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An open letter to Telegram

Dear Telegram,

Our research has found that your platform, more than any other, is being used by terror-promoting far right networks and is home to the most extreme, genocidal and directly violent antisemitic content.

Telegram hosts users such as GhostEzra, an overtly antisemitic QAnon influencer with over 330,000 subscribers on the platform who runs what has been dubbed the “largest antisemitic internet forum” in the world.

Telegram has been used to:

  • Organise and coordinate far right terror plots
  • Recruit new members to white nationalist and antisemitic networks
  • Radicalise young and vulnerable people
  • Spread conspiracy theories

The platform has facilitated and nurtured a subculture that cheerleads for and deifies terrorists, and regards mass murder not only as a means to revolution and retribution, but as a form of entertainment – all in the name of privacy.

In 2015 Pavel Durov (Telegram CEO) asserted that “the right for privacy is more important [to Telegram] than our fear of bad things happening, like terrorism.” This meant that terrorist organisations like ISIS found home in Telegram. Two months later, ISIS carried out a deadly attack in France, killing 130 people and wounding 350 more, using Telegram to coordinate and plan the attacks.

After the attack, Telegram backtracked and began removing ISIS accounts from its platform, because privacy is not boundless when lives are at risk. We are calling on Telegram to be consistent and take serious action against the terrorist content still on the platform that is putting Jewish and other minoritised communities at risk.

The new digital age has not only changed the way in which terrorism spreads and is expressed but also the tools at our disposal for combatting hate.

Yours,

HOPE not hate and our supporters (add your name here)

Signed by:  

Nick Lowles, CEO, HOPE not hate

Marie van der Zyl, President, Board of Deputies of British Jews

Mark Gardner, CEO, Community Security Trust 

Danny Stone MBE, CEO, Antisemitism Policy Trust

Stephanie Peacock MP (Labour) HOPE not hate Parliamentary Chair

Andrew Percy MP (Conservative) Chair, All-Party Parliamentary Group Against Antisemitism

Dr Lisa Cameron MP (SNP) Vice Chair, All-Party Parliamentary Group Against Antisemitism

Sir Peter Bottomley MP (Conservative) Father of the House of Commons

Debbie Abrahams MP (Labour)

Layla Moran MP (Liberal Democrat)

Caroline Lucas MP (Green)

Barbara Keeley MP (Labour)

Helen Hayes MP (Labour)

Akeela Ahmed MBE, Chair, Anti-Muslim Hatred Working Group

Laura Marks OBE and Hifsa Haroon-Iqbal MBE, Co-Chairs, Nisa Nashim

Rabbi Piny Hackenbroch, Chair, Rabbinical Council, United Synagogue

Dr Matt Plen, Chief Executive, Masorti Judaism

Robert Wiltshire, Chair, Reform Judaism

Rabbi Charley Baginsky, CEO, Liberal Judaism

Nina Freedman, President, Union of Jewish Students

Rabbi David Meyer OBE, Executive Director, PaJeS (Partnerships for Jewish Schools)

Sophie Dunoff, CEO, University Jewish Chaplaincy

Shelley Marsh, Executive Director, Reshet

Michael Newman OBE, CEO, The Association of Jewish Refugees (AJR)

Alex Maws, Head of Educational Grants and Projects, The Association of Jewish Refugees (AJR)

Jonathan Gibson, Executive Director, Burst the Bubble UK

 

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