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 singular supply of knowledge that doesn’t amplify propaganda, not like different algorithmic apps, on account of Telegram’s construction of solely exhibiting data when a consumer subscribes to a channel.

“It’s all the time tempting to behave on emotional impulses,” Durov mentioned in his Telegram put up. “However such advanced conditions require thorough consideration that also needs to have 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 singular supply of first-hand info for researchers, journalists, and fact-checkers.”

Meta, TikTok revised their content material moderation insurance policies in mild 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, straight contradicts Durov’s earlier place.

When attempting 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’s not 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 supply dependable, correct info to individuals by our merchandise.”

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