Taliban Raises Social Media By Defying Bans By Platforms

Within companies, Facebook has mobilized an emergency response team in recent days to monitor the situation in Afghanistan and assess the use of its products, including the Taliban’s messaging app WhatsApp, according to employees at the social network. Employees participating in discussions at companies said that they are trying to read between the lines about whether the US government, one of the world leaders of Twitter and YouTube, will establish a de facto relationship with the Taliban.

Yet even as companies removed their Taliban accounts, the bans were porous. When Facebook blocked the WhatsApp account of Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid this week, it distributed to reporters a new, still active WhatsApp account of another Taliban leader.

He also said that the Taliban avoided easy detection by changing the spellings in their hashtags or key terms and using encrypted apps like Telegram and WhatsApp to seed their messaging and ask volunteers to translate their social media posts into multiple languages. Aziz, independent researcher.

Any dragnet seems to be mistakenly confusing others posting content that pushes back against the Taliban. HumSub editor Adnan Kakar said Facebook removed the article after news site HumSub published an article this month opposing a local newspaper column praising another Taliban founder, Mullah Omar.

“We immediately got the message ‘Your article has been removed due to standards regarding dangerous people and organizations,'” he said. Mr. Kakar said that his personal account and HumSub’s Facebook page were also suspended for 24 hours and blocked from broadcasting live broadcasts and advertisements for 60 days. He said he got no response when he challenged Facebook.

Compounding the challenges faced by the platforms, many new pro-Taliban accounts are careful to post content that does not openly promote violence or hate speech and that would violate companies’ rules.

A new Twitter account called the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, the unrecognized state of the Taliban, appeared on 8 August. The account, which has more than 400 followers, posted two videos showing the military maneuvers of the Taliban. However, the video did not contain violent or uncensored images or call for violence directly.

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