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Apple orders Telegram to block some Belarus protest channels

Or else Apple will kick Telegram off of iPhones.

is now forcing to take down three channels that are being used in Belarus to push back against the country’s authoritative regime.

Of late, the country has seen severe political instability, as the country’s incumbent Alexander Lukashenko allegedly won the 2020 elections by rigging it and getting re-elected amidst intense public backlash for his previous term. Lukashenko “won” 80.10% of the vote.

Citizens of the country, displeased with the election outcome, took to the streets and paved the way to country-wide protests.

Now, while all of this is going on, citizens have been using Telegram to communicate and share the details of law enforcement that are targeting them. Apple believes that such activity may lead to further violence, because of which it is demanding Telegram shut those channels down for iOS users – even though it’s accessible on other platforms.

While Telegram does not want to do so, it is left with no other option but to comply. Nearly 15% of the country’s population uses iPhones and not complying with Apple’s demands would lead to the app being kicked out of the App Store, resulting in it losing a huge chunk of its users.

“I think this situation is not black and white and would rather leave the channels be, but typically Apple doesn’t offer much choice for apps like Telegram in such situations,” said the messaging platform’s CEO in his Telegram channel.

He then said that those three channels Apple wants out of Telegram on its phones may be available across other platforms, such as Android.

Among all the things that the Telegram CEO revealed, here is what’s most concerning: Apple apparently restricts app developers from informing their users that some content from their app has been hidden on request by Apple.

“Apple should realize how ridiculous their attempt to globally censor content looks.”

It isn’t the first time the Telegram CEO Pavel Durov has voiced out his opinions against big tech platforms such as Apple. Previously, he commented that Apple’s iCloud is a “surveillance tool.”

Defend free speech and individual liberty online. 

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