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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    Comments 4

      0
      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?
      If they would have asked that question every spammer before restricting their accounts, the messenger would have become unusable due to the amount of spam messages each and every user would receive. I'm sorry, but I'm all for spam-free messengers.
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        The problem is that the definition of what spam is differs dramatically depending on who you ask. For example, people who have sent a message to a group chat about a Telegram channel are certainly not people who I don’t want to be able to contact me.

        In decentralized systems we don’t have such problem. For example, if I don’t like how Gmail filters incoming messages for me, I am completely free to use something else instead of Gmail (and all Gmail users can still write to me). In fact, I can even affect the filtering while still using Gmail. And the messages that Gmail thinks are spam are simply appearing in another folder. In Telegram, there is no way of knowing whether such person has tried to send you a message. You can’t allow these people to contact you. It doesn’t matter whether anything they have ever sent anybody is spam to you, it only matters what Telegram moderators think about a person.
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          Have you asked whether the people in the group wanted to know about your Telegram channel at all? That's probably why some people in the group reported it and they had every right to do so. I'm sorry to be so blunt, but you broke the Telegram ToS, you suffer the consequences.

          Your are saying that Telegram moderators are limiting your freedom. They do not. You are free to use any other messaging service. However, if you wish to use centralized service like Telegram you're agreeing «to play by their rules».

          Once again, no one in their right mind would ever want to use a messenger that do not have antispam system. You might complain it's too strict, but that is up to the service to decide.
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        Once again, no one in their right mind would ever want to use a messenger that do not have antispam system.
        This is one of the most common manipulation techniques, see this post. I don’t agree that “normal” people would not want a messenger without spam filtering, I’d agree though that the majority indeed needs some kind of filtering. And I have never said that Telegram can’t do whatever they want with their platform. I just say that when one starts to use Telegram, they have to understand that they don’t really control who can message them. They just have to accept that Telegram moderators do it.

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