We've all had a laugh at Milo posting about how Telegram is a dead end for him and he can't monetize the platform.

However, beyond that, we do need to talk about Telegram. It's a powerful tool for malevolent forces. /1

There are significant Far Right presences on Telegram - just look at England's own 'Tommy Robinson', who has twice Milo's followers, and regularly updates with news (from his own site) and videos from affiliated figures. He even sells merch through it. /2

The thing is, though, Telegram really doesn't suit itself for large figures such as Milo or 'Tommy'. Some of the most active channels I've seen are much, much smaller. /3

Some of the smaller channels, with between 200 - 2,000 followers are the most active, posting up to 30 - 40 times a day - and there are quite literally hundreds of them. /4

Some channels with the most action, and a higher than average follower account (for Far Right channels) are those that deal exclusively with memes, audio and video, reposted from 4chan, 8chan and elsewhere. /5

Edgy humour is interspersed with actual historical propaganda from fascists. There's no delineating, and the humour is most definitely considered a gateway towards radicalisation. /6

Just a few 'jumps', via cross-posting, from the channels of reasonably well-known UK Far Right figures, I found myself on channels openly glorifying the Christchurch shooter. /7

Telegram 'works' best as small, decentralised silos sharing radicalising material, and being used as a platform for small-scale organising.

Most channels have secondary, invite-only discussion channels that I haven't even touched - I've only shown you 'public facing' ones. /8

Milo can complain about Telegram, but it's doing a hell of a job serving up a daily dose of radicalising hate to just the kind of individuals likely to respond to it - disconnected from mainstream channels, unable to separate 'shitposting' from propaganda. /9

You can't ban these groups on Telegram, or even mitigate them really, but we can be aware of them as a vector for radicalisation.

Parents, have a chat. Teachers, be aware. It's wicked easily to get hooked in to this stuff. /FIN

You can follow @MikeStuchbery_.


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