Every day, Telegram’s moderators and AI tools remove millions of obviously harmful content from our public platform. However, tackling war-related coverage is seldom obvious.
Earlier this week, Hamas used Telegram to warn civilians in Ashkelon to leave the area ahead of their missile strikes. Would shutting down their channel help save lives — or would it endanger more lives?
It’s always tempting to act on emotional impulses. But such complex situations require thorough consideration that should also take into account the differences between social platforms.
Unlike other apps that algorithmically promote shocking content to unsuspecting people, on Telegram, users receive only the content to which they specifically subscribed. As such, it’s unlikely that Telegram channels can be used to significantly amplify propaganda. Instead, they serve as a unique source of first-hand information for researchers, journalists, and fact-checkers.
While it would be easy for us to destroy this source of information, doing so risks exacerbating an already dire situation.