The German establishment reacts sharply to the instant messaging service Telegram, which allows freedom of expression for its users. There is talk of blocking the service, Watson reports.
“What is spread on Telegram is not only disgusting and indecent, it is often also criminal,” said Germany’s newly appointed Liberal justice Minister Marco Buschmann on Monday.
Politicians and the media around Germany are now sounding the alarm about “right-wing extremists” and Covid critics that they can use Telegram for the free exchange of views and to organize demonstrations.
The service has become increasingly popular as political censorship of social media has increased.
“As for the Telegram, the state must react quickly,” Thuringian Interior Minister Georg Maier (SPD) told Süddeutsche Zeitung on Tuesday.
If the service does not get significantly better at censoring, “fines must follow,” Maier continued. He pointed out that there are many vaccine sceptics and supporters of the “far-right Alternative for Germany” in Thuringia and that these groups must be stopped.
Georg Maier emphasizes that so-called geoblocking – that the service is completely blocked in certain regions – may become relevant.
The German media sound the alarm that “radical corona deniers” in particular use Telegram.
The German Green Party and the Liberal Party FDP, both in the new left-wing government, want to change the law so that companies providing messaging services are forced to report “hate crimes” committed by users. Such a censorship law already applies to ordinary social media such as Facebook and Twitter in Germany.
Source: Fria Tider