Collaborating Authors

How to build a bot to automate your mindless tasks using Python and Google BigQuery


Do you have repetitive tasks? Something that you do regularly, every week or even every day? Reporting might be one of your weekly or daily tasks. You query or ask for the data, and do some visualizations, then give it to your boss. What if, instead of doing it manually, you were to automate it so you don't have to do the boring stuff, and you can use your precious time to do other things?

Black market for fake vaccine cards thrives on Telegram


People are trying to sell fake vaccine cards to anti-vaxxers on Telegram. The research arm of security firm Check Point has a new report on the proliferation of fake vaccine card black markets on Telegram. It estimates that there are now over 2,500 active groups and channels selling fake vaccination records from countries all over the globe, a 257 percent increase from its last report in March. A mix of groups and channels peddling these illicit wares have thousands of members: The average is about 100,000 followers, with one channel posting to more than 450,000 subscribers. Vaccine records are going for around $100 a pop, paid in cryptocurrency, of course.

When War Struck, Ukraine Turned to Telegram


Every day for the past two years, thousands of Ukrainians opened the official Covid-19 Telegram channel for the latest pandemic news. Millions read the channel during the global health crisis. But as Russian troops marched toward Ukraine's borders, the channel responded. It asked whether members wanted updates on the latest "socio-political" news? People overwhelmingly voted for the change.

Apple sued to remove Telegram over anti-Semitic posts


Telegram's star is on the rise, but as the secure messaging app popular among protest organizers, political dissidents, revenge porn seekers, and white supremacists alike gets even more popular, reaching more than 500 million active users worldwide in recent days, it faces wider scrutiny. Those irked by Telegram's limited content moderation in the past -- researchers have nicknamed it "Terrorgram" due to a glut of Nazi extremists -- have been complaining into the internet void for years, but a lawsuit filed Sunday adds a new spotlight to the controversy and a unique twist. The Coalition for a Safer Web wants Apple to boot Telegram from the App Store and at least $75,000 in damages. A former U.S. ambassador and White House liaison for the Secretary of State has filed a lawsuit against Apple claiming that by hosting Telegram in its App Store, Apple is inflicting emotional distress upon him as an iPhone XR owner. Apple is also disregarding its own policies by letting App Store users download Telegram, the lawsuit states.

Brazil Supreme Court judge bans Telegram messaging app

Al Jazeera

A Brazilian Supreme Court judge has ordered the shutdown of popular messaging application Telegram in the country, effectively banning one of far-right President Jair Bolsonaro's favourite communication channels ahead of elections later this year. In a decision published on Friday, Judge Alexandre de Moraes ordered the app blocked immediately across the South American nation, citing Telegram's failure to comply with orders from Brazilian authorities and remove messages found to contain disinformation. The decision comes as Bolsonaro gears up to seek re-election in October, counting on Telegram to rally his base amid slumping public support and criticism over his government's handling of the COVID-19 crisis. The president has more than 1 million followers on the platform. "Telegram's disrespect for Brazilian law and repeated failure to comply with countless court decisions … is completely incompatible with the rule of law," Moraes wrote in his decision.