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Facebook has confirmed ban on Taliban-related content

© REUTERS

Facebook has designated the Taliban as a terrorist group and banned it plus all content supporting it from the company’s platforms.

However, Taliban members have reportedly continued to use Facebook’s messaging service WhatsApp to communicate directly with Afghanis despite the social media company forbidding it under rules against dangerous organisations.

Facebook says it has a dedicated team of Afghan experts to monitor and remove content linked to the group.

For years, the Taliban has used social media to spread its messages.

Its rapid takeover of Afghanistan raises fresh challenges for technology firms on how to deal with content related to the group.

“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 told the BBC.

“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 giant said it does not make decisions about the recognition of national governments but instead follows the “authority of the international community”.

The company highlighted that the policy applies to all of its platforms including its flagship social media network, Instagram and WhatsApp.

Facebook told the BBC that it would take action if it found accounts on the app to be linked to the group.

On Twitter Inc, Taliban spokesmen with hundreds of thousands of followers 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 about how it makes its classifications. Twitter’s rules say it does not allow groups who promote terrorism or violence against civilians.

According to its rules, Twitter does not allow groups that promote terrorism or violence against civilians.

Alphabet Inc’s YouTube, asked whether it has a ban or restrictions on the Taliban, declined to comment but said the video-sharing service relies on governments to define “Foreign Terrorist Organizations” (FTO) to guide the site’s enforcement of its rules against violent criminal groups.

YouTube pointed to the U.S. State Department’s list of FTO’s of which the Taliban is not a member. The U.S. instead classifies the Taliban as a “Specially Designated Global Terrorist,” which freezes the U.S. assets of those blacklisted and bars Americans from working with them.

Complicating matters further, though most countries show little sign they will recognize the group diplomatically, the Taliban’s position on the world stage may yet shift as they cement control.

Source : BBC & Reuters

PD Admin

Staff writer, The Postdale Daily

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