Tuesday, November 28, 2023

Pavel Durov, the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Telegram, has announced that the communication channels affiliated with Hamas will continue to function on the app. This declaration arrives amid considerable scrutiny and criticism that Telegram has received for permitting the Palestinian group to disseminate war-focused content on its platform. Durov contended that deactivating these communication pathways could potentially worsen an already critical scenario.

Telegram CEO Advocates for the Continuation of Hamas Channels

Telegram has been under significant media attention because of its use by Hamas for the broadcasting of content related to armed conflict. Reports indicate that over 125 videos depicting Hamas-led offensives against Israel have been disseminated through the group’s official channel on Telegram. This has led various mainstream media outlets and activists to criticize Telegram for enabling the hosting of such materials.

Yasmin Green, the Chief Executive Officer of Jigsaw—a Google-owned entity that investigates threats to open societies—expressed to CNBC her concerns that this type of content may encourage the followers of Hamas to coordinate further acts of violence. Additionally, Rolling Stones reported that Telegram serves as a conduit for unverified information that eventually appears on Platform X (previously known as Twitter), creating a duo of platforms that disseminate disinformation.

Contrastingly, while Platform X has been proactive in removing war-related posts and is currently undergoing an inquiry by the European Union, Telegram has opted for a different strategy.

Durov’s Rationale: Deactivating Hamas Channels Could Aggravate an Already Tense Situation

Pavel Durov defended Telegram’s stance of allowing channels associated with Hamas to remain operational. He emphasized that although the platform’s moderators remove millions of pieces of “clearly harmful content,” the issue of war-related content presents more nuanced challenges.

Durov elucidated:

Earlier this week, Hamas used Telegram to issue warnings to civilians in Ashkelon, advising them to vacate the area ahead of planned missile strikes. The question then arises: Would terminating their channel contribute to saving lives, or might it actually put more lives at risk?

Moreover, Durov pointed out that while other social media platforms expose users to “startling content” without their explicit consent, Telegram’s users only receive content to which they have actively subscribed. He argued that the unlikelihood of Telegram being utilized to magnify propaganda makes this content valuable as “primary-source material” for journalists, fact-checkers, and academic researchers.

In conclusion, Durov cautioned against the simplistic action of eradicating such content, warning that such a move “could exacerbate an already critical situation.”

We invite your thoughts on Telegram’s policy regarding Hamas-related content. Kindly share your opinions in the comments section below.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Telegram’s stance on Hamas channels

What is the main subject of the article?

The main subject of the article is Telegram’s decision to keep communication channels associated with Hamas operational. Telegram CEO Pavel Durov defends this choice, despite considerable criticism.

Who is Pavel Durov and what is his role in this context?

Pavel Durov is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Telegram. He has taken a public stance defending the platform’s decision to allow Hamas-affiliated channels to remain active, citing the complexity of war-related content moderation and potential repercussions of shutting them down.

What kind of content has Hamas been posting on Telegram?

Hamas has been using its official Telegram channel to post over 125 videos depicting its military activities against Israel. The content is described as war-focused and has generated significant criticism aimed at Telegram.

What is Yasmin Green’s opinion on this matter?

Yasmin Green, CEO of Jigsaw, a Google-owned organization, has expressed concerns that such content may encourage followers of Hamas to coordinate further violent activities. She shared her views in an interview with CNBC.

How is Platform X (formerly known as Twitter) different in handling such content?

Platform X has taken a more active approach by removing war-related posts. It is also currently facing an investigation by the European Union for its content moderation practices, in contrast to Telegram’s less proactive approach.

What does Pavel Durov say about the potential consequences of shutting down Hamas’ Telegram channels?

Pavel Durov argues that terminating these channels could exacerbate an already tense and volatile situation. He suggests that the presence of such channels may serve as valuable primary-source material for journalists, fact-checkers, and academic researchers.

How does Telegram’s content delivery differ from other social media platforms, according to Durov?

According to Durov, while other platforms may expose users to startling or shocking content without their explicit consent, Telegram’s users only receive content to which they have actively subscribed. He believes this minimizes the risk of propaganda amplification.

What does Durov suggest would happen if such content were eradicated?

Durov warns against taking the simplistic action of eradicating such content. He cautions that doing so could worsen an already critical situation by impeding the flow of information that could be useful for various stakeholders.

More about Telegram’s stance on Hamas channels

  • Telegram’s Official Statement on Content Moderation
  • CNBC Interview with Yasmin Green
  • Rolling Stones Article on Social Media and Disinformation
  • European Union Probe on Platform X’s Content Policies
  • Background on Hamas and Telegram Usage
  • Study on the Impact of Social Media in Conflict Zones


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MikeD87 October 16, 2023 - 10:52 am

i can’t believe Telegram is allowing this. Just seems irresponsible to me. What about the victims of these attacks?

JohnCrypto October 16, 2023 - 12:27 pm

This is why I’m skeptical about social media. It can be used for good and bad, but the problem is you can’t easily separate the two. We need better solutions.

SarahJ October 16, 2023 - 4:29 pm

Whoa, this is a tough call. I mean, freedom of speech is important but where do you draw the line? Especially when lives could be at risk.

Frank_W October 16, 2023 - 6:04 pm

This is a slippery slope, no doubt. But sometimes you have to make hard decisions, even if they’re unpopular. I guess time will tell if Durov made the right call.

LindaRights October 16, 2023 - 7:22 pm

if Durov is so concerned about the situation, why not add more layers of content filtering or warnings? Feels like a cop out to me.

Emily22 October 17, 2023 - 5:27 am

Its complicated. While I get Durov’s argument about first-hand information, I’m also worried about this kinda stuff inciting more violence.

Tech_Guru October 17, 2023 - 6:25 am

Durov has a point tho. its not easy moderating content related to conflict. And it could be a valuable resource for journalists and fact checkers.


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