Telegram apparently blocks several channels

style="float: right; margin-bottom: 10px; font-weight: 600;"Thu 10th Feb, 2022

The operators of the chat platform Telegram have blocked several channels of the extreme right-wing Corona denier Attila Hildmann, as various media report.

Instead of inflammatory content against the state and Corona politics, one now sees the notice in English: "This channel cannot be displayed because it violates local laws."

A total of seven channels are affected, reports "Der Spiegel." However, the service had already blocked some of them in the smartphone app in June 2021. On the desktop and in the web application, they were still accessible afterwards, reports the think tank "Center for Monitoring, Analysis and Strategy" on Twitter.

He criticizes the platform: "The approach has always been arbitrary," the experts on right-wing extremism and conspiracy theories write further. In December, Telegram had restricted or blocked 25 relevant German-language groups, in January already 120 - "yet there was still no systematic approach here."

They believe: "You can still find calls for murder and violent fantasies on Telegram every day. Presumably, this will not change anytime soon." Telegram has too few employees, so Hildmann's blocking becomes a fig leaf.

In Austria, for example, the channels of the vegan chef and neo-Nazi are still available, as the author and journalist Ingrid Brodnig reports.

Several Twitter users refer to an entry on Hildmann's homepage, which already dates from February 6 and begins with the words: "My Telegram time is over". He now distributes his content via his homepage and yet still via Telegram - for "everyone who knows how to get to my censored channel."

Hildmann is an icon of the anti-Semitic and conspiracy-theory scene, has been convicted several times and has been wanted on an arrest warrant since last year, for which he absconded to Turkey. He apparently had informers in the Berlin judiciary.

The Telegram service has long been in the sights of the security authorities because right-wing extremists and corona deniers arrange there for violent protests and attacks. They had also marched in front of the homes of several politicians, such as that of Saxony's Social Affairs Minister Petra Köpping (SPD), and sent death threats, including to Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania's Minister President Manuela Schwesig (SPD).

Federal Interior Minister Nancy Faeser (SPD) had initially threatened to shut down Telegram as an "ultima ratio", and then again distanced herself from this threat. Last week, according to Faeser, talks were held with the platform operators - after the federal government initially failed for a long time to contact the company at all and enlisted Apple's help to obtain a summonable address.

Photo by Adem AY


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