Germany has slapped Telegram with a $5 million fine for refusing to comply with German censorship orders.
The Federal Office of Justice claimed that the messaging platform has refused to create a way for users to report illegal content or established a physical office where complaints can be filed, as required by German laws governing social media platforms.
German authorities added that their attempts to contact Telegram executives in the United Arab Emirates have failed. A law firm based in Germany said it was representing Telegram but that is not adequate compliance, according to the Federal Office of Justice.
“The operators of messaging services and social networks bear a particular responsibility for acting against incitement to hatred and violence on their platforms,” Justice Minister Marco Buschmann said in a statement. “These legal requirements and this responsibility can't be avoided by trying to be unreachable.”
Telegram can appeal the fine.
Telegram has come under fire from the German government in recent years. Earlier this year, federal police warned that the messaging platform was being used for “radicalization” and to target doctors, politicians, and scientists involved in the Covid response.