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Online Privacy Oriented Instant Messaging Service “Telegram” Just Added A Terrible Feature

Online Privacy Oriented Instant Messaging Service "Telegram" Just Added A Terrible Feature Posted On
Posted By Parveen

Telegram just added a few new options to their app and one of those features came as a terrible decision. But the owner of the Telegram app claims it to be a well-thought decision. He also claimed it to be the move in the direction of better control over your personal online data. Let us what new features have been added to the Telegram app in this upgrade:

Major Updates

  • Biggest Change — Delete any message on both ends in any private chat, anytime, even after 15 years.
  • Control whether your messages link back to your account when forwarded. When this setting is active your name will appear as a clickable name which will not lead the recipient to your account.
  • Control who may see your profile picture.
  • Better looking search in Settings to find options and get suggestions from the FAQ too.
  • Better search for Emoji, GIFs and Stickers in the redesigned panel. Get emoji suggestions for the first word you type in a message.
  • Enjoy enlarged emoji in messages containing the only emoji.
  • Now you can also help Telegram in improving emoji suggestions in your language by visiting here.
  • Watch GIFs and video messages without waiting for them to fully download.
  • Choose whether you’d like to receive notifications for all accounts when using multiple accounts.
  • Rotate the screen to switch to full-screen mode when watching an auto playing video with sound.
  • Access every corner of the app using VoiceOver on iOS and TalkBack on Android.
  • Better call quality.

All the above features are really great additions in improving the quality of user experience, what we didn’t like was the first updated feature. It’s completely unacceptable if someone is in control of data (messages) in other’s device. Even though the app developer accepted the chances of misuse of message deletion from someone else’s phone still they have kept this feature in the update.

If someone sent you a threatening or abusive message through Telegram and you want to report it to legal authorities but you can’t because that person has already deleted the message’s in question from his own and your device as well. Unless you have taken a screenshot of the message or shared it with someone else you are not left with any proof that something wrong has happened.

If someone has already taken the screenshot before the sender deletes the message at both ends then there is no point left for this feature.

Such feature was added into WhatsApp a few months back but it was not more of corrective feature but this new feature in Telegram seems to be an exploitative and manipulative feature. Giving control over other’s device without consent even in a slight way is an infringement of the privacy and data security of the recipient.

Users at Reddit also criticised this move by Telegram in many threads but there was one which we liked very much:

Being able to delete anyone else’s messages on their devices, is completely unacceptable, and amounts to no less than gaslighting, which is manipulative and abusive. But I’m sure that’ll work out well for all the abusers out there who need to not only pretend they didn’t do or say certain things, but also get to rewrite history for any other party. This is highly disturbing and completely undermines trust in the platform. Bad enough if someone is going to delete all their messages, though in some cases, I could understand why, but having control over others’ messages is wrong.

Privacy is about consent. Full stop. And someone deleting anyone else’s messages violates the other party’s personal agency and autonomy, because it never obtains their consent.

The language used in justifying this feature is problematic in so many ways… “An old message you already forgot about can be taken out of context and used against you decades later. A hasty text you sent to a girlfriend in school can come haunt you in 2030 when you decide to run for mayor.”

For starters, dirtbags come in any form, and any gender, as do candidates running for political office. And it isn’t just female partners that may take things out of context; and things may not necessarily be out of context simply because they are inconvenient. If a text was hasty and/or someone (anyone) behaved poorly in their past, they should own it and own up to it, not rewrite history and gaslight everyone.

Unsending one’s own messages for the other party, that have not yet been read, is acceptable. Unsending one’s own messages for the other party that have already been read, should be marked “deleted by sender”. At no point, EVER, should any user have control over any other user’s messages and be able to unsend, delete or alter theirs. Period.


What are your thoughts on this major change to Telegram which share in the comment section below!


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