Following a report by the Counter Extremism Project (CEP), TamTam, a Russia-based messenger platform, has removed 18 channels endorsing neo-Nazi accelerationism and acts of terrorism. The channels posted bomb-making instructions and encouraged other activities meant to create “a climate of anxiety” and fear. CEP reported the channels to the communications app, citing the platform’s regulations that prohibit users from promoting and calling “for violence and cruelty, committing suicide and other illegal and immoral acts,” and promoting “extremism (or) terrorism” related to “ethnical or national identity, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, religious opinions, age, limited physical or mental abilities or diseases.”
The successful effort with TamTam follows CEP’s success in preventing sales of a neo-Nazi edition of the infamous antisemitic book The International Jew by Barnes & Noble.
The channels removed by TamTam posted guides on how to make explosives, the manifestos of several white supremacist mass shooters; videos from several neo-Nazi groups including the Atomwaffen Division, the National Socialist Order, The Base, and Feuerkrieg Division; a recently released propaganda video that encourages acts of terrorism and praises individuals who have committed acts of white supremacist violence; and a neo-Nazi accelerationist book that calls for lone actor violence, workplace violence, attacks on infrastructure, law enforcement, politicians, people of color, Jews, Muslims, Sikhs, Latinos, and LGBTQ+ people. The book also includes information on making homemade bombs, conducting surveillance, and other information helpful in committing attacks.
The deletion of the channels was quickly noted by extreme right users on Telegram, one of whom stated that they have “never heard of that happening.” Both the extreme-right and pro-ISIS supporters migrated to the Russian-owned platform after various crackdowns by Telegram under the assumption that TamTam doesn’t remove content.
Earlier this year, CEP action led to the removal of a neo-Nazi clothing shop from the print-on-demand platform Spring and a seller using the Spring platform to raise money for an Austrian neo-Nazi rapper serving a prison sentence for inciting violence and glorifying Nazism.
Tech companies and online stores have a responsibility to enforce their terms of service to prevent the spread of extremist and terrorist content and stymie fundraising efforts of these individuals and groups. Companies must not only promulgate relevant policies but also implement them to detect and prevent such content from populating their platforms.