The makers of mobile messaging service Telegram on Wednesday said they are trying to block channels used frequently by the Islamic State to spread its propaganda and recruit supporters. The group’s "channel" feature, introduced in September, allows users to send highly encrypted messages that can include large videos and many links without being detected. ISIS used Telegram to claim responsibility for the Paris attacks, in which they killed 129 people, and has taken to using the service as its main medium after sites like Twitter and Facebook started clamping down on its active supporters, Reuters reported.
The app’s founders, a pair of Russian brothers based in Berlin, said Telegram has been able to block 78 ISIS-related channels that operated in 12 languages. "We were disturbed to learn that Telegram's public channels were being used by ISIS to spread their propaganda,” they said in a statement released on their website. Some of the channels had more than 10,000 followers, reported Reuters. Telegram itself has more than 60 million active users. Its founders Pavel and Nicolay Durov had also created Russia’s most popular social networking site, VKontakte, but lost control of the platform to business leaders supported by President Vladimir Putin, and subsequently moved to Berlin.