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Messaging app Telegram is in the news over a lawsuit issued against Google by former ambassador Marc Ginsberg that is requesting the app be removed from Google in a similar fashion to how social media platform Parler was taken down. Before we tackle why this app is the new target of big tech and left-wing forces, we have to look into what Telegram is.
What Is Telegram?
Telegram is a messenger platform with end to end encryption that allows users to connect with one another privately and share in conversations with multiple users. From the Telegram Website:
Telegram is a messaging app with a focus on speed and security, it’s super-fast, simple and free. You can use Telegram on all your devices at the same time — your messages sync seamlessly across any number of your phones, tablets or computers. Telegram has over 500 million monthly active users and is one of the 10 most downloaded apps in the world.
With Telegram, you can send messages, photos, videos and files of any type (doc, zip, mp3, etc), as well as create groups for up to 200,000 people or channels for broadcasting to unlimited audiences. You can write to your phone contacts and find people by their usernames. As a result, Telegram is like SMS and email combined — and can take care of all your personal or business messaging needs. In addition to this, we support end-to-end encrypted voice and video calls, as well as voice chats in groups for thousands of participants.
Telegram is not a social media site like many in the media are claiming, it is a messenger app like Facebook Messenger, Signal, and Discord but it is much more secure and offers end to end encryption.
Why Is Telegram The Latest Target of Big Tech?
Many of those looking to see Telegram removed from app stores and blackholed on the internet are claiming that Telegram is riddled with alt-right figures and users who are using the app to plan terror attacks, riots, and protests. These are serious claims and true to an extent.
Telegram is a free messenger app and offers end-to-end encryption, anybody can use it and because it is not a social media platform there is little moderation to be done as most messages are in small group chats and direct between users, there are certainly those who self identify as alt-right on the messenger app but there are also regular people. To the same extent that Telegram is an “Alt-right” platform, Discord, a messenger application marketed towards gaming, is a “pedophile” platform. EndSexualExplotation.org made a lengthy post detailing how those seeking to groom children were using the platform to connect with victims, this problem is also rampant on Facebook.
Messaging apps will always have problem users that are small in number but make up a bulk of the media coverage due to their using the platforms for nefarious or illegal activities. When it comes to these nefarious or illegal activities authorities need to get involved whether it be to stop the exploitation of children or preventing terror groups from activating and doing real damage.
It is believed that authorities are well aware of these messenger apps already. In 2017 the FBI asked the developer of Telegram for a backdoor into the application. As we know from the Apple fiasco involving the FBI asking Apple for a backdoor to the cloud to view messages on the San Bernardino shooter’s phone, the FBI tends to ask for the backdoor so they can use what they already have in court, as the information is likely already in their hands as a result of them already having an undisclosed backdoor.
Don’t Like The Platform? Make Your Own.
Throughout the Trump presidency, tech censorship was a major issue and anytime it was raised in the digital public square a sharp reply reading “don’t like the platform? make your own.” would appear. As is now evident by the removal of Parler, a true competitor to Twitter, and the targeting of Minds and Telegram this was never really an option. Big Tech is looking to destroy these alternative platforms that threaten their market share.
Parler was struck down by Apple, Google, and Amazon at the same time just after President Trump was banned from Twitter and Parler had an opportunity to take a lot of the market share. Minds is a direct competitor to Facebook and has been forced to remove many of its features in order to comply with Google’s “24-hour notice“, these removed features (search, comment, and discovery) leave the app in a bare-bones state. Telegram is a direct competitor to Whatsapp, Facebook Messenger, Discord, and Apple’s Messenger, now Telegram is being targeted by big tech.
This looks like more than the typical mire of politics, these look like the action of an Oligopoly that is looking to preserve its hold on the market.