Thursday, January 20, 2022
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Afghanistan-Taliban Crisis: Facebook Bans Content Supporting Taliban

Facebook says it has banned the Taliban and all content supporting it from its platforms because it considers the group to be a terrorist organisation.

According to the company, it has a dedicated team of Afghan experts monitoring and removing content associated with the group.

The Taliban has used social media to spread its messages for years.

Its rapid takeover of Afghanistan poses new challenges for technology firms in terms of dealing with group-related content.

“The Taliban is sanctioned as a terrorist organization under US law and we have banned them from our services under our Dangerous Organization policies. This means we remove accounts maintained by or on behalf of the Taliban and prohibit praise, support, and representation of them,” a Facebook spokesperson said.

“We also have a dedicated team of Afghanistan experts, who are native Dari and Pashto speakers and have knowledge of local context, helping to identify and alert us to emerging issues on the platform,” they added.

The social media behemoth stated that it does not make decisions on national government recognition, but rather defers to the “authority of the international community.”

The policy, according to Facebook, applies to all of its platforms, including its flagship social media network, Instagram, and WhatsApp.

However, there are reports that the Taliban is communicating via WhatsApp.

Rival social media platforms have also been criticised for how they handle content related to the Taliban.

As the organisation retook control of Afghanistan, spokespeople used Twitter to update their hundreds of thousands of followers.

When questioned about the Taliban’s use of the platform, the company referred to its policies against violent organisations and hate speech, but did not respond to Reuters’ questions about how it classifies content. Twitter’s rules state that groups that promote terrorism or violence against civilians are not permitted to use the platform.

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