The German news outlet Süddeutsche Zeitung has reported that Telegram has blocked 64 channels in recent days following “massive pressure” from the German government. Among those who had been blocked from the platform was Attila Hildmann, a far-right German nationalist who was described by Süddeutsche Zeitung as an anti-Semite and “conspiracy ideologist”.
According to the report, Telegram was under pressure to shut down the accounts, which were spreading hatred. The pressure came from the Federal Ministry of the Interior and the Federal Criminal Police Office. Apparently, the government and Telegram will continue to be in close cooperation over the matter and Telegram CEO Pavel Durov has even attended a meeting in person to discuss the matter.
Commenting, Interior Minister Nancy Faeser said:
“On Telegram we are constantly experiencing new waves of hatred and threats against people and against our democracy. We act quickly and consistently against this. Telegram must no longer be an accelerator for right-wing extremists, conspiracy ideologues and other agitators. Death threats and other dangerous hate mail must be deleted and have clear criminal consequences. The Federal Criminal Police Office has significantly intensified the investigations. From day one in office, I put pressure on to get Telegram to cooperate. This pressure is working.”
Süddeutsche Zeitung said that the channel run by Attila Hildmann has not been accessible since Tuesday, it’s likely that the other channels became unaccessible around that time too.