WhatsApp has started blocking any links to competitor Telegram, with the URLs now appearing as a normal message rather than a hyperlink. Users are also blocked from copy-pasting the text, effectively treating the URL as spam. This was first reported by the Verge, after a thread on reddit pointed out the issue. Interestingly, it’s not just Telegram (the messenger) that is affected, rather any URL with Telegram as a domain name is blocked. This includes the media portal Telegram.com, and any stories linked to the website. The block does not seem to affect users using either the desktop or iOS client of WhatsApp. The block also doesn’t affect website like telegra, telegramz or other domains or links that might actually be illegal like torrent websites. Code points to intentional blocking: A part of the code responsible for blocking was uploaded to pastebin after some reddit users further investigated the matter. The code essentially confirms the blocking is intentional, as WhatsApp lists Telegram under the ‘BAD_HOST’ class, looking for the specific string not preceded by a word separator and followed by any top level domain. The block applies only in the latest version of WhatsApp 2.12.367 and previous versions still hyperlink to Telegram. Following Facebook’s footsteps: Last month, Facebook started blocking Tsu, a social network that pays users by sharing revenues users generate by posting on the site. According to the CEO of the startup, Facebook even removed any mention of the site retroactively from its archives. According to Facebook however, this block…
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