Last week, Telegram and Telegram X apps abruptly left the App Store with Telegram CEO saying some "inappropriate content" was the reason for the sudden removal. The apps returned to the App Store barely hours later, though one was left wondering what the exact reasons behind the removal never came to light. Until now.
In an email, Apple SVP of Worldwide Marketing Phil Schiller has stated that the App Store team was alerted about child pornography in the Telegram apps, and the decision to pull down those apps was taken after verifying the existence of the illegal content.
"The Telegram apps were taken down off the App Store because the App Store team was alerted to illegal content, specifically child pornography, in the apps. After verifying the existence of the illegal content the team took the apps down from the store, alerted the developer, and notified the proper authorities, including the NCMEC (National Center for Missing and Exploited Children)," Schiller said in the email, as seen by 9to5Mac.
Schiller's statement matches what Telegram CEO Pavel Durov referenced previously in a response to a Twitter user. Furthermore, the email also highlights that the App Store team restored the apps only once they were assured that the necessary controls to keep such content in check in the future were in place. "Only after it was verified that the developer [Telegram] had taken these actions and put in place more controls to keep this illegal activity from happening again were these apps reinstated on the App Store," Schiller added.
It is worth noting here that this wasn't the first time when Telegram was in the headlines for giving space to objectionable content. In March last year, it was reported that the Islamic State militants in Pakistan were using Telegram to dodge authorities. The Telegram app also faced ban threats in Russia and Indonesia a few months back for not blocking unlawful content.