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Apple Sued Over Not Taking Down Telegram After Capitol Hill Riot

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Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) has been sued in California over allegations it failed to take action against messaging app Telegram in the aftermath of the Capitol Hill riot even as the platform was used to promote violence.

What Happened: The Coalition for a Safer Web,  a Washington D.C.-based non-profit organization, filed the lawsuit against Apple in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California on Sunday.

The group alleges that “Telegram is being used to intimidate, threaten, and coerce members of the public,” and Apple — despite reportedly having this knowledge — lets Telegram be available through the App Store on its devices.

The lawsuit further alleges that not only was Telegram used to promote violence during the storming of Capitol Hill by outgoing President Donald Trump’s supporters earlier this month, also “for years, anti-black and anti-Semitic groups have openly utilized Telegram with little or no content moderation by Telegram’s management.”

“Apple has not taken any action against Telegram comparable to the action it has taken against Parler to compel Telegram to improve its content moderation policies.” CSW claims.

Why It Matters: Telegram CEO Pavel Durov, in a statement late Monday, thanked “everyone who reported public channels that crossed the line” in the recent weeks, without mentioning the lawsuit.

“Telegram welcomes peaceful debate and protest, but our Terms of Service explicitly prohibit distributing public calls to violence,” Durov said. 

“In the last 7 years, we’ve consistently enforced this rule globally, from Belarus and Iran to Thailand and Hong Kong.”

Apple, alongside Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOGL) (NASDAQ: GOOG) withdrew social media app Parler from their platforms over similar allegations of promoting violence during the Capitol Hill riot. Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) too withdrew hosting support, effectively forcing Parler to go offline, at least temporarily.

Telegram, alongside rival privacy-focused messaging app Signal, has seen a surge in downloads owing to Facebook Inc.'s (NASDAQ: FB) WhatsApp's new proposed privacy policy.

Price Action: Apple shares closed 1.37% lower at $127.14 on Friday.

Read Next: Elon Musk Sends Signal Downloads Soaring: What You Should Know About The App

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