Telegram was temporarily removed from Apple's App Store for "inappropriate content" but has now been brought back, raising questions on what exactly was the violation of the popular encrypted communications app.
Users first speculated that the removal of Telegram from the App Store was related to the launch of the rewritten Telegram X for Android and the testing of the Swift-written version of the app for the iOS. However, this does not seem to be the case.
Telegram, Telegram X Disappear From Apple App Store
Both Telegram and Telegram X suddenly disappeared on Apple's App Store, and apparently, it was for "inappropriate content," as tweeted by the app's founder and CEO Pavel Durov.
We were alerted by Apple that inappropriate content was made available to our users and both apps were taken off the App Store. Once we have protections in place we expect the apps to be back on the App Store.
— Pavel Durov (@durov) February 1, 2018
It remains unclear what exactly resulted in the decision to take down Telegram from the App Store, but Durov's usage of the word "protections" in his tweet provides a hint.
In the User Generated Content section of the developer guidelines for iOS apps, Apple said that apps with user-generated content or social networking services, must implement certain features to prevent abuse. Telegram, as well as all other messaging apps, falls under this category.
The features that Apple requires are a method to filter objectionable material, a system for reporting offensive content, a method to block abusive users, and published information for users to contact the developer. However, Apple reserved the right to, without notice, remove apps that are used primarily for pornographic content, objectification of people, making physical threats, and bullying.
Telegram certainly enables sharing porn, also like other messaging apps. There is also speculation that the removal of the app from the App Store is related to the usage of the app by terrorists for their activities.
Telegram Criticized For Security
Telegram touts its advanced security features, offering users the ability to protect their conversations with end-to-end encryption. However, this same secretive nature has drawn criticism from governments, with the belief that the app is being used by terrorists in planning attacks.
We may never know the exact reason for Telegram's brief disappearance on the App Store. In any case, it is back and available for download, as again tweeted by Durov. The Telegram founder and CEO did not waste the opportunity to reveal impressive numbers for the app, with hundreds of thousands of daily downloads across iOS and Android devices.