Telegram is Said to Have Blocked 64 of Its Channels in Germany


Messenger service Telegram, which has proved popular with far-right groups and people protesting COVID-related restrictions, has blocked 64 of its channels in Germany, the Sueddeutsch Zeitung reported on Friday. Informed without giving The paper said the move came after Germany’s Federal Criminal Police Office sent a shutdown request to the messenger service.

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 newspaper said the affected channels included Attila Hildmann, a vegetarian celebrity chef who spread conspiracy theories about it. coronavirus To have over 100,000 followers on the messaging service.

Germany’s interior ministry, which last week said it had held constructive talks with Telegram representatives, was not immediately available for comment on the report. Telegram did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The Telegram app has become increasingly popular among 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.

Interior Minister Nancy Fesser said in comments published last month that Germany could shut down Telegram and that it was discussing with its allies in the European Union how to regulate the messenger service.

© Thomson Reuters 2021