Avoid censorship on Telegram

As we already covered it seems likely that Telegram values freedom of speech, that doesn't mean that you are free to have any political opinion here, but that's not entirely because of Telegram.

Contents
- What happened to Telegram -
- When your channel gets blocked -
- What to do -

 

What happened to Telegram?

Since Telegram is becoming a freedom of speech heaven "they" found out that the only way to stop this is to stop Telegram itself.

Claiming that they don't want inappropriate content in their platform, Apple requested Telegram to apply to the App Store Guidelines, or else they wouldn't support Telegram anymore.
As this happened, users started to see their public channels blocked, even though they never posted nsfw content but they were posting stuff about politics.
Using the @CheckRestrictionBot to know what happened to their channel they soon found out this:
"appleviolence-ios: Unfortunately, this channel couldn't be displayed on your device because it violates Apple App Store Review Guidelines, section 1.1.1."
What does this mean?
"1.1.1 Defamatory, discriminatory, or mean-spirited content, including references or commentary about religion, race, sexual orientation, gender, national/ethnic origin, or other targeted groups, particularly if the app is likely to humiliate, intimidate, or place a targeted individual or group in harm’s way. Professional political satirists and humorists are generally exempt from this requirement."

What today is labeled as "hate speech" is actively suppressed by Apple, further reducing our freedom.
Not just Apple though, almost the same thing is happening on Windows with the UWP Telegram app from the Microsoft Store (Microsoft Store Policies, section 11.5) even though far less channels are hit by this today.
If you are a regular user that just wants the channels he joined back, what you have to do is using a third party Telegram client that allows you to see channels that should be blocked for your OS. If you are on IOS use Nicegram, if you are on Windows use the application that Telegram provides you from their own website.

 

When your channel gets blocked

You can easily check through the bot mentioned before whether your channel is blocked or not, and if it is then it will face these consequences:
>obviously some users, depending on which OS the channel has been banned from, won't be able to see the channel anymore<
>it won't be visible on the public search on Telegram<
>the channel description will be obscured for everyone<
>post links won't be previewed<

Yeah, it could pretty much kill your channel growth.

 

What to do

There are several things you can do to improve your situation.

First of all, if you are running a public channel, you should create another public channel that shares the same name of the blocked one.
There you would make just one post, with a link to the blocked channel.
This will solve the blacklist of your channel from the public search, as this new channel linking to the main one is probably not going to be blocked.

The second step is to make your subscribers know of the condition of your channel, and what they can do to still reach your posts. Keep in mind that you can't count anymore on the channel description and anything you write there will not be read by anyone. You can replace it with a pinned post for example.

You would want to include a suggestion to use Nicegram or other alternatives along with an explanation of what's happening, in your non-blocked channel.
There's also another thing you can do to improve your situation if you have a huge following that you don't want to lose.

You can create bots for free without coding. and you could use them to forward your channel posts to other chats/channels (@Fowarderbot or @IFTTT) or directly to the bots subscribers (@Manybot or @youraradbot).

With the first kind of bot you can set up more than one channels or chats in which the bot would simply forward what's posted in your blocked channel. So if one of your new chat/channel gets blocked you can always rely on another one.
One more tip, if you want to include in these new channels the previous posts from the blocked channel, you can do it using the backup bot that you can find on this site's projects.

You can also choose to use a bot for just forwarding directly your posts to the bot's subscribers. This method though may result in the bot getting blocked as well, even though it seems extremely unlikely that it could happen (bots are usually blocked just for nsfw content). The pros of using this kind of bot is the possibility to add buttons and manage in a cleaner way your channel's content.
As far as we know, you are not able to easily backup a bot created in this way unless you are the one hosting the bot itself.

If you have other solution in mind let us know it. If you are a bot developer and you are willing to add your own solution to this problem contact us as well.