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News Link • Iran

Telegram shuts down 'violence-inciting' channel at Iran's request, angers Snowden


"A Telegram channel is encouraging hateful conduct, use of Molotov cocktails, armed uprising, and social unrest. NOW is the time to stop such encouragements via Telegram," Mohammad-Javad Azari Jahromi, Iran's Minister of Information and Communications Technology tweeted to Telegram's founder, Russian entrepreneur Pavel Durov.

Durov promised to investigate the case, and within hours suspended the 'amadnews' channel, saying that it violated the "no calls for violence rule."

Telegram, which allows both individual messages between users, and for channels to broadcast simultaneously to millions of subscribers, is particularly popular in Iran, where it says it has over 20 million users. In September, Iran sued Durov, claiming that his app facilitates the spread of terrorism, pornography and other illegal activities.

The exchange and subsequent block of the channel came as Iran continues to be gripped by protests against rapidly-rising food prices, corruption and the political leadership, which began Thursday. Whistleblower Edward Snowden took the decision as an opportunity to criticize Telegram.

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