Telegram, a social media company based in Dubai, is currently one of the most downloaded apps in the USA. This is due, in part, to censorship by other social media companies. The main Telegram website is now ranked as the 139th most popular website in the world by Alexa. SimilarWeb ranks it as the 309th most popular in the world, as of the end of December. Similarweb’s data is on a delay.
Coalition for a Safer Web [CSW] is a censorship advocacy group run by Bill Clinton’s former ambassador to Morrocco Marc Ginsberg. CSW filed a lawsuit against Apple in the United States District Court, Northern District of California. Ginsberg also works as a professional speaker for hire. His specialty is giving speeches on “radical Islam.”
Ginsberg says that the presence of Telegram on the Apple App Store caused him “emotional distress.”
Ambassador Ginsberg has suffered damages through his purchase of his iPhone and is suffering from negligent infliction of emotional distress in an amount that exceeds $75,000. Furthermore, Ambassador Ginsberg is seeking to enjoin Apple from allowing Telegram to be available in the App Store in violation of Apple’s policies and terms of service.
Ginsberg says that as an Israeli-born Jewish person, and the first Jewish ambassador to an Arab nation, Apple is putting him in danger by allowing Telegram on their app store.
As a result of this Anti-Semitic campaign that was coordinated on the Telegram app, Ambassador Ginsberg is forced to live in apprehension of religiously motivated violence being perpetrated against him. Ambassador Ginsberg’s fear of religious violence has caused him substantial emotional harm including depression and anxiety. Despite having an awareness of the racial and religious incitement that is planned, coordinated, and implemented through Telegram, Defendant continues to host Telegram on the Apple App Store.
The lawsuit submits as evidence, three graphics promoting violence against black people and three graphics promoting violence against Jewish people. All of which were posted anonymously. He also presents as evidence, an advertisement to buy narcotics through the mail.
Critics of the lawsuit say it appears that Ginsberg tried very hard to find offensive content, and that equally offensive materials could be found on Facebook and Twitter. They say the lawsuit is grasping at straws. One can find violent content all over Twitter as well. Twitter is also a hotbed of illegal prostitution.
Ironically, Ginsberg is basing his lawsuit on the fact that Apple banned the Parler App. He is claiming that, by banning Parler, Apple obligated itself to ban a lot of other websites. In a press release, Ginsberg also claims the CEO of Apple obligated himself by accepting an award from the left-wing Anti-Defamation League [ADL]. The ADL has been a leading advocate of internet censorship since the early days of the world wide web. The ADL famously distributed “hate filters” that including mainstream conservative websites.
However, unlike Google, Apple CEO Tim Cook has stated publicly that he will allow Parler back on the App Store if they implement a more robust process for deleting violent content.
This is reminiscent of pending litigation against Cloudflare. For years, people complained that Cloudflare was allegedly being used by sites that pirate copyrighted materials, as well as violent Jihadist groups. Cloudflare’s response was always “talk to the FBI.” They claimed it was not their job to police the internet. Then one day they booted a cartoonish Neo-Nazi site, rooted in the online “Chan” culture, from their service. Immediately there was a barrage of lawsuits. The lawsuits alleged that since they kicked one site off, they were at fault for not kicking a bunch of other sites off as well.
National Conservative believes that social media companies should delete content that encourages or advocates criminal activity or constitutes an illegal threat. However, we are skeptical of Ginsberg’s motives and believe that his true agenda is to suppress conservative speech.