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Telegram has blocked Hamas channels on Android because Google forced it to

A picture of Telegram’s paper airplane logo surrounded by yellow triangular shapes
Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

Social messaging platform Telegram has blocked channels used by Hamas, but only on Android phones due to violations of Google’s app store guidelines. According to CNBC, two channels — hamas_com and al-Qassam brigades — were cut off for Android users, though other channels the group uses, like Gaza Now, are still accessible.

Telegram blamed the blocks on Google’s app store guidelines, according to reporting in The Jerusalem Post. Users reportedly see an error saying the channels can’t be viewed on “Telegram apps downloaded from the Google Play Store,” implying that the ban doesn’t extend to the app when it’s downloaded from elsewhere or used on another operating system.

A Google spokesperson, who asked to be quoted anonymously due to the…

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