But members of the Taliban Allegedly Facebook’s end-to-end encrypted messaging service WhatsApp continued to be used to communicate directly with Afghans despite the company banning it under rules against dangerous organisations.
A Facebook spokesperson said the company was closely monitoring the situation in the country and that WhatsApp would take action on any accounts associated with sanctioned organizations in Afghanistan, which could include deleting accounts. The Taliban has hundreds of thousands of followers on Twitter. Spokespersons have tweeted updates during the country’s takeover. Asked about the Taliban’s use of the platform, the company pointed to its policies against violent organizations and hateful conduct, but did not answer Reuters questions on how it classifies it. Twitter’s rules say it doesn’t allow groups that promote terrorism or violence against civilians.
Taliban officials have issued statements saying they want peaceful international relations and have promised to protect Afghans. This year saw major social media firms make high-profile decisions to take over world leaders and groups in power. These include former US President Donald Trump’s controversial block on inciting violence around the January 6 Capitol riots and sanctions on Myanmar’s military amid a coup in the country.
Facebook, which has long been criticized for failing to curb hate speech in Myanmar, said the coup increased the risk of harm online and a history of human rights violations contributed to the ban on the ruling military, or Tatmadaw. Gave.
Alphabet’s YouTube declined to comment when asked whether it has banned or imposed restrictions on the Taliban. But it added that the video-sharing service relies on governments to define “foreign terrorist organizations” (FTOs) for enforcement of their rules against violent criminal groups.
“The Taliban is to some extent an acknowledged player on the international relations stage,” said Mohammad Sinan Siech, a researcher on security in South Asia and a doctoral candidate at the University of Edinburgh. The researcher pointed to China and the United States’ interactions with the group. “If that recognition comes through, it would create complications for a company like Twitter or Facebook to make a subjective decision that this group is bad and we won’t host them”.