Messaging app Telegram has agreed to block terrorist-related content in Indonesia after the government threatened to block the service over fears it was enabling terrorist communication.
The country’s Ministry of Communication and IT blocked the web-based version of the messaging service on Friday. It threatened to do more in frustration that Telegram continued to be used as a platform to enable terrorists. ISIS has heightened attacks in Indonesia and the Philippines this year, and the chat app has long been seen as a key communication tool.
In response to the partial block, Telegram CEO Pavel Durov said the company would remove ISIS-related channels flagged by the government and develop better systems for the future.
That principally means Telegram will create “a dedicated team of moderators with knowledge of Indonesian language and culture to be able to process reports of terrorist-related content more quickly and accurately.” But Durov said also he had personally opened communication with Indonesian officials to make the process more efficient.
“It turns out that the officials of the Ministry recently emailed us a list of public channels with terrorism-related content on Telegram, and our team was unable to quickly process them. Unfortunately, I was unaware of these requests, which caused this miscommunication with the Ministry,” Durov recounted on his public Telegram channel.