Facebook Bans Content Supporting Taliban, Terms Insurgent Group Terrorist Organisation

London: Amid chaos in Kabul in the wake of the takeover of the Taliban, social media giant Facebook on Tuesday that it has banned the Taliban and all content supporting it from its platforms as it considers the group to be a terrorist organisation, according to a media report. In a statement, Facebook said that the company has a dedicated team of Afghan experts to monitor and remove content linked to the insurgent group. The move from Facebook comes as Taliban for years has used social media to spread its messages.

“The Taliban is sanctioned as a terrorist organisation under US law and we have banned them from our services under our Dangerous Organisation 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,” the spokesperson said. 

In the statement, Facebook also added that it does not make decisions about the recognition of national governments but instead follows the “authority of the international community”. Facebook highlighted that the policy applies to all of its platforms, including its flagship social media network, Instagram and WhatsApp.

However, there are reports that the Taliban is using WhatsApp to communicate. Facebook told the BBC that it would take action if it found accounts on the app to be linked to the group.

The brutal war in Afghanistan reached a watershed moment on Sunday when the Taliban insurgents closed in on Kabul before entering the city and took over the presidential palace, forcing embattled President Ashraf Ghani to flee the country.

On the other hand, Taliban on Tuesday declared an amnesty across Afghanistan and urged women to join their government, seeking to convince a wary population that they have changed a day after deadly chaos gripped the main airport as desperate crowds tried to flee the country.

Following a blitz across Afghanistan that saw many cities fall to the insurgents without a fight, the Taliban have sought to portray themselves as more moderate than when they imposed a brutal rule in the late 1990s. But many Afghans remain skeptical.

Older generations remember the Taliban’s ultraconservative Islamic views, which included severe restrictions on women as well as stonings, amputations and public executions before they were ousted by the US-led invasion that followed the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks.

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