Former US ambassador to Morocco demands removal of Telegram from Google Play

Mark Ginsberg, the head of the U.S. nonprofit organization Coalition for a Safer Web and former U.S. ambassador to Morocco, has demanded in court that Alphabet remove the messenger Telegram from the application aggregator Google Play. It was reported by Bloomberg agency on January 25.

The former ambassador claims that Telegram has become a platform for spreading threats, as well as incitement and coordination of violent actions based on racism. Ginsberg says it was especially relevant in the period before the inauguration of new U.S. President Joe Biden and after the death in Minneapolis of African American George Floyd as a result of police brutality.

In his lawsuit, Ginsberg pointed out that Google took no action against Telegram, while the Parler service, which is prescribed to play a similar role, was removed from Apple and Google’s mobile app stores due to its alleged role in coordinating and inciting the January 6 riots in the United States.

On Jan. 17, the Coalition for a Safer Internet filed a similar lawsuit against Apple to remove Telegram.

On January 12, the British newspaper The Telegraph reported that Telegram had become the second most downloaded app in the U.S. due to a massive switch by supporters of former U.S. President Donald Trump.

According to the newspaper, the growth in popularity of the messenger occurred after the blocking of Trump’s accounts on Twitter and Facebook and the shutdown of the social network Parler, popular among supporters of the ex-president.

In that regard, Telegram flagged a channel called Donald J. Trump, attributed to Trump, as fraudulent. The channel has more than 550,000 subscribers.

According to Pavel Durov, the messenger’s creator, Telegram moderators blocked hundreds of publications with calls for violence after the recent riots in the United States and continue to remove such content.