After meeting with German government officials, Telegram has blocked several channels, one of which is run by Attila Hildmann, who has been labeled a Covid “conspiracy theorist” by the media.
The messaging platform appears to have caved to the political pressure and the block has been implemented not only through the app versions of Telegram (which have in the past been censored due to Apple and Google app store rules) but on the web and desktop versions too.
To German users, the channel gives the message: “This channel can’t be displayed because it violated local laws.”
According to the Der Spiegel newspaper, a total of 64 channels were blocked under this new ban.
Hildmann has been accused of being a conspiracy theorist who made anti-semitic statements, Der Spiegel reported. The vegan chef has also been accused of calling for violence against government officials. A warrant for his arrest was issued in early 2021 for incitement to violence.
However, he fled to Turkey before the police arrested him.
The blocks only apply in Germany and appears to be tied to when German phone numbers are used to create the Telegram account.
This is the first time Telegram appears to have blocked a channel locally.
But Germany has recently called for the regulation of Telegram because of the spread of “misinformation” and more. Interior Minister Nancy Faeser has previously gone as far as threatening to ban Telegram in Germany.
Faeser described a meeting with Telegram as a “good success,” with the Interior Ministry saying the messenger had shown “the greatest possible willingness to cooperate.”