Android WhatsApp censors links to rival app
How far would you go to visit a website you really want to look at? If you’re deterred by not being able to click or copy and paste a link, then WhatsApp for Android has found the perfect way to censor your reading.
The Facebook owned-messaging app has taken the unusual step of making any link that begins with Telegram.me or Telegram.org show as plain text. Both domains belong to the
The Facebook owned-messaging app has taken the unusual step of making any link that begins with Telegram.me or Telegram.org show as plain text. Both domains belong to theTelegram chat service, although Telegram.com is also blocked – a Masachussetts local newspaper that I can only assume has been caught by friendly fire.
In other words, whether you want to share a new way of chatting or the latest on the rebuilding of a Massachusetts clock tower, you’re out of luck, my friend:
This isn’t just a weird oversight. Intriguingly, any message with the Telegram URL is also unavailable to copy and paste. The company really doesn’t want you considering this rival messaging app, at least on Android. Strangely, links still appear in the iOS version, perhaps a reflection of the fact that Telegram’s userbase is said to be around 80% Android.
Facebook’s Messenger app also prevents the clicking of the Telegram link, and the social behemoth itself blocks any post to rival competitor Tsu.co. Back in 2010, Messenger also blocked links to The Pirate Bay, so it’s not like censorship is entirely new in Zuckerberg’s empire.
All the same, when an app with the sole purpose of making it easier for us to communicate chooses to dictate the terms on which we can talk, and the topics we can discuss, you can’t help but feel uncomfortable. I have no desire to use Telegram for my messaging, but I’d like the opportunity to decide that for myself, thanks Facebook.
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Image: Microsiervos, used under Creative Commons