Telegram Should Be Banned by Germany Unless It Tackles Extremist Content, Politician Says

Germany should order the removal of Telegram from Apple and Google’s app stores if Germany continues to ignore requests for help tracking extremist content, a senior German official said on Tuesday.

Wire Germany has been blamed for fostering an increasingly virulent subculture of anti-vaccine conspiracy theorists who exchange news about perceived threats and organize protests that have escalated into violence.

The app, which it says does not succumb to “government censorship”, has become increasingly popular with activists and protesters, especially as platforms such as Facebook Be more responsive to government pressure to crack down on those spreading lies, threats or conspiracy theories.

Telegram did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Last month, a group of protesters lit a torch outside the home of Saxony’s regional interior minister in what was widely seen as an implicit threat of violence against him.

“What is happening in Telegram groups and channels violates compliance rules Apple And Google who offer it in their stores,” Lower Saxony’s regional interior minister Boris Pistorius told Der Spiegel.

“We should speak to them immediately and persuade them to stop distributing Telegram,” he said.

Germany has some of the strictest compliance rules in the world for social media networks, which oblige them to respond swiftly to reports of extremist content.

But Telegram, which was founded in St Petersburg and is now based in Dubai, according to its website, has not responded to requests for assistance from Germany’s justice ministry to help track down the authors of extremist content.

The app, which presents itself as a liberal alternative to other messengers and social networks, has also garnered a devoted following among opposition activists in authoritarian countries such as Belarus and Russia, seeking to circumvent state censorship. Value your ability.

© Thomson Reuters 2021