I’ve been thinking about this topic a lot lately, and Dmitrii ‘Mamut’ Dimandt states it well in his article ‘Daring Fireball, John Gruber, and Threads’. Essentially the question here is: why does John Gruber love Threads so much, while having a record of hating Meta’s flagrant disregard for user privacy? And it’s not because Threads is special and is super private — they literally cannot roll it out to the EU because of it breaking the privacy laws (and other reasons) there.
So, like, what the actual fuck?
I’m now optimistically bullish on Threads, and I don’t think Threads would even exist if not for Musk buying and wrecking Twitter.
It’s been bothering me, because it honestly sounds like someone bought Daring Fireball, and is pretending to be Gruber. People are allowed to change their minds, that’s fine, but this is a very out-of-character change.
I don’t agree with Dimandt’s conclusion of why Gruber likes Threads at all. But this Mastodon thread is fucking wild. Here’s a screenshot for you:
And here’s a stitched screenshot of the App Privacy Nutrition Label for Threads in Apple’s App Store:
Da fuck Gruber talking about? I think it’s fine to say “you know what, I don’t give a shit about what they collect, there’s value for me and that’s that.” But it is weird to say “this is private”, which feels a lot like what Gruber is saying, when you look at the Privacy Report from Meta which effectively checked every single damned box they could in the App Store.
This feels fucking awkward, bud.
So what’s going on? I think Gruber simply likes Threads and the value it brings. I think Mastodon feels like shitty nerd tech, sorry it does, and Instagram/Threads is a slick UI/UX for people to flaunt images or thoughts. It’s fine to like that, but I think you can’t make a leap to say Threads is, in any way, not collecting anything and everything they can about their users. Meta simply does not have a track record of being trustworthy, nor does Instagram. But Gruber does have a track record of being trustworthy, so either he knows something about this he cannot share, or he’s breaking that trust to some extent.