Telegram is an app that can be used to send texts or video chat, and to create private or public chat groups. It is founded on the importance of free speech, but its lack of regulation has turned the app into a haven for alt-right and neo-Nazi groups. Telegram is not all bad – it has been used by protesters in Hong Kong as an organizing tool, for instance – but it is host to hundreds of anti-Semitic, anti-Muslim, white nationalist, and violent men’s groups and is often the platform that alt-right personalities such as Alex Jones turn to when they’ve been kicked off of other social media outlets.
Recently it was revealed that one neo-Nazi community is using a public Telegram group to keep a list of Jewish people who have spoken out against white nationalism. Not much needs to be said about the threat of violence that that implies.
Telegram has regulated its public groups in the past in response to public pressure – so let’s put the pressure on again and get Telegram to clean up its act.
ACTION: Demand Apple remove Telegram from the app store
Threats of anti-Semitic violence are in clear violation of the App Store’s terms of service, which state that “Apps should not include content that is offensive, insensitive, upsetting, intended to disgust, in exceptionally poor taste, or just plain creepy.” Email or tweet at the App Store’s VP, Matt Fischer, to remove Telegram from the App Store until Telegram removes such inappropriate content. To be clear, this will not shut down the app - last year Telegram was temporarily removed from the App Store until they changed their filters to block offensive content, at which point they were returned to the store. Removal from the App Store is merely a strong incentive for Telegram to change their policies, and it has worked in the past.
Here is a template you can follow, adapted from an action posted by Sleeping Giants (link below).
VP of Apple App Store: Matt Fischer
“I’m reaching out to ask why Telegram is still available in the App Store despite the anti-Semitic behavior taking place on the platform. White nationalists are using Telegram to maintain a public list of Jewish people who have spoken out against white nationalism, which is offensive, insensitive, upsetting, and in exceptionally poor taste – all of which is in clear violation of Apple’s terms of service. Please review the activity taking place on Telegram and remove Telegram from the App Store unless the threatening neo-Nazi content on the app is removed. Thank you.”
The Sleeping Giants action: https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=2391140527795249&id=1799342366975071