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Apple is being sued to remove Telegram from the App Store

Apple is getting pressured to take Telegram off the App Store.

What you need to know

  • The Coalition for a Safer Web has sued Apple to ban Telegram from the App Store.
  • The group argues that Telegram has failed, like Parler, to moderate extremist and violent content on its service.

As reported by The Washington Post, Apple has been sued in federal court on Sunday by Coalition for a Safer Web. The group, a “nonpartisan group that advocates for technologies and policies to remove extremist content from social media,” is demanding that the company remove the Telegram messaging app from the App Store.

The lawsuit states that Telegram has, like Parler, failed to moderate and prevent violent and extremist content to ran rampant on its service.

The suit amounts to a pressure tactic to get Apple to act against Telegram as it already has against Parler, a social media site that swelled with calls for violence and insurrection ahead of the Capitol siege, according to researchers. Apple and Google both have booted Parler from their app stores because of its lax moderation policies, and Amazon Web Services withdrew support as well, disabling Parler last week on the same grounds. Telegram offers both closed, private chat rooms and public groups that anyone with the app can join.

The coalition’s president, Marc Ginsberg, a former U.S. ambassador to Morocco, says that “Telegram stands out by itself as the superspreader [of hateful speech], even compared to Parler.” Telegram is a popular service because of its end-to-end encryption, which has made it a popular app for those seeking data privacy. However, that same technology has also made the app become a popular service for right-wing extremists and other violent groups.

The company has resisted calls to do the same for right-wing accounts that post racist and anti-Semitic messages. Telegram took down some prominent public groups that were calling for violence, but many other feeds remain active on the service. Some police officials have also said the migration from Parler to Telegram has made it harder for them to monitor extremists and prepare for potential attacks.

When Apple removed Parler from the App Store, it said that “while there is no perfect system to prevent all dangerous or hateful user content, apps are required to have robust content moderation plans in place to proactively and effectively address these issues.” According to Ginsberg, Telegram should be banned for the exact same reasons.

You can read the full report at The Washington Post.

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