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Telegram comes to the rescue following government restriction

News Desk

The Jakarta Post

Jakarta  /  Thu, May 23, 2019  /  01:30 pm
Telegram comes to the rescue following government restriction

A man walks by the Telegram logo in this stock image. The government on Wednesday restricted video- and image-sharing features on several digital sharing platforms following the election protests on May 21-22. (Bloomberg/ Chris Ratcliffe)

Telegram again came to the rescue on Thursday, when Indonesians looking to communicate with one another switched to the messaging app following the government's decision to temporarily limit user access to some features on WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Communications and Information Minister Rudiantara said on Wednesday that the temporary, limited restriction was applied to prevent the spread of fake news and misinformation following the series of protests and violent demonstrations that occurred in the capital on May 21-22.

Read also: Jakarta riot: Government temporarily limits access to social media, messaging apps

Indonesian netizens could be found on Thursday morning sharing their difficulties using WhatsApp and their experience with switching to Telegram – the highly encrypted messaging service developed by Russian brothers Nikolai and Pavel Durov.

Read also: Six things to know about Telegram

"I was forced to download Telegram by my office to support my work, since WhatsApp has not yet returned to normal," tweeted @syefira_nn on Thursday.

"Our head office's WhatsApp group is quiet. All automatically switched to Telegram," shared @fredyasyari.

"Not yet able to send photos and videos using WhatsApp. Only Telegram has remained normal, unaffected until today," tweeted @JemuneG.

It is unclear how many new Indonesian users had signed up to Telegram since Wednesday.

The limited restriction to WhatsApp affected almost the entire archipelago, including the islands of Java, Bali, Nusa Tenggara and some cities in Kalimantan, Sulawesi and Sumatra, tribunnews.com reported on Wednesday.

Earlier this year, The Verge reported on March 14 that Telegram, which had 200 million active users in March 2018, had gained 3 million new users in 24 hours following a global outage that affected Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp. (kes)