Social networks and communities
March 28

Telegram after 5 years

A few years ago, when I was using Jabber, all of a sudden the centralized IMs that glue your account to your phone number became popular. I was skeptical towards them for some time, but then there was a temporary illusion that the Telegram developers were trying to do something bigger. Unfortunately, over time it was becoming clearer and clearer that they were not actually going to do anything that was different in any way from what other centralized IMs had to offer.

Just a quick wrap-up of what Telegram actually is. All your messages in any normal chat are visible to whoever owns & controls Telegram. Besides, the secret chats are unusable as they only work on mobile devices. All your messages can be deleted from your account and the client does not allow you to keep them locally even if they are deleted in the cloud. You are not in control of your account, Telegram is. I once got my account restricted from contacting people who have not contacted me first and writing to chats. How did it happen? I have written a message to a chat saying I had a new Telegram channel, and, as formally it was spam, someone reported it and a moderator applied the restriction. And it can be applied indefinitely.

So basically a Telegram moderator can decide for all Telegram users whether they want a particular user to be able to contact them first. Did they ask me if I want them to decide for me? What if I want the users they consider spammers contact me? What if 10% of the people who I want to be able to contact me are spammers for Telegram moderators? They probably are, it’s just that I don’t know about their existence as they were denied to contact me. The truth is that Telegram basically doesn’t care what a group of users wants, they just do whatever they think keeps Telegram popular.

On the bright side, if you have read this post to this point, you probably hate centralization as much as I do. What do you think we could use now, in 2019? For file sharing one can use IPFS. What to use for chats? Perhaps Tox.
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