Telegram just added a feature that makes it easier for users to delete any message they’ve ever sent — or any message they’ve ever received.
The service announced this weekend that users can now delete messages from both individual conversations and group chats; however, unlike other services, deleting a message will delete it from the record for every user in the chat, not just the person who deletes it.
This is in stark contrast to something like Twitter direct messaging, where users can remove messages they personally don’t want to see, but the message will remain for everyone else in the chat. Even the WhatsApp and Facebook unsend features are limited to messages sent by the user who wants to delete them.
Telegram has given people the power to erase messages sent by anyone with no time limit.
The app has allowed people to unsend their own messages since 2017, but it only worked for 48 hours after the messages were sent.
Telegram sells itself as a messenger app with more concern for user privacy than most. This newest update was spun that way in the app’s official blog announcement, as Telegram boasted that users now had complete control over their conversations.
“For us, your private data is sacred,” Telegram’s announcement said. “We never use your data to target ads. We never disclose your data to third parties. We store only what is absolutely necessary for Telegram to work.”
Whether it’s good for privacy or not, Telegram users might find that this feature makes chats unusable in the wrong hands and without any restrictions. If someone is in a group conversation with friends and doesn’t look at their phone for a few hours, they could miss entire discussions if someone else in the chat decides to just nuke them.
It’s an element of chaos heretofore unseen in most messenger apps.