The comments section of BlazeTV host Elijah Schaffer’s Telegram channel has been blocked in the app store versions of Telegram on Android and iOS.
Users that attempt to view Schaffer’s comments section in the App Store or Play Store version of the Telegram app are presented with a message that states: “Unfortunately, this group couldn’t be displayed on your device.”
Schaffer’s comments section is now only available via Telegram’s desktop app, the non-Google Play version of Telegram’s app, and Telegram’s web app.
The message doesn’t explain why Schaffer’s comments section is being blocked in these mobile apps and Schaffer insists that his Telegram comments section is moderated and that his team follow all the terms of service. However, similar messages have been displayed in other channels when Telegram has been forced to block content to comply with Apple and Google’s restrictive app store rules.
Telegram allows a much wider range of speech on its platform than Apple (which has removed an estimated 190,000 apps from its App Store) and Google (which has removed thousands of apps from its Play Store) but will sometimes block content in mobile apps to keep them available in the App Store and Play Store.
The censorship of Schaffer’s comments section and the previous censorship of other Telegram channels at the behest of Apple highlights how these tech giants are able to leverage their mobile operating system and app store duopoly to censor content and discussions on mobile which is now the main way people access the internet, accounting for an estimated 55% of all internet traffic.
Apple and Google have a staggering 99% share of the mobile operating system market. While it is possible for Android and iOS users to access content outside of Apple and Google’s app stores, hundreds of billions of apps are downloaded via these app stores each year and they drive huge amounts of traffic to alternative platforms such as Telegram. On iOS, web apps are also restricted and don’t have access to important system level features such as notifications.
Telegram founder and CEO Pavel Durov has called out Apple and Google directly over the way their mobile duopoly threatens freedom, describing the situation as users being “held hostage by tech monopolies that seem to think they can get away with anything as long as their apps have a critical mass of users” and likening Apple forcing app developers to censor in-app content to “a web browser deciding which websites you are allowed to view.”
Many other apps have had similar experiences to Telegram with alternative social media platform Minds, video sharing app LBRY, and non-fungible token (NFT) marketplace OpenSea among those that have been forced to restrict features or censor content to remain in Apple and Google’s app stores.
Article cross-posted from Reclaim The Net.
Will 2022 Be the End of America-First News Outlets?
Things are looking grim for conservative and population news sites.
There’s something happening behind the scenes at several popular conservative news outlets. 2021 was bad, but 2022 is proving to be disastrous for news sites that aren’t “playing ball” with the corporate media narrative. It’s being said that advertisers are cracking down, forcing some of the biggest ad networks like Google and Yahoo to pull their inventory from sites like ours. But that narrative isn’t entirely true. It’s not the advertisers themselves who are complaining for the most part. It’s the ad networks who are “woke” and authoritarian that are actually taking down the ads.
Certain topics are anathema for the ad networks. Speaking out against vaccines or vaccine mandates is a certain path to being demonetized. Highlighting voter fraud in the 2020 and future elections is another instant advertising death penalty. Throw in truthful stories about climate change hysteria, Critical Race Theory, and the border crisis and it’s easy to understand how difficult it is for America-First news outlets to spread the facts, share conservative opinions, and still pay the bills.
Without naming names, I have been told of several news outlets who have been forced to either consolidate with larger organizations or who have backed down on covering certain topics out of fear of being “canceled” by the ad networks. I get it. This is a business for many of us and it’s not very profitable. Those of us who do this for a living are often barely squeaking by, so loss of additional revenue can often mean being forced to make cuts. That means not being able to cover the topics properly. Its a Catch-22: Tell the truth and lose the money necessary to keep telling the truth, or avoid the truth and make enough money to survive. Those who have chosen survival simply aren’t able to spread the truth properly.
We will never avoid the truth. The Lord will provide if it is His will. Our job is simply to share the facts, spread the Gospel, and educate as many Americans as possible while exposing the forces of evil.
We need help. I don’t want to say “desperately,” but the need is definitely great. If you have the means, please donate through our GivingFuel page or via PayPal. Your generosity is what keeps these sites running and allows us to get the truth to the masses. We’ve had great success in growing but we know we can do more with your assistance.
Thank you, and God Bless!
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JD Rucker – EIC