June 15, 2024

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A call for murder against a federal councilor goes viral on Telegram – and that’s what’s behind it

A call for murder against a federal councilor goes viral on Telegram – and that’s what’s behind it

The Telegram messenger service is full of users calling for acts of violence under the protection of anonymity.Built by: Shutterstock

A Swiss Telegram channel spreads threats — and reaches tens of thousands. Experts warn that the current case is an example of the dangers this can pose to a democratic system.

Daniel Scherter
Daniel Scherter

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Fairmedia, an independent media organization, monitors terrorist activity on the messenger service Telegram. This is done systematically by focusing on channels with links to Switzerland.

Now researchers have found a puzzling case, they write in the current report, that Watson was able to foresee.

The posts say “we’re going to finish them all off now”, the “deep state” must be destroyed and the “entire Swiss government must be executed”.

Such reasonable calls have increased due to the corona pandemic and central government measures. However, Fairmedia notes that these rarely reach a wider audience.

The content of the Telegram channel in question is largely consistent with the US QAnon conspiracy theory, which has also gained a foothold in Switzerland after the corona pandemic.

What does this have to do with Trump and JFK?

The name of the Telegram channel and the alleged operator are not published here so as not to advertise it involuntarily. He can be assigned to the spectrum of conspiracy theorists and the QAnon movement known from America.

Fairmedia writes about ridiculous content:

The related message has already been viewed 107,000 times, Watson can confirm.

An AI-generated image for the messenger service Telegram

Image: DALL-E / Watson

Fairmedia Notes:

“While his messages may sound ridiculous, the numbers show that TM is not a lone crackpot. His Telegram channel continues to grow; over 16,000 subscribers have been added in the past month alone.

However, it cannot detect which Telegram users have subscribed to a channel.

There are no official user numbers for Switzerland, and we don’t know how many people consume their toxic channels with extremist content. According to An IGEM survey 800,000 people (12 percent of the population) use an alternative messenger service like Telegram every day.

Why is it dangerous?

Fairmedia assumes that subscribers to the Telegram channel come from the entire German-speaking region, i.e. Germany, Austria and Switzerland, and North America. The channel operator distributes a lot of news in English and German. They are often associated with Switzerland.

“Toxic telegram channels openly calling for the assassination of federal councilors is an escalating situation that has been reached from time to time. It is worrying that such posts are going viral in this situation,” he said.


Watson doesn’t go into more detail about the operator.

Mistrust and hatred of political and social elites are common features of the QAnon story, Fairmedia notes. Conspiracy stories went so far that elites were said to kidnap and satanically abuse children. Here is also a clear reference to the associated anti-Semitic conspiracy narrative.

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As Fairmedia noted in a previous report, Swiss alternative media distributed via Telegram also incite anti-Semitism.

How is the central government reacting?

As the authority told Fairmedia, the Swiss Federal Police is aware of Fedpol related calls for violence.

Fedpol, which is responsible for protecting state government and central parliamentarians, has observed fewer threat reports “against their protected persons” since the end of state corona measures, but the total number of threats is comparable to the pre-corona period. always increased.

“Continuing from the start of the Corona operations to the present day is the worrying content and violent tone of these threats.”

A Fedpol spokesperson

In the current report, Fairmedia writes that the Telegram channels it regularly evaluates are “rife with misinformation, hate speech and confusing conspiracy theories.” All of these are unchallenged and have more or less a lot of support.


Street artist Barbara attacked on Facebook


Street artist Barbara attacked on Facebook

Cactus Against Nazis: This work by street artist Barbara has been removed from Facebook.

They are: facebook.com/ichwillanonymbleiben

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Video: Watson

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