Telegram rolls out ‘delete everywhere’ privacy feature that lets users nuke the chat history for everyone
- Users can delete messages they’ve sent from their device and the recipient’s
- Unlike other unsend tools, there’s no time limit for when users can delete texts
- Telegram founder says the tool should give users greater control over their data
Telegram is giving users more tools to control their message history.
The encrypted chat app on Monday launched ‘delete everywhere,’ a feature that lets users delete messages from not just their end of the conversation, but for all recipients.
And there’s no time limit, either, as users can delete any message no matter how old it is.
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The encrypted chat app on Monday launched ‘delete everywhere,’ a feature that lets users delete messages from not just their end of the conversation, but for all recipients
WHAT IS THE TELEGRAM APP?
The free application lets people exchange messages, photos and videos in groups of up to 5,000 people.
Telegram is especially popular among political activists of all stripes, and is used by the Kremlin to communicate with journalists, but has also been used by jihadists.
The app has proved to be incredibly popular.
Last March, it announced within the last 30 days, Telegram was used by 200 million people.
‘This is an insane number by any standards,’ the firm said.
‘If Telegram were a country, it would have been the sixth largest country in the world.’
‘We are giving hundreds of millions of users complete control of any private conversation they have ever had,’ Telegram explained in a blog post.
‘You can now choose to delete any message you have sent or received from both sides in any private chat.
‘The messages will disappear for both you and the other person – without leaving a trace,’ the firm added.
In response to the ‘delete everywhere’ tool, many users believed it was too drastic a measure and would enable others to delete messages without getting the recipient’s consent first.
However, Telegram founder Pavel Durov wrote on his personal channel in the app that it’s a necessary feature to combat the risk of a message being taken out of context after it’s sent.
‘An old message you already forgot about can be taken out of context and used against you decades later,’ Durov said.
‘A hasty text you sent to a girlfriend in school can come haunt you in 2030 when you decide to run for mayor.
‘We have to admit: Despite all of our progress in encryption and privacy, we have very little actual control of our data. We can’t go back in time and erase things for other people,’ he added.
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Pictured is the new ‘delete everywhere’ tool. Telegram CEO Pavel Durov defended it, saying it’s a necessary feature to combat the risk of a message being taken out of context after it’s sent
Durov said Telegram created the feature with concerns of misuse in mind, but ultimately believed it was ‘paramount’ for users to have greater control over their ‘digital footprint.’
The app also added other privacy features, like the ability to prevent others from viewing your profile photo.
Another new tool, called ‘Anonymous Forwarding,’ restricts who can forward users’ messages.
When this feature is turned on, it means your forwarded messages can’t be traced back to your account.
Instead, the forwarded message will have an unclickable ‘from’ field after it’s sent to another user.
‘This way people you chat with will have no verifiable proof you ever sent them anything,’ Telegram said.
Telegram is often regarded as one of the earliest privacy-focused chat services.
The firm was one of the first apps to introduce an ‘unsend’ feature that lets users delete a message after it’s been sent in a chat thread.
Since then, many other services have added a similar feature, such as Facebook Messenger and Instagram, but they often give users a time limit in order to do so.
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