If Zoom was everyone’s go-to platform in 2020, this year it is shaping up rather nicely for Telegram, especially as the mass exodus from WhatsApp continues. While the influx in new sign ups will please those in the boardroom, Telegram has another issue to contend with now – hate groups.
More specifically any groups that incite violence using its messaging platform. It is something that many digital platforms are contending with in the wake of the violent protests on the US Capitol earlier this month. Added to this is the inaccessibility of apps like Parler, which have long proved a meeting place for such groups.
As such, Telegram is systematically looking to purge itself of white supremacist groups, neo-Nazis or any others who would seek to use its platform to organise and share acts of violence. It is something that Facebook has been doing for the past 12 months, and more recently the likes of Twitter have been looking at.
This week alone, Telegram confirms that it has already removed dozens of accounts that were inciting violence.
“Our Terms of Service expressly forbid public calls to violence,” spokesperson Mike Ravdonikas told TechCrunch recently.
“In the past 24 hours we have blocked dozens of public channels that published calls to violence for thousands of subscribers,” he adds.
With the FBI reporting that similar protests to that of the US Capitol one are being planned across the US between 16th and 20th January, the last thing Telegram would want is for its platform to have been used as a vehicle to organise such events.
It is not only pro-Trump supports that the messaging service is targeting, however, with neo-Nazi and racial extremists also having their accounts removed. Regarding the former, a recently removed account had upwards of 10 000 followers, which is a worrying statistic in and of itself.
As more of these types of accounts continue to be de-platformed, one has to ask what other digital tool will they turn to instead?
For now anyway, Telegram does not look to be one of them.
[Source – TechCrunch]