Stick to the Taliban’s social media

A spokesman for the group, Zabihullah Mujahid, said: “This question should be asked of those who claim to be freedom of expression and who do not want to publish all information.” They said. “I can ask Facebook … they should be asked this question.
Facebook hints at staggering volatility: free press – US Taliban forces to leave the country Facebook (FB) And Twitter (TWTR) To deliver the message in Afghanistan and beyond. For example, on Twitter, several Taliban spokespersons, including Mujahid And Suhail Shahin, Has active, un verified accounts with over 300,000 followers each.

However, he said that most platforms, including Facebook and its sub-WhatsApp, would be controlled by Taliban-run accounts. The Taliban’s efforts to oppose or restrict restrictions on their online activities show that the militant group is heavily dependent on Western technology companies and the Internet – and that it could be overthrown by the group’s decades-long ban on the Internet.

“In general, various social media platforms and messaging apps have played an important role in the Taliban’s media strategy,” said Weda Mahara, an educator and extremist expert at extremist group propaganda at the University of Exeter.

When he took control of Afghanistan, those forums are now serving a vital purpose for the Taliban. So far, much of the group’s focus has been on developing a cleaner and more resilient image than it did when it was in power. He sees platforms such as Facebook and Twitter as key to that effort, both at home and abroad, said Safia Gori-Ahmed, director of the Maclate Associations and former foreign affairs adviser to Afghanistan.

“The Taliban are really trying to change their narrative and they are really trying to change their attitude,” he said. “And so I think you’re seeing that transition now. A lot of the huge use of smartphones and a lot of them are now available in Afghanistan. … You’ve noticed that you can use these technologies.

From enforcing internet restrictions to fleeing

The Taliban’s current approach to mass media and technology is in stark contrast to the one it took responsibility for in the 1990s and early 2000s. He then banned television and the Internet, the latter of which was intended to “control all that is wrong, obscene, immoral, and all that is against Islam.”

Mehran said the Taliban’s current online presence really began after the militant group was ousted in 2001 when it began posting videos and sharing messages online. Since then, he has enthusiastically embraced platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, and Telegram, none of which have been in power for the last time.

That embrace has been associated with Internet use throughout Afghanistan over the past decade. Since 2019, the country has had about 10 million internet users and about 23 million mobile phone users, with 89% of Afghanistan receiving telecommunications services, according to the latest information from the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology. In Afghanistan alone, Facebook has about 3 million users, the ministry said.

As a result, the Taliban are trying to get around them instead of imposing an internet ban – at least for now.

Knowing how far the US government and the international community know the militant group as the official government of Afghanistan, some Silicon Valley companies have taken matters into their own hands.
Earlier this month, Facebook reiterated its ban on the Taliban on all platforms, including Itagram and WhatsApp, and the latter reportedly closed the Taliban’s aid line in Kabul and several other Taliban accounts.

A Facebook spokesman said: “The Taliban have been banned under US law as a terrorist organization and have been banned from operating in accordance with our terrorist organization’s policies.” A WhatsApp spokesman declined to comment specifically on the helpline, saying it was “compulsory to comply with US sanctions”, which included “blocking accounts that appear to represent themselves as official Taliban accounts.”

YouTube says it will continue to “cut off” Taliban accounts. Twitter has not actively banned Taliban accounts, but a spokesman for the company said: “The priority is to keep people safe, and we are vigilant.”

On August 16, 2021, Taliban fighters patrolled Kabul Street.

“I think at the end of the day, [the Taliban] You do not want the Internet to be blocked. I don’t think they want YouTube out of the country, I don’t think they want Google out, I don’t think they want Facebook or Twitter to just roll out, ”Gori-Ahmed said.

If the Taliban are officially recognized by the international diplomatic community, the relationship between the Taliban and the technology community could be even more complex – depending on the current state of affairs in Afghanistan.

“If the Taliban allows an all-inclusive government, and they … if they are part of that government, they have, in principle, lost their legitimacy in Afghanistan, because they will be represented by other groups,” Mehran said. If that happens, it can be difficult to dislike the militant group like Facebook and YouTube.

Uncertain future for online statement

The Taliban’s approach to the Internet may not have allowed the Afghan people to speak, but it did not say what the group said.

There has already been an online debate, with Opposition videos On the streets of Kabul and Conditions It is widely shared on social media in the Afghan capital. But if that misunderstanding continues to grow, it could be even more violent to block access to the Internet for those who claim to control the Taliban.

Looking ahead, the Taliban really want to use technology for its own public relations and propaganda purposes. But now that he is in control of Afghanistan, he may want to restrict social media in an effort to reduce the population of Afghanistan. It’s access to information, ”said Madiha Afzal, a partner at the Brookings Institution’s foreign policy program. If platforms like the Taliban and Twitter try to restrict access, Afghans need to know how to keep up with Taliban propaganda while trying to keep their platforms afloat.

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At the same time, he urges the Taliban to abide by Islamic law, which can only be added to the challenges facing the Taliban’s online content in the country. I think it’s very difficult for many technology companies to know how to navigate that market.

On August 17, 2021, Taliban fighters stood guard at the entrance to the Ministry of Interior in Kabul.

Beyond that, the Taliban may use social media in a more hostile way – to search for and follow Afghans who have worked with the US government or the military.

Last week, Facebook introduced a one-click tool to lock users’ profiles in Afghanistan and pop-up alerts in Afghanistan. Series of tweets. “We are working closely with our counterparts in industry, civil society and the government to provide any support we need to protect people,” Glecher said.

Twitter is working with an online archive to resolve users’ requests to remove old tweets, and offers an option to temporarily block accounts if Afghan users are unable to access content. “It has taken some temporary measures, including restricting the visibility of communications, to help members in the country understand how to hide their profiles from public view,” Linken said.

Although he wants to paint a more accurate picture of the days after the Taliban took control, there are no guarantees that US troops will leave the country by the end of this month. After that, it will only be a matter of time before Afghans lose their ability to use social media.

“If that is silenced by the Taliban, and that is not accessible to them, then that really has to tell technology companies a lot about the Taliban,” Mehran said. The Taliban … should be allowed to attend those forums.


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