Telegram Founder Tells Tucker Carlson that Google and Apple Are Threats to Free Speech

Tim Cook CEO of Apple laughing
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In a recent interview with Tucker Carlson, Pavel Durov, the founder of the popular messaging app Telegram, accused tech giants Google and Apple of being the real enemies of free speech on the internet.

Pavel Durov, the Russian-born founder of the encrypted messaging platform Telegram, recently sat down for a rare in-depth interview with former Fox News host Tucker Carlson. During the conversation, Durov shared his thoughts on the social media and tech industry, particularly focusing on the issue of free speech online.

Durov claimed that the biggest barriers to free speech on the internet are not governments, but rather Big Tech corporations, specifically Apple and Google. He argued that because these two companies own the world’s top app stores, it is their rules and regulations that ultimately control free speech online.

“I would say the largest pressure towards Telegram is not coming from governments. It’s coming from Apple and Google,” Durov stated. “So when it comes to freedom of speech, those two platforms, they could basically censor whatever you can read or access on your smartphone.”

Durov pointed out that almost everyone in the world who has ever downloaded a smartphone app has done so through either the Google Play Store or the App Store, giving these corporations an enormous amount of power. Governments are even trying to push legislation to remove some of this power from the likes of Apple and Google.

While Durov acknowledged that these companies have general guidelines that are “difficult to disagree” with, such as prohibiting violence, discrimination, or child sexual abuse material on platforms distributed through their stores, he revealed that Telegram has had to take down content that he believed was “a legitimate way of people expressing their opinions” in order to comply with Apple and Google’s regulations. Failure to do so would result in Telegram being removed from the app stores, which would mean “a big chunk of the world’s population will lose access to a valuable tool.”

Watch the full interview here.

Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering issues of free speech and online censorship.

Authored by Lucas Nolan via Breitbart April 17th 2024