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Users of Telegram’s instant messaging system can communicate and exchange messages (including photos, videos and files of any kind), store correspondence in the cloud instead of on their device, as well as open a private and encrypted chat that is not stored in the cloud. Using the app, you can create groups with up to 200,000 members, as well as public channels. Now, the app enables Russian citizens to access first-hand information, which includes news and video from the war scene in Ukraine, thereby countering Russian propaganda, according to hstoday.us.
Founded in 2013 by Pavel Durov, a Russian entrepreneur who resisted pressure from the Russian government.
Its great popularity is attributed to the conceptual foundation it is built on: it is a trustworthy communication platform that is an alternative to social networks that may be monitored or censored.
Social networks have increasingly become important in organizing social protests in recent years. Using Telegram in 2020, citizens of Belarus were able to organize via the app’s various channels, attend protest demonstrations in person, and receive reliable news during censorship. As a result of Russia’s war against Ukraine, Telegram continues to serve as a common communication platform between Russians and Ukrainians, as well as providing real-time data to journalists, international citizens, organizations across the globe, and anyone seeking firsthand information.
Over 60% of Russians have downloaded the Telegram app according to a Deloitte study conducted in 2021, meaning Telegram is more popular in Russia than Twitter and Facebook. In the context of the war, where Russian censorship is on the rise and social networks are blocked, Telegram may become a key player in enabling Russian citizens to receive information from the field, thus challenging government propaganda.
Tens of thousands of Ukrainians have created a channel in Telegram app to centralize messages and government guidelines following the outbreak of the Corona plague, according to wired.com. Following the Russian invasion, an initiative was organized to change the channel’s subject to politics, and that was what happened. As a result, it became the main channel for reporting the war’s events, as well as a reliable source for Ukrainian citizens and other interested parties.