Apple is being sued to remove Telegram from the App Store

Telegram Messenger
Telegram Messenger (Image credit: Luke Filipowicz/iMore)

What you need to know

  • The Coalition for a Safer Web has sued Apple to ban Telegram from the App Store.
  • The group argues that Telegram has failed, like Parler, to moderate extremist and violent content on its service.

As reported by The Washington Post, Apple has been sued in federal court on Sunday by Coalition for a Safer Web. The group, a "nonpartisan group that advocates for technologies and policies to remove extremist content from social media," is demanding that the company remove the Telegram (opens in new tab) messaging app from the App Store.

The lawsuit states that Telegram has, like Parler, failed to moderate and prevent violent and extremist content to ran rampant on its service.

The suit amounts to a pressure tactic to get Apple to act against Telegram as it already has against Parler, a social media site that swelled with calls for violence and insurrection ahead of the Capitol siege, according to researchers. Apple and Google both have booted Parler from their app stores because of its lax moderation policies, and Amazon Web Services withdrew support as well, disabling Parler last week on the same grounds. Telegram offers both closed, private chat rooms and public groups that anyone with the app can join.

The coalition's president, Marc Ginsberg, a former U.S. ambassador to Morocco, says that "Telegram stands out by itself as the superspreader [of hateful speech], even compared to Parler." Telegram is a popular service because of its end-to-end encryption, which has made it a popular app for those seeking data privacy. However, that same technology has also made the app become a popular service for right-wing extremists and other violent groups.

The company has resisted calls to do the same for right-wing accounts that post racist and anti-Semitic messages. Telegram took down some prominent public groups that were calling for violence, but many other feeds remain active on the service. Some police officials have also said the migration from Parler to Telegram has made it harder for them to monitor extremists and prepare for potential attacks.

When Apple removed Parler from the App Store, it said that "while there is no perfect system to prevent all dangerous or hateful user content, apps are required to have robust content moderation plans in place to proactively and effectively address these issues." According to Ginsberg, Telegram should be banned for the exact same reasons.

You can read the full report at The Washington Post.

Joe Wituschek
Contributor

Joe Wituschek is a Contributor at iMore. With over ten years in the technology industry, one of them being at Apple, Joe now covers the company for the website. In addition to covering breaking news, Joe also writes editorials and reviews for a range of products. He fell in love with Apple products when he got an iPod nano for Christmas almost twenty years ago. Despite being considered a "heavy" user, he has always preferred the consumer-focused products like the MacBook Air, iPad mini, and iPhone 13 mini. He will fight to the death to keep a mini iPhone in the lineup. In his free time, Joe enjoys video games, movies, photography, running, and basically everything outdoors.

4 Comments
  • Better: Get rid of telephones period and shut down the Postal Service. Block all communications that can't be monitored. End privacy.
    (Spoiler: The plaintiff is a conservative ignoring the difference between a social platform and a communication app.)
    BTW: Clearly nothing non-partisan about CSW.
  • What next? How about all email being scanned for hateful content? And what's that bozo doing on the corner spouting stuff I don't want to hear? These fanatics are never going to stop trying to sanitise the world till it looks exactly the way THEY want. Read my lips sanitisers: we don't need your stinking interference in our freedoms. If you want to live in a society where only official views are permitted: try North Korea or China.
  • How convenient... any chance Apple is in cahoots with this 'non-partisan' group? Perfect set up - arrange to get sued - don't really defend yourself - now blame the courts for FORCING you to comply --- nicely done!
  • You've been smokin' that stuff again. I told you it rots your brain. Apple doesn't need to be in cahoots with anyone... it's been adhering to the same privacy concepts since the
    late 1970's. And doing pretty well too. Let's recognize when a company does good things for the right reasons and leave our cynicism for the Facebooks and Googles of this world.