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German minister demands Apple & Google remove Telegram from stores

German interior minister Nancy Faeser has accused Apple and Google of being “socially irresponsible” for failing to censor privacy-based messaging app Telegram from their app stores.

“We remind Apple and Google of their social responsibility,” Faesar tweeted.

“As long as they offer apps like #Telegram in their stores, they are also fuel the fire of rightwing extremism and conspiracy theories. No place for hate and calls for murder!”

Telegram, which was founded by Russian mathematicians and programmers Nikolai and Pavel Durov, has gained popularity across Europe in recent years as a privacy-based alternative to WhatsApp.

WhatsApp, which is owned by Facebook, has been the subject of controversy as regards user data and privacy, with the Irish data protection watchdog issuing the company with a €225m fine last year – the second largest GDPR fine in history.

As a result of such controversies, many groups across Europe – particularly those opposed to governments’ Covid responses – have flocked to Telegram as a messaging alternative. Many anti-lockdown and anti-vaccine mandate groups have sprung up across the continent, including in Germany.

The app is now estimated to have an average of 50 million daily users worldwide.

The German government has taken aim at Telegram in recent years, with the German authorities attempting to fine the app for failing to police users’ speech.

German politicians have threatened to outright ban the app unless it agrees to police posts and channels which the government deems to be “extremist content.”

Telegram’s founders previously said that in October “we welcomed over 70 million refugees from other platforms in one day.”

“We won’t fail you when others will,” they said.


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