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Review: Telegram for activists?

Great functionality, bad privacy practice
Last update: Jan 18, 2021

Telegram is an open source messaging app. It works for one-to-one conversations, but it also allows for massive communities.

The app has gained significant popularity among activists, partly because of privacy concerns with competitors such as WhatsApp. However, security experts do not recommend Telegram (because of the use of non-standardised encryption methods and the lack of end-to-end encryption by default). This does not necessarily mean you should not use the app. Just do not switch to the app for the wrong reasons.

TL;DR: Telegram offers great features for large movements. However, it one of the least secure and privacy friendly options out there. Also make sure to check out our reviews of other chats apps.


Compared to the big giants, Telegram has a relatively small number of users, but usage among activists is more common.

Monthly active users?


Telegram is useful if you want to keep a super large number of people informed on a subject in a semi public way using group messaging.

Max size75K
Broadcast messagesyes/no
Restrict who can add membersyes/no
Restrict who can edit group infoyes/no
Restrict who can send messagesyes/no
Mentioning specific peopleyes/no
Inline commentsyes/no
Disappearing messagesyes/no
Platformslist of platforms

Security and privacy

Open sourceyes
End-to-end encryptionnot by default, it is possible to manually start a secret chat with someone, but not for groups
Collection of personal information?
Collection of metadata?
Trustworthy owner?

Price and revenue model

Sells personal data?
Sells personalised ads?
Is a nonprofitno

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