Cloud-based instant messaging service –Telegram has announced reasons for its suspension in Brazil. According to a statement by Telegram founder and CEO Pavel Durov he explains why the Brazilian Supreme Court is placing the app on suspension. In the statement via Durov’s Telegram channel, he says it was because his company was checking the wrong email address.
In the statement, Durov says “It seems that we had an issue with emails going between our telegram.org corporate addresses and the Brazilian Supreme Court. As a result of this miscommunication, the Court ruled to ban Telegram for being unresponsive.” Durov has reveals that Telegram has requested that the court send future takedown requests “to a dedicated email address.” However the court didn’t do that instead kept using “the old general-purpose email address.” As a result, Telegram has missed the emails somehow, which has now translated into a ban unless the court takes pity and reverts that order.
The company has now confirmed those missing emails has now been found (implying that the old address did at least work, which makes it even more bizarre than the emails somehow got missed). The company is also trying all effort to remedy the situation and settle things with the Brazillian court. Something interesting to note about these is that there is a lot of political undertone to the ban, which started with accusations that messaging platforms facilitate the spread of disinformation, and my colleague Adi Robertson lays it out clearly in this story. But to hear Telegram tell it, the whole thing boils down to an issue we all struggle with — keeping track of emails.
Statement by Telegram founder and CEO Pavel Durov reads thus, “On behalf of our team, I apologize to the Brazilian Supreme Court for our negligence. We definitely could have done a better job.
We complied with an earlier court decision in late February and responded with a suggestion to send future takedown requests to a dedicated email address. Unfortunately, our response must have been lost, because the Court used the old general-purpose email address in further attempts to reach us. As a result, we missed its decision in early March that contained a follow-up takedown request. Luckily, we have now found and processed it, delivering another report to the Court today.
Because tens of millions of Brazilians rely on Telegram to communicate with family, friends and colleagues, I ask the Court to consider delaying its ruling for a few days at its discretion to allow us to remedy the situation by appointing a representative in Brazil and setting up a framework to react to future pressing issues like this in an expedited manner.
The last 3 weeks have been unprecedented for the world and for Telegram. Our content moderation team was flooded with requests from multiple parties. However, I am certain that once a reliable channel of communication is established, we’ll be able to efficiently process takedown requests for public channels that are illegal in Brazil.”
India is the biggest market for Telegram as we speak and 22% of its installations came from this country; followed by Russia and Indonesia. Telegram thus becomes the fifteenth application to get more than a billion download times; which is not equal to the number of users