The CeMAS report "Chronology of a radicalization: How Telegram became the most important platform for conspiracy ideologies and right-wing extremism" reveals how Telegram became the most important stage for this milieu in German-speaking countries within the last three years. The "Querdenken" movement organized its protests on Telegram, right-wing extremists publicly discussed their plans for a coup, and antisemitic and racist content has been distributed en masse. Some channels reach hundreds of thousands of people each day. Telegram does little to address this situation; they benefit from this role and rarely respond to state actors. Nevertheless, the company's history shows that the platform does react in response to pressure. The policy options presented by CeMAS also show that despite Telegram's position of non-compliance, there are still various possibilities for curbing disinformation, conspiracy narratives, and misanthropy on the platform, and for increasing the pressure on Telegram itself.
Release date: April 5, 2023
Authors: Josef Holnburger
How Telegram became the most important platform for conspiracy ideologies and right-wing extremism