After a Murder Over Mask-Wearing, Authorities Are Cracking Down on COVID Skeptics on Telegram.

The German government is attempting to bring the messaging app into its "social media" category so it can criminalize speech.


After a gas station cashier was killed following an argument over mask wearing, the German government started pressuring social media platforms to censor groups over what has become known as “corona misinformation.”

The State of Thüringen’s Interior Minister George Mair specifically called for the urgent regulation and classification of Telegram as a social network in order to foist new rules on the platform. Currently the “Netzwerdurchsetzungsgesetz” law in Germany requires social media platforms to delete whatever the government deems as “criminal” content, and even to report them to the Federal Criminal Policy Agency (Bundeskriminalamt).

Platforms such as Telegram, however, have typically been excluded as they are not classified as social networks but as messaging platforms. Telegram has also been under pressure in the US, for what globalist policy makers call the spread of “misinformation” and for “coordinating” the January 6 “insurrection”.

Der Tagespiegel magazine was quick to associate the attack with the anti-lockdown movement, claiming that “right-wingers are celebrating the killing in Idar-Oberstein” in Telegram chat groups.

Telegram is the host of many “querdenker” – anti-lockdown and anti-vax mandate groups – who have organized various protests across Germany since the start of the pandemic.

This latest attack on Telegram comes right after Facebook, Inc. launched a campaign against the “querdenker” on its own platforms: Facebook and Instagram.

The Zuckerberg-owned platforms wiped  150 associated groups and prominent public leaders under the guise of “fighting misinformation.” To this day, no social media platform has removed any left-wing political figure or “health care” official, despite the vast amounts of evidence against them for actually spreading misinformation over subjects like mask-wearing, vaccines, the Russia hoax, and more.

Nathenial Gleicher, Facebook’s head of security policy said:

“The people behind this activity used authentic and duplicate accounts to post and amplify violating content, primarily focused on promoting the conspiracy that the German government’s COVID-19 restrictions are part of a larger plan to strip citizens of their freedoms and basic rights.”

Facebook also restricts the domains from “querdenker” websites from its platforms.

Politicizing the Killing.

The killing on September 18th came a week before the German federal elections, and sparked major political debates in Germany.

The AfD party (Alternative for Deutschland) – which has attracted anti-lockdown voters and has itself been major critic against mandates – is now being targeted.

Reports suggest the attacker was a AfD sympathizer and a “climate change denier”, so claims RND.

Spiegel magazine, which branded Telegram as “social network”, found that the attacker was also active on the messaging app.

Most major party candidates in Germany have used their social media platforms to disavow the killing and framed the movement as a “hate campaign” by the “querdenker”. Despite this turmoil, there is still no clear evidence that the suspect was part of the “querdenker” movement despite association efforts – “misinformation” perhaps – by the German media and left-wing political figures.

Wahagen Khabayan

Wahagen Khabayan is a National Pulse Writing Fellow based in Austria.

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