WhatsApp bans Telegram links: Talk app won’t let people click on links to its competitor
The stir seems to have come with a silent update, and won’t let people copy as well as click on links
- Andrew Griffin
- Tuesday one December two thousand fifteen 14:41 GMT
The Independent Tech
WhatsApp shows up to have banned links to its competitor, Telegram.
Facebook’s talk app won’t let people click on or copy any links that include the address of Telegram, an app that serves much the same function.
The links still showcase up in the messages but just as plain text.
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The problem shows up to be limited to Android and has appeared in the app overnight, without any notification or explanation. It doesn’t seem to happen on every device and iPhone versions of the app show up to have escaped.
If users attempt and share a link that starts with Telegram.me or Telegram.org, it will display up only as text and not as a link. The message also seems to be limited in other ways — the app seems to ban people from copy and pasting the link, so that it must be opened up by writing it back into a fresh window.
The block also affects Telegram.com, an unrelated site that is run by a local newspaper in the US.
Facebook has pursued similar tactics before.
In 2010, it banned people from sharing links to The Pirate Bay in its Messenger system. And this year it banned fully any post that included a link to a competitor called Tsu.co, a puny invite-only social network.
But the fresh block is thought to be the very first time that WhatsApp has blocked any link.
It isn’t clear whether WhatsApp is banning the links on purpose or by accident. Facebook has previously said that its systems automatically ban certain links, without prompting, when the algorithm thinks that they might be being used for spam.
Facebook and WhatsApp did not originally react to a request for comment.