Telegram Blocks Hamas Channels on Android

Telegram restricted entry to Hamas channels for Android customers, as reported by CNBC Wednesday, lower than two weeks after CEO Pavel Durov defended keeping them open. The messaging app with 700 million monthly active users reportedly blocked the official channel of Hamas and its navy wing, hamas_com and al-Qassam brigades, on Android gadgets.

Durov posted on Telegram on Oct. 13 saying Hamas used Telegram to warn civilians to depart an space forward of a missile strike, an instance of why these channels should be kept open as a novel supply of knowledge that doesn’t amplify propaganda, in contrast to different algorithmic apps, resulting from Telegram’s construction of solely displaying data when a person subscribes to a channel.

“It’s all the time tempting to behave on emotional impulses,” Durov stated in his Telegram put up. “However such advanced conditions require thorough consideration that must also keep in mind the variations between social platforms. As such, it’s unlikely that Telegram channels can be utilized to considerably amplify propaganda. As a substitute, they function a novel supply of first-hand data for researchers, journalists, and fact-checkers.”

Meta, TikTok revised their content material moderation insurance policies in gentle of the battle in Israel and Gaza earlier within the month, however the CEO’s assertion made Telegram an outlier. A brand new coverage for Android customers, nevertheless, immediately contradicts Durov’s earlier place.

When making an attempt to entry one of many blocked channels, a pop-up seems saying: “Sadly, this channel can’t be displayed on Telegram apps downloaded from the Google Play Retailer,” in accordance with CNBC.

It isn’t clear if Telegram has blocked the identical channels on IOS. The pop-up particularly factors to apps downloaded on Google Play, implying that the blocks are native to Android customers.

Telegram didn’t instantly reply to Gizmodo’s request for remark.

Google cooperated with the Israeli Defence Forces to disable live traffic updates on Google Maps and Waze to guard native communities. Firm CEO Sundar Pichai expressed concern for the victims of terrorist assaults in Israel on Oct. 10 in a post on X saying Google is “working to offer dependable, correct data to folks by our merchandise.”

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