Judge Alexandre de Moraes ordered internet providers and digital distributors to block the messaging app across the country on Friday after failing to comply with Brazilian authorities’ requests to erase messages found to contain disinformation.
Following the Brazilian suspension, Telegram’s creator and CEO, Pavel Durov, made a statement, claiming that the ban occurred due to his company checking the wrong email address.
“It seems that we had an issue with emails going between our telegram.org corporate addresses and the Brazilian Supreme Court. As a result of this miscommunication, the court ruled to ban Telegram for being unresponsive. On behalf of our team, I apologize to the Brazilian Supreme Court for our negligence. We definitely could have done a better job,” he said.
“We complied with an earlier court decision 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 because the court used the old general-purpose email address in further attempts to reach us. As a result, we missed its decision in early March that contained a follow-up takedown request. Luckily, we have now found and processed it, delivering another report to the court today,” Durov added.
Durov also urged the court to “consider delaying its ruling.”
“Because tens of millions of Brazilians rely on Telegram to communicate with family, friends, and colleagues, I ask the Court to consider delaying its ruling for a few days at its discretion to allow us to remedy the situation by appointing a representative in Brazil and setting up a framework to react to future pressing issues like this in an expedited manner. The last three weeks have been unprecedented for the world and Telegram. Our content moderation team was flooded with requests from multiple parties.”
“However, I am certain that once a reliable channel of communication is established, we’ll be able to efficiently process takedown requests for public channels that are illegal in Brazil,” the statement concluded,” he added.