Facebook, TikTok continues banning posts that promote Taliban
Facebook, TikTok ban posts that promote Taliban after the fall of Afghanistan. Facebook and TikTok said they continue to classify the Taliban as a terrorist organization and as a result, content related to the group will remain banned on their platforms.
This announcement came after Afghanistan fell to the Islamic militant group over the weekend. The Taliban seized the capital Kabul as well as the Presidential Palace after US President Joe Biden’s April decision to withdraw U.S. troops from Afghanistan. The Taliban swiftly made stunning battlefield advances and nearly the whole nation is now under the insurgents’ control.
In the announcement, Facebook said it has a team of content moderators dedicated to monitoring and removing content related to the Taliban. It’s unclear how many people are on the moderators team.
In responce, the Taliban’s spokesman, Zabihullah Mujahid, criticized Facebook for censorship in a public press conference in the capital of Kabul on Tuesday, for stifling the freedom of speech of the Afghan group.
Facebook is reported to have already removed several user accounts linked to Mujahid this week after they were flagged to the company by New York Times journalists. According to CNBC, Facebook and TikTok consider the Taliban to be a terrorist organization and the two social meadia giants said on Tuesday they won’t lift bans on content that promotes the Taliban.
A Facebook spokesperson told CNBC: "The Taliban is sanctioned as a terrorist organization under U.S. law and we have banned them from our services under our Dangerous Organization policies."
The ban is not new on Facebook as the Taliban has been banned from Facebook for several years, the 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," the Facebook spokesperson said.
TikTok also told CNBC that it has classified the Taliban a terrorist organization and that it will continue to remove content that praises, glorifies or provides support to them.
Facebook’s ban also extends to Instagram and WhatsApp but, however, there are reports that suggest that the Taliban are still using WhatsApp to communicate. It would be difficult to ban the group on WhatsApp because Whatsapp is end-to-end encrypted, meaning Facebook cannot see what people are sharing on it.
"As a private messaging service, we do not have access to the contents of people’s personal chats however, if we become aware that a sanctioned individual or organization may have a presence on WhatsApp we take action," said a WhatsApp spokesperson on Monday.