Telegram in Armenia continues to be among the most actively downloaded applications in Armenia. Last year it became the most popular messenger in Armenia. As a result of the Russian-Ukrainian war, the interest in Telegram increased even more. And this time more as an information platform and social network than as the messenger itself.
The growth of this interest also has its unique dangers. As consumers, we need to understand how to use that platform, and how it differs from other social media networks. What are the characteristics that we should take into account:
A. Telegram is practically not moderated. Many videos, which would most likely be blocked on other social networks due to their brutality, are freely distributed here. And one must realize that one can meet unmodified, unfiltered photos and videos in the Telegram. This should also be understood in the case of the use of Telegram by minors. This messenger is not very popular among children, but it is necessary to understand that if desired, minors can come across any kind of dangerous content on Telegram.
B․ Anonymity in Telegram is a phenomenon that is traditionally encouraged. The admins of many channels are hidden. So it is necessary to understand that behind any arbitrary information channel may be a school, special services agent, or someone with an unhealthy worldview, the authenticity of which is almost impossible to find out. It should be noted that there are already verified channels in Telegram, the authenticity of the administrators of which has been checked by the messenger administration. They, like other social networks, are labeled with a blue symbol.
C․ There are many propaganda networks on Telegram, which work for the interests of different countries. For example, a channel with an Armenian name or surname can very easily be a source working against Armenia’s security, serving the interests of another country. The information disseminated through a channel with an arbitrary familiar name should not be accepted as a fact or an objective opinion.
D․ You can use a number of tools to form your own opinion on how independent this or that Telegram channel is or whether it is part of a large information network.
Thus, through the TGStat website, it is possible to see which channels on the given channel mainly link and which posts are distributed. It is also possible to see what other channels this source refers to. This often makes it possible to understand that the admins of the given channel, along with a number of other channels, are involved in information and propaganda activities.
In any case, Telegram is now one of the best sources of information. On the other hand, it is necessary to take the issue of lying there very seriously.
The views expressed in the column are those of the author's and do not necessarily reflect the views of Media.am.