How Telegram Took My Unique Username
I am one of the first users on Telegram. When Telegram launched and I used that, I encouraged all of my friends and family to use it instead of other instant messengers like WhatsApp and Viber.
After Telegram introduced the username, I got the @saman username on Telegram just like my first name. After a while, because of many disturbing messages, I changed my username to a Telegram channel. Also, I reported the problem to the Telegram by email, but they never answered.
On April’s 11th, Telegram’s support messaged me this:
Hello, this is Telegram Support. Sorry to bother you, but this information is important:
One of your channels had the username @saman in our system. While Telegram usernames are served on first come — first serve basis, there is one exception to this rule:
Since we are a small company and don’t have large legal departments, we outsource all username disputes to older established social networks.
What this means, is that if a person or a company is using the same username on at least _two_ of these three networks: Twitter, Facebook, Instagram — we consider it to be part of their online identity and will be willing to give them that username, should they contact us and ask for it.
I’m afraid, this is exactly the case of your channel @saman, another user owns this username on two of these networks. Unfortunately, we’ll have to recall your channel’s username. We are deeply sorry that this had to happen.
In case you own this name as a trademark or have some other legal claim regarding it, kindly provide the details to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Who is behind this?
So, I was confused. Who is behind this? Because I knew that the Twitter and Instagram @saman username are inactive users. So I explored, and find out a person with the same first name of mine, claimed both Instagram and Twitter usernames. So, he tells the Telegram’s support, and they sent me above message.
I wanted to know him more. I searched more to find out. I realized he calls himself a hacker. There are a few interviews (in Farsi) with him about hacking. But at my point of view, he was not a hacker, he was a cheater who just used the Instagram bug to reset the accounts’ password. By this bug he got access to many famous/celebrities accounts; even Brazzers company on Instagram. He was being famous with these hacking stuff. Also, invited to Iran’s national television for those! He got about 10k followers on Instagram.
Getting Twitter account
Furthermore, I’ve been active on Twitter since 2010, and I knew that Twitter “usually” do not free inactive users for claiming by others. I don’t know but he got Twitter account also. I guess based his Instagram’s famous account and his followers, he reported that inactive user and took the account based on Twitter rules. Now the age of his account is just one month!
Try to take the username
After all, he called the Telegram and wanted my unique username!
I explain the problem to Telegram’s Support with more than 5 emails and many messages. I told them I have same usernames on GitHub, Dribbble, and Medium. I wrote for them it is not the right way. I reported all of the interviews of that guy and told them he calls himself a hacker. Even I sent them his profile on zone-h. But it did not work and on April’s 25th Telegram’s support sent me this:
Thank you for your patience. I understand your points and I can see that Saman is a popular Persian name. But as I’ve mentioned, we have an established procedure for username disputes and we outsource them to older established social networks, so Telegram users can claim their username in case they are using the same on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram (at least two of these three). It is possible to claim usernames made from common names this way too, not just brand names.
I am deeply sorry that this had to happen to your username. Please consider choosing a different one — and thank you for your well-considered arguments, even though I can’t bring good news to you in return.
What should I do with my privacy?
I am semi-popular on social medias and Iran’s IT community. Many people on social media and real life knew me by that username. It was like my phone number. What should you do if someone took ownership of your phone number? Yes! in the worse way that guy can pretend he is me. What about consequences? Who is responsible? Nobody!
I explained the problem more and more to Telegram’s support but it said just consider a new username.