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Germany weighs ban on Telegram, tool of conspiracy theorists

Illustrative: The messaging app Telegram is displayed on a smartphone. (AP Photo)
Illustrative: The messaging app Telegram is displayed on a smartphone. (AP Photo)

The German government is considering a ban on encrypted messaging app Telegram after it was repeatedly used as a channel for spreading anti-vaccine conspiracy theories and even death threats.

The app has also played a key role in mobilizing turnout at some of the most violent protests in opposition to the German government’s COVID-19 policies since the start of the pandemic.

With parliament due to begin debating compulsory vaccination on Wednesday, authorities fear that the controversial issue could risk firing up another wave of rage.

With this in mind, politicians have set their sights on tighter controls on Telegram.

Interior Minister Nancy Faeser will unveil plans by Easter to require the app to delete messages that contain death threats or hate speech and identify their authors.

If Telegram fails to comply, the government could even ban the service completely.

 

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