The messaging app Zello said it has removed more than 2,000 channels on its platform related to armed extremism, and banned all “militia-related channels,” after it found evidence that some of its users participated in the Capitol riots.
Zello, a voice messaging app that provides a walkie-talkie-like function, condemned the violence in a blog post on Wednesday.
“It is with deep sadness and anger that we have discovered evidence of Zello being misused by some individuals while storming the United States Capitol building last week,” the company said. “Looking ahead, we are concerned that Zello could be misused by groups who have threatened to organize additional potentially violent protests and disrupt the U.S. Presidential Inauguration Festivities on January 20th.”
Zello added that “a large proportion” of the channels it removed on Wednesday had been dormant for months and in some cases years.
The company is further analyzing the groups on its platform to determine whether any may violate its terms of service. But it added that because it does not store message content, the task is not as simple as running searches for keywords or hashtags and blocking them.