Just two days away from Wednesday’s presidential inauguration, Telegram said it has spent much of the past two weeks monitoring the situation in the United States and taking enforcement action thereafter. In a message to his public channel spotted by The edge, wrote founder Pavel Durov, “Telegram welcomes peaceful debates and protests, but our terms of service explicitly prohibit the distribution of calls for violence.” Durov was quick to point out that what Telegram did was in line with actions the company had taken in the past regarding similar cases in Iran, Thailand, Hong Kong and other countries.
Following a growing number of reports in early January, “the team acted decisively in cracking down on US channels that advocated violence.” While less than two percent of telegrams nearly 500 million users originate from the United States and that the enforcement action affected only “hundreds” of channels, Durov says, Telegram has prevented these messages from filtering to “tens of thousands” of subscribers. That’s not to say that the service has stopped everyone from making the case for violence. Public channels are only part of the app. Telegram is also a messaging app that offers end-to-end encryption, and Durov’s post doesn’t address them.