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The lawsuit charges Apple for negligence infliction of emotional distress and asks the court to order the company to remove Telegram from its App store.
Marc Ginsburg, a former US ambassador and Whitehouse Liaison for Secretary of State along with his extremism advocacy group, Coalition for a Safer Web (CSW) has filed a lawsuit against Apple Inc (NASDAQ: AAPL) for failing to remove Telegram Messenger LLP from its App store.
Telegram has in the past been accused of being used for all kinds of illegal activities and hate speech with others even tagging it as “Terrorgram”. The lawsuit states that Apple allowed “Telegram to be distributed through the App Store knowing that Telegram does not comply with Apple’s developer guidelines and … is routinely used to violate California’s hate speech law.”
The lawsuit charges Apple for negligence infliction of emotional distress and asks the court to order the company to remove Telegram from its app store. Also, Apple has been accused of violating the Business code of California. Following the death of George Floyd on May 25, 2020, the Coalition of the Safer Web disclosed in a press release in June 2020 that a torrent of extremist incitement content that came from white supremacists or Neo-Nazi communication against African Americans and Antiemetic was found on Telegram.
In that same month, another press release by the CSW accused Telegram of being the primary communication channel for the Russian government as well as white nationalist groups intended to facilitate racial division in the US and Europe. According to the lawsuit, CSW drew the attention of Apple with these press releases on the plan of such groups to use the channel to provoke African-American-on-Jew violence.
The lawsuit also mentions that Telegram is being used to incite violence ahead of the Inauguration of Joe Biden, the US President-elect on Wednesday. The Lawsuit goes ahead to mention that a message circulated on the platform with Telegram users being asked to tell other users outraged about the death of one of the protesters, Ashli Babbitt shot by a police officer during the Siege of the Capitol City about a possible gathering.
Some other discovered posts on the platform were said to be about the sale of LSD, Acid, and cocaine pills. The CSW is expecting the court to help get rid of Telegram from the Apple Store, and pay more than $75,000 damages.
Telegram has been said to be on high alert to ban communities that facilitate violence and encourage the sharing of child porn. However, they refuse to attend to complaints about private one-on-one chats or group chats according to their Questions and Answers page unlike Facebook Inc (NASDAQ: FB) and WhatsApp Messenger. They claim they made efforts to block messages and calls during the January 6 violence protest in the Capitol with 182 public communities related to the US affected.
In 2018, Apple removed Telegram from its App store after it was found that child pornography was moving around on the platform. However, Telegram promised to improve their moderation, and after a few hours, they were allowed back on the App Store. According to Ginsburg, Telegram is not doing enough moderation to address all these concerns.
Despite the news on the lawsuit, AAPL stock is 0.74% up, trading at over $128 at the time of writing.