The Telegram Becomes a Cesspool Anti-Semitic Controversy
ago a few months ago, the Telegram soared in popularity, hit 550 million monthly active users in July 2021, making it the fifth most used messaging app in the world. And as a wave of government order breaking the internet washed around the world, the app was praised for its fight against censorship and its role in helping protesters from Belarus in Myanmar to organize. But Telegram’s libertarian ethos has a much darker side, says anti-racism group Hope Not Hate: The app is one of the worst anti-Semitism holes you’ll find on the internet. And the problem gets worse in the day.
A new report from Hope Not Hate, which focuses on the spread of anti-Semitism online and as it is published throughout the day, finds that Telegram is the most important of the main internet platforms to provide a a “safe haven” for anti-Semites and extremists booted from other social networks. Most of these have fellow believers and vendors in QAnon, the anti -Semitism conspiracy theory linked to the January 6, 2021, launch at the U.S. Capitol.
The report points out that the number of channels devoted to anti-Semitic conspiracy, or straightforward anti-Semitic violence, will increase exponentially in 2021-without hindering Telegram’s rationality. One of these, The Elimination of the Cabal, which marketed the New World Order conspiracy theory launched in February 2021, has so far gained more than 90,000 followers; Another, run by an anti-Semitic QAnon promoter called GhostEzra, gained a following of 333,000. Hope Not Hate also found that at least 120 Telegram groups and channels shared the racist, anti-Semitic manifesto written by terrorist attack on two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, in March 2019, killed 51. The Telegram took no action against that incident. The Telegram press office did not respond to a request for comment.
“If you compare it [inaction] in how the Telegram deals with Islamism and terrorism, it’s a difference night and day, ”said Patrik Hermansson, a researcher with Hope Not Hate. In 2019, the app took over more than 43,000 bots and channels linked to the Islamic State terror group as part of a Europol operation. Hermansson said some of the anti-Semitic content shared by the Telegram values terrorism advocacy and should be suppressed accordingly.
Hope Not Hate is looking for that conspiracy theories has generally grown online since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020, and its associated lockdowns and social exclusion measures. Times of uncertainty and loneliness often give rise to all sorts of anti-establishment and anti-elite accounts, and the early stages of the pandemic are characterized by a conspiracy of issues ranging from 5G to the supposed Bill Gates ’role in the pandemic. But as University of Warwick philosophy professor Quassim Cassam detailed in a recent study, most conspiracy theories eventually drift into blaming a small group of people for any imaginary conspiracy they are positive about; almost always, that group is targeted as Jewish. The fact that online anti-Semitism has resurfaced in a post-Covid world flooded with conspiracy theories, therefore, is not surprising.
The case of QAnon it is perfectly demonstrated. This conspiracy theory continues that the world is ruled by an elite cabal of satanic and pedophiliac politicians, financiers, and Hollywood artists, who spend their days snatching children’s blood to keep children alive. -a clear riff of the old anti-Semitic blood libel. While the most famous American in its beginning – former president Donald Trump was described as a white knight, and according to a study, one in five people in the U.S. is a believer in QAnon—Over time QAnon’s conspiracy theory expanded its focus to include Covid-19 trutherism, anti-lockdown activists, and other right-wing troops, a move that has gained followers in many European countries. , which tops the list in Germany.