Telegram’s CEO, Pavel Durov, defends the decision to keep Hamas’ communication channels open despite backlash for hosting war-related content. Durov argues that it serves as a source of firsthand information and highlights the risks of shutting it down.
Pavel Durov, the founder and CEO of Telegram, has reaffirmed that Hamas’ communication channels will continue to operate within the application. This decision comes amid intense criticism directed at Telegram for allowing the Palestinian group to share war-related content on its platform. Durov’s rationale for this stance is that shutting down these channels could worsen an already precarious situation.
Telegram, a popular messaging platform, has come under scrutiny for its role in hosting Hamas’ violent content, including over 125 videos documenting attacks on Israel. Critics argue that this content could potentially incite further violence and pose a threat to public safety.
While other platforms like X (formerly known as Twitter) have taken a more proactive approach by removing such content and facing EU scrutiny, Telegram has chosen a different path.
Durov defends the decision by emphasizing that while millions of harmful posts are removed, addressing war-related content is complex. He cites an example where Hamas used Telegram to warn civilians in Ashkelon about impending missile strikes, raising the question of whether shutting down their channel would save lives or endanger more.
Moreover, Durov asserts that Telegram’s nature, where users subscribe to content, reduces the risk of propaganda amplification. He contends that such content also serves as vital firsthand information for journalists, fact-checkers, and researchers.
In conclusion, he urges caution against the easy route of content removal, highlighting the potential for exacerbating an already dire situation.