PSA: Be Careful on Telegram
Assume that most large chat groups are infiltrated by security services and that everything you say there is being surveilled by the police.
For a few weeks, regime-friendly press outlets in Germany, like the Süddeutsche Zeitung, have been ringing the alarm about Telegram as a “lawless space” that poses a “danger to society.” Apparently it is a den of hate speech and incitement. This coordinated hyperventilation comes with demands that the new German government regulate Telegram as a social media application, which would require its administrators to report “illegal content” (like hate speech) to authorities. Right now German law regards Telegram as a messenger app and thus exempts it from some of these rules.
In perfect tandem with this false press hysteria, police have raided the apartments of a Telegram chat group in Dresden. Allegedly, members of the chat, in the context of discussions about vaccine mandates, contemplated assassinating Michael Kretschmer, the CDU minister president of Saxony. Whenever police actions and press messaging campaigns align this perfectly, you should presume it is the work of agents provocateurs. In all likelihood, German security services are infiltrating Telegram chat groups, and putting about violent rhetoric in the interests of creating arrests and headlines to reinforce the press narrative.
I understand most of my readers aren’t in Germany, but as a back-up to Twitter I have my own Telegram channel, so I just want to advise everyone that caution is extremely important here. If you’re in a chat and anyone proposes violence, the chances that this is a bad actor are high, and you should distance yourself from these statements immediately. “I disavow all political violence and you should too” is the line I always use. Protect yourself.