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Ukrainian National Security Council Secretary on Telegram's danger: De-anonymisation and journalistic standards needed

Wednesday, 15 November 2023, 12:30
Ukrainian National Security Council Secretary on Telegram's danger: De-anonymisation and journalistic standards needed

Oleksii Danilov, Secretary of the National Security and Defence Council of Ukraine, believes that work should be done to de-anonymise Telegram channels in Ukraine, as anonymity and lack of responsibility help to spread Russian narratives.

Source: Danilov on Facebook

Quote: "The main threat that comes from the activities of a certain group of Telegram channels is the anonymity of their owners and the absence of any responsibility for the dissemination of unverified, falsified and deliberately manipulative information. Taking these peculiarities into account, the Russian regime widely uses Telegram platforms to try to destabilise Ukrainian society.


The main requirement for Telegram channels is to de-anonymise their activities and comply with generally accepted journalistic standards.

Among the measures for threat prevention are media literacy and ongoing work to identify and expose the facts of disinformation and manipulation. In parallel with this, the process of creating a high-quality Ukrainian information product and creating a situation of content dominance in the Ukrainian Telegram segment should go hand in hand."

Details: Danilov has said recently in an interview that he does not use Telegram because he considers it dangerous and vulnerable.

He added on 15 November that the topic of Telegram channels had sparked a lively discussion in the media and the Telegram community, which was mainly "outraged by the expressed warnings about their activities and the risks they pose".

Danilov explained his position. He believes that Telegram channels should not be anonymous: "Those responsible for disseminating information that reaches and influences an audience of millions should be known."

After all, the anonymous dissemination of "air defence systems’ response to Russian missiles and drones, the movement of the Defence Forces, and the location of military units" harms the lives of dozens of civilians and soldiers.

In addition, the Russian regime has begun to use and create Telegram networks to manipulate public opinion, spread disinformation and operate fake news: "2019 saw the peak of Russian secret services' activity in infiltrating political Telegram channels and technologies that were tested in a number of variations in 2014-15 in occupied territories into the Ukrainian information space."

Danilov also added that a network of Telegram channels administered by the 85th Main Special Service Centre of the Russian Armed Forces, which is basically a psychological operations unit, is still popular in Ukraine.

He emphasised that the threat of Putin's regime's influence on the 10-million Ukrainian audience of Telegram users has not disappeared.

Danilov added that pro-Russian anonyms should be countered with a high-quality Ukrainian product that has authors and an open editorial policy. In particular, he mentioned the Telegram channel of Vitalii Kim, Head of Mykolaiv Oblast Military Administration, and the one of blogger Ihor Lachenkov.

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