Social Worker and Daas Torah Recommend Alternatives to Telegram

Social Worker and Daas Torah Recommend Alternatives to Telegram

Hello Boro Park 24,

     Thank you for the wonderful service you provide to our kehilla. You keep everyone updated, while working hard to maintain the proper levels kedusha, of which you do a great job!

     My name is Yitzchok Tannenbaum, and I am a social worker who works in Chemed, in private practice, and in Cheder Toras Zev through the Silver Care agency in Lakewood. I want to point out that many Yidden in our community, who otherwise have filters on their computers, downloaded Telegram without realizing that using the app allows for greater access to unfiltered content.

    Rabbi Yitzchok Leizerson, who represents Mishor, which is a technology awareness group that is similar TAG, but focuses on teenagers, yesterday wrote the following statement about Telegram:

     Over the past few days, after being notified that they must consent to sharing their numbers, locations, and chats with Whatsapp’s parent company, Facebook, many Whatsapp users have switched to Telegram, however, Whatsapp and Telegram are not interchangeable, and Telegram may, in fact, prove to be detrimental to our community.

   I compared and contrasted WhatsApp and Telegram with da’as Torah, and we concluded that WhatsApp is much more appropriate because it better limits the people and material that can be accessed by users.

For instance, Whatsapp users must be invited to join groups via links, so users cannot merely search and join any groups they want.

On Telegram, however, without being invited, users can search and join any groups without regard for kashrus.

Furthermore, WhatsApp moderates its content better than Telegram, which allows inappropriate and even illegal sites.

In contrast to WhatsApp’s policy to limit groups to 256 members, on Telegram, groups can contain hundreds of thousands of people, who can all message each other privately.

While WhatsApp users cannot remain anonymous because everyone in every group can see group members’ phone numbers, on Telegram, users can remain anonymous by hiding their numbers and using fake usernames. 

In addition, although WhatsApp only allows videos that are shorter than three minutes, on Telegram, movies that are hours long can be posted.

    Although frum groups might be tempted to use Telegram because the app allows for larger groups and longer videos, two more kosher alternatives that are available on the App Store and Play Store are: TelOchat and Teleteen, which both have great messaging features, but without the dangers that Telegram can pose to our community. 

    Readers can find more information by calling Rabbi Yitzchok Leizerson at (848) 525-6309 or Yitzchok Tannenbaum at (718) 288-8354. To sign up for Mishor's weekly emails, readers may contact (732) 894-4515.

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