Since the insurrection and sedition attempt by pro-Trump supporters that stormed the US Capitol last week, several, if not all major social networks have been doing, ironically, the equivalent of a deep cleansing of their messaging services. In the case of Telegram, the messaging app recently began sifting out channels that it believes is inciting hatred and violence.
Telegram has already confirmed that since the incident, it has removed channels that it deems to be inciting violence by the dozens, and still ongoing. The company also confirmed that several of the removed channels are said to have promoted white supremacy ideology, Nazi iconography, as well as other forms of far-right extremism.
While we do not defend extremist or racist ideology, it should be pointed out that a portion of far-right accounts that have been banned by Telegram were reportedly not focused on US politics, neither were they focused on Pro-Trump nor QAnon conspiracies.
Since the attack on the US Capitol, Telegram and alternative messaging apps to WhatsApp, such as Parler and Signal, have experienced an exponential increase in the number of users. Just this week, the former saw its userbase grow by 25 million new users; this can also be contributed to the change in WhatsApp’s data sharing policy, which stated that it would share all information directly with its parent company, Facebook.
Axl Tan contributed to this article.