Apple has received a legal notice from the Coalition for a Safer Web for not removing Telegram from its App Store. Though it has blocked Parler, it seems it has still not restricted access to Telegram. Lately, Telegram has been in the news for all the wrong reasons including not taking action against violent content that has been found on the platform quite frequently.
The Coalition for a Safer Web filed a lawsuit against Apple at the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California on Sunday. The main allegation against Apple was that it continued to feature Telegram on its app store and didn’t take any action, despite repeated requests, to get the app removed. The lawsuit stated that “despite Apple’s knowledge that Telegram is being used to intimidate, threaten, and coerce members of the public”.
The Coalition, a non-profit organization that works towards the elimination of extremist content and terror-based elements, has alleged that Apple has not adhered to the guidelines and policies it formed for itself and has failed to regulate the content on its app. Due to Apple giving a free-hand to users, violent and malicious content has been found on Telegram which features on its App Store.
It is interesting to note that this lawsuit has been filed in the same week when global companies like Amazon and Google, along with Apple, took effective steps to sever their ties with Parler owing to the app not taking any action against hateful and misleading content brewing on the app. There were reports that pointed towards Parler being used by malicious users to carry out several illegal activities in Washington D.C, including the Capitol attack.
The lawsuit has been filed with the intention of putting some pressure onto Apple so that the company would look closely into the activities of Telegram and consider removing it from its App Store. The lawsuit also gives the reference of a CSW press release from the month of June in 2022 which stated that the encrypted messaging app was being used as a “communications channel for the Russian government and affiliated Neo-Nazi and white nationalist groups, sowing misinformation and racial division in the United States and in Europe.”
The lawsuit further alleged that Telegram is being used as a platform to plan and carry out violent activities before the inauguration of President-Elect Joe Biden.
The suit has called Apple ‘unfair’ and selective in its practices as it de-platformed the app Parler and ensured the removal of Epic Games’ ‘Fortnite’ but has failed to take any action against Telegram so far. Experts suggest that since its launch in the year 2013, Telegram has been violating App Store’s policies and guidelines quite consistently. Despite this, it has been observed that Apple never even issued a warning to the app.
Through the lawsuit, the applicants have put across their demands, which includes a jury trial. Some of their other demands include providing compensation for each plaintiff for the damages incurred and order asking Telegram to be removed from the App Store till the time it vows to follow each and every guideline laid out by Apple.