Dhe well-known right-wing extremist Attila Hildmann has lost much of his reach. Two of his channels on the Telegram platform, through which he has been distributing anti-Semitic propaganda for months, have not been accessible since Tuesday via the Telegram app on Apple and many Android devices. The channels still exist, however, the preview of the latest news can still be seen on iPhones. Only when you enter the channels will you be informed that they cannot be displayed “on this device”. The channels are no longer directly accessible via desktop browser, but they were still available via the desktop app for Windows on Wednesday morning.
According to the editorial network Germany The move concerns Telegram apps that have been downloaded from the official Apple and Google app stores. A Google spokesman said, however, that the company had not blocked access to Hildmann’s channel in the app itself. This is not possible and would affect the functionality of the entire app. An Apple spokesman did not want to comment on the case to the FAZ, but referred to the Apple guidelines. These guidelines set out which rules app operators must adhere to. When asked whether he could rule out that Apple had taken action against the Hildmann channel, the spokesman did not want to answer either. However, he did not deny that either.
It is therefore conceivable that Apple and Google put pressure on Telegram and that Telegram then restricted access to Hildmann’s channels on certain end devices in order not to violate relevant guidelines. Apps that are downloaded via the Google and Apple stores actually have to ensure that anti-Semitic posts and calls for violence, for example, are deleted. After the violent assault on the Capitol, Google and Apple temporarily banned the Parler app, popular with Trump supporters, from their app stores in January.
Basically, Telegram is known for hardly taking action against hate propaganda and calls for violence. That’s why the platform is popular with right-wing extremists and conspiracy theorists. According to its own information, the platform is based in Dubai, the imprint is missing on the homepage, inquiries to accounts on Telegram or Twitter remain unanswered. The platform is also hardly accessible for the German authorities. The same is currently true for Attila Hildmann: The right-wing extremist fled to Turkey months ago, so an arrest warrant for the urgent suspicion of sedition cannot be carried out.