Signal now gives users the option to report and block spam. With this, the company wants to develop a system that makes it easier to detect such messages. Signal promises that all user activity will remain encrypted and anonymous.
When a user presses “Report and block spam” via Signal, only the potential spammer’s phone number and anonymous message ID are sent to the server, by company. This differs, for example, from chat apps like WhatsApp, where reported content is sent unencrypted to intermediaries. If accounts are reported too often, the spammer will not be able to send messages until they complete a Captcha-like test.
Signal says it’s building a system based on that information to better fight spam. It should be running server side, not locally on the client. Despite Signal being largely open source, the company will not be involved in implementing this code. As a result, Signal says it stays ahead of spam accounts, while at the same time, according to the company, it doesn’t skimp on the chat app’s “security model essentials.”
Signal has added a number of other features to counter scammers. For example, people who send a message to someone first must first be accepted by the recipient before a picture and name of the latter becomes visible to the sender. The image of the person who sends the first message is not initially visible to the recipient. It becomes visible only when you click on the faded image. Also, users cannot open links sent in the first message from an unknown person until the sender is accepted.