Saudi Arabia’s Etidal and Telegram remove over 6 million extremist content

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Saudi Arabia’s Global Center for Combating Extremist Ideology (Etidal) and Telegram have removed over 6 million pieces of extremist content in the first quarter of 2023, the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported on Sunday.

In a collaboration between Etidal and Telegram, 6,004,218 pieces of content were removed and a total of 1,840 channels belonging to ISIS, al-Qaeda and Hayat Tahrir al-Sham were closed between January 1 and March 31 for promoting extremist ideologies.

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The content targeted was in Arabic and varied between audio recordings, PDF files, and videos, an infographic shared by SPA showed.

The Etidal team identified and monitored the activity of the three terrorist organizations on Telegram where it discovered and removed 2,773,902 pieces of extremist content on 477 channels belonging to Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, 1,807,215 similar pieces on 1,040 channels belonging to ISIS, and 1,423,101 pieces on 323 channels belonging to al-Qaeda.

The infographic also showed that January 9 witnessed a peak “in broadcasting activity on Telegram, with 451,911 pieces of content being shared and referred to,” SPA reported.

On the other hand, March 27 saw a peak in accounts created where “101 channels were established in a single day.”

Overall, since the start of the collaboration between Etidal and Telegram in February 2022 and up until March 2023, 21,026,169 pieces of extremist content have been removed and 8,664 extremist channels have been closed.

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