Content Related to the Taliban Banned on Social Media
Taliban takeover of Afghanistan presents new challenge for social media companies
The social media giant Facebook confirms that it designates the Taliban as a terrorist group, prohibits it and the content that supports it from its platforms.
The Facebook Inc spokesperson says the company is closely monitoring the situation in the country.
The rapid takeover of Afghanistan by the Taliban poses a new challenge for large US technology
companies in handling content created by a group considered terrorist by some governments around the world.
Facebook Banns Taliban Content
Social media giant Facebook confirmed on Monday that it designates the Taliban as a
terrorist group and prohibits it and the content that supports it from its platforms.
But members of the Taliban have reportedly continued to use Facebook’s end-to-end encrypted
messaging service WhatsApp to communicate directly with Afghans even though the company
bans it under the rules against dangerous organizations.
A Facebook Inc spokesperson said the company was closely monitoring the situation in the country
and that WhatsApp would take action on any accounts found to be link to sanction
organizations in Afghanistan, which could include deleting the account.
Taliban Followers on Twitter
On Twitter Inc, Taliban spokespeople with hundreds of thousands of followers tweeted updates during the country’s takeover.
When asked about the Taliban’s use of the platform, the company pointed to its policies against violent organizations
and hateful conduct, but did not respond to questions from Reuters about how it ranks.
Twitter’s rules say it doesn’t allow groups that promote terrorism or violence against civilians.
The return of the Taliban has raised fears that it will clamp down on freedom of expression and human rights,
especially women’s rights, and that the country could once again become a haven for global terrorism.
The Taliban made important statements in this regard
Taliban officials have issued statements saying they want peaceful international relations and have vowed to protect Afghans.
This year, major social media firms made important decisions about the management of world leaders and groups in power.
These include controversial blocs by former US President Donald Trump for inciting violence around
the Jan.6 Capitol riots and bans on Myanmar’s military amid a coup in the country.
Facebook, which has long been criticized for failing to combat hate speech in Myanmar,
said the coup increased the risks of offline harm and that its record of human rights violations
contributed to the ban by the ruling army or Tatmadaw.
Companies, which have been criticized by global legislators and regulators for their enormous political
and economic influence, often rely on state designations or official international recognition to determine who can enter their sites.
These also help determine who could be verified, who will be allowed official state accounts,
or who can receive special treatment for speeches that violate the rules due to journalistic relevance or public interest loopholes.
Differences between the positions of technology companies
However, the differences between the positions of the technology companies suggest that the approach is not uniform.
Alphabet Inc’s YouTube, which was asked if it has a ban or restrictions for the Taliban, declined to comment,
but said the video-sharing service relies on governments to define “Foreign Terrorist Organizations”
(FTO) for guide the site’s enforcement of its rules against violent offenders. groups.
YouTube pointed to the US State Department’s list of FTOs that the Taliban are not members of.
Instead, the United States classifies the Taliban as a “specially designated global terrorist,”
freezing the US assets of those on the blacklist and prohibiting Americans from working with them.
To further complicate matters, while most countries show little sign that they will recognize the group diplomatically,
the Taliban’s position on the world stage may still change as they cement control.
“The Taliban are in some ways an accepted actor at the level of international relations,”
said Mohammed Sinan Siyech, a researcher on security in South Asia and
a doctoral candidate at the University of Edinburgh, pointing to the talks that China and the United States have had. with the group.
“If that recognition comes, then that a company like Twitter or Facebook
makes a subjective decision that this group is bad and we will not host them raises complications.”