if they are not in their address books and provide more contextual information to those who receive it.
Report and block spam with one click
While users could already block such requests and delete them, Signal has now modified the block dialog to include a “Report spam and block” option to report unwanted and unsolicited messages.
“To eliminate spam on the network, we have added recourse for recipients if an unwanted incoming message appears. When you block a user from the message request screen, you can also mark the message as spam,” Signal said.
“Other services may use this as an opportunity to collect unencrypted chat content or download additional information used to identify spam campaigns. Signal is committed to protecting your privacy and does not, we adopt therefore a different approach. “
When you click “Report spam and block”, your device will send both the sender’s phone number and a message ID to Signal’s servers.
If the same phone number is reported multiple times or shows signs of being used as an automated spam platform, Signal will ask for ‘proof of humanity’ which will prevent further messages from being sent until a challenge (for example, a CAPTCHA) is completed.
This approach to dealing with potential spammers allows Signal to slow them down while keeping messaging smooth for regular users.
Signal has also changed its apps to “stop linking URLs displayed on the message request screen” as a simple measure to prevent crooks from redirecting potential targets to phishing or fraud sites.
A welcome change after millions of people recently joined Signal
These changes couldn’t have come at a better time after the huge influx of millions of new users this month who joined Signal following the massive Facebook outage in early October.
Signal also said it encountered its own issues in the wake of Facebook’s 6-hour global outage after Facebook users joined a massive exodus to Signal and Telegram’s platforms.
“Signups are on the rise on Signal (welcome everyone!)” The Signal Social Media Team tweeted as Facebook faced the October 4 blackout.
“Millions of new people have joined Signal today and our voicemail and calls are up and running, but not all of their contacts are showing up on Signal. We are working hard to resolve this issue.”
Currently, Signal has over 50 million installs on Android devices and over 426,000 ratings on the Apple App Store.
Pavel Durov, CEO and founder of Telegram, added that more than 70 million users joined in a single day due to Facebook downtime.