Telegram founder and CEO Pavel Durov just made a statement about: Why The Brazilian Supreme Court is now suspending the app, and the reason is unbelievable. In the statement, which you can read in full below or on Durov’s Telegram channel, he says it was because his company check the wrong email address.
“It appears we had a problem with emails going between our telegram.org business addresses and the Brazilian Supreme Court,” Durov says, explaining that his company has asked the court to send future takedown requests “to a special email.” email address.” But the court apparently didn’t — she continued to use “the old common email address” and Telegram somehow missed them, and now it’s being banned unless the court has mercy.
The company says it has now found those emails (implying that at least the old address worked, making it even more bizarre that the emails were somehow missed), and is trying to resolve the situation with the to remedy the court. There is a lot of political context surrounding the ban, stemming from allegations that Telegram is facilitating the spread of disinformation, and my colleague Adi Robertson explains it clearly in this story. But to hear Telegram tell it all boils down to a problem we all struggle with: email tracking.
It seems we had a problem with emails between our telegram.org business addresses and the Brazilian Supreme Court. As a result of this miscommunication, the Court decided to ban Telegram for failing to respond.
On behalf of our team, I apologize to the Brazilian Supreme Court for our negligence. We certainly could have done better.
We complied with a previous court order in late February and responded with a suggestion to send future takedown requests to a dedicated email address. Unfortunately, our response must have been lost, as the court has used the old common email address in further attempts to reach us. As a result, we missed the early March decision, which included a follow-up request for removal. Fortunately, we have now found it and processed it, and we have delivered another report to the Court of Auditors today.
Since tens of millions of Brazilians rely on Telegram to communicate with family, friends and colleagues, I ask the court to consider delaying the verdict for a few days at its discretion so that we can remedy the situation by appointing a representative in Brazil and a framework for quickly responding to future pressing problems such as these.
The past 3 weeks have been unprecedented for the world and for Telegram. Our content moderation team was inundated with requests from multiple parties. However, I am sure that once a reliable communication channel is established, we can efficiently process takedown requests for public channels that are illegal in Brazil.