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Kosovo Detains Young Man for Unauthorised Denigrating Publication on ‘Telegram’

A Kosovo court detained a young man for sharing images of a girl in a Telegram group, with over 100,000 members, used to publish derogatory and ‘deep fake’ images of women and girls, in Albanian language.

The Basic Court of Prizren, has ruled a thirty day detention for eighteen year old L.B., arrested on February 5, under the suspicion that he shared images of a girl in a group in the social media network Telegram, being used in Kosovo to share blackmailing “pornograpahic” material of women and girls.

Around 112,000 members have joined the group where personal data, intimate, derogatory, and ‘deep fake’ videos and photos, of mainly women and girls, are being shared in the Albanian language.

By the time of publication, 20,993 photos and 19,516 videos have been shared. 

Edited photos that have replaced a woman or girl in the original image with another by using an algorithm, known as ‘deep fake’, have also been shared in this group. The ‘deep fakes’ have targeted public figures who have reacted and/or reported the group.

According to the prosecution file, seen by BIRN, the 18-year-old L.B. is suspected of threatening the victim, an unidentified girl who had reported the case to the police, to share her personal information and images if she did not obey his requests. After the girl had denied performing the actions he had requested, the prosecution claims, the young man had published photos of  the girl in the private group on Telegram, which at the time had over 80 thousand members.

In Kosovo, the unauthorized distribution of photographs or other images is a criminal offense punishable by the Criminal Code “by a fine or imprisonment of one (1) to three (3) years”.

In the content seen by BIRN, anonymous persons make requests to see images of particular women.

Some of the questions include: “Are there any photos, how can I see more photos?”; “How much was the price and where does it come from?”; “Is there anyone from Drenas?”; “In Prizren do we have something like this”

The private group has the following rules: “Send numbers, photos/videos, snaps, etc. Only Albanian. To send me photos/videos click here. Warning, if the photos/videos are not related to the group, you will be banned (expelled) automatically by the admins”.

The Telegram messaging app was founded in 2013 and is owned by Russian-born brothers Pavel and Nikolai Durov.

Telegram is known for creating groups with the membership of thousands of users, in which numerous articles are distributed about the current situation in the world.

The Telegram team is located in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, while it was forced to leave Russia due to local regulations.

09/02/2024 - 17:31

09 February 2024 - 17:31

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