A Washington group is suing Apple for not taking action to remove the messaging app Telegram, alleging that the platform is allowing violent and radical discussions related to the Jan. 6 storming of the U.S Capitol.
In its suit, the Coalition for a Safer Web alleges negligent infliction of emotional distress and violation of the California business code, and seeks compensation for damages apart from pressuring Apple to remove the app from its virtual store.
Former U.S. ambassador to Morocco Marc Ginsberg is the president of the coalition.
“Telegram stands out by itself as the superspreader [of hateful speech], even compared to Parler,” Ginsberg said in an interview, according to the Washington Post.
In 2019, European police worked with Telegram to disable accounts associated with ISIS terrorists and other violent groups after they had been communicating with each other and posting propaganda on the app.
The suit comes after Apple and Google removed the social media platform Parler from its app stores, saying that the app would be suspended until they could moderate “egregious content.” Soon after, Amazon Web Services took the site down due to alleged violations.
“We have always supported diverse points of view being represented on the App Store, but there is no place on our platform for threats of violence and illegal activity,” the tech company wrote in a statement to media outlets. “Parler has not taken adequate measures to address the proliferation of these threats to people’s safety. We have suspended Parler from the App Store until they resolve these issues.”
Parler, which describes itself as a “free speech” social media website, drew a number of Trump supporters and other conservatives, including senators and House representatives. Following President Donald Trump’s Twitter ban, the website became the No. 1 app on various app stores before it was taken down.
Jack Phillips and Reuters contributed to this report.