Twitter Refuses to Ban Taliban Accounts
Twitter refuses to ban Taliban accounts, but vows to remain ‘vigilant’ on moderating content. Unlike Facebook and Tiktok, Twitter will allow Taliban-affiliated accounts on their platform despite its policies against glorification of violence and threats.
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.
With the Taliban now in control over most of Afghanistan again, social media companies have been revisiting their policies on pro-Taliban accounts.
According to MediaIte, on Tuesday Twitter said it would “continue to proactively enforce its rules on glorification of violence, platform manipulation and spam,” but didn’t say it would suspend or ban any specific accounts. MediaIte also pointed out that a prominent Taliban spokesperson, Zabihullah Mujahid, is still active on the site. With over 300,000 followers, Mujahid was tweeting as recently as Aug. 17 promoting a press conference.
Other pro-Taliban still active on Twitter include those belonging to Muhammad Ibrahim and Yousef Ahmandi. Colorado Republican Rep. Doug Lamborn reached out to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey about the issue and argued the Taliban shouldn’t be allowed on the platform because they’re clearly promoting violence.
“In my review of these accounts, I did not find a single fact check on any of their tweets, nor any warnings for false or misleading content,” Lamborn wrote in the Aug. 17 letter to Dorsey. “It is impossible to see how the accounts of Zabihullah Mujahid and Yousef Ahmandi do not violate your policies.
In response to criticism from Lamborn and others, Twitter said it will continue to review content on its site that’s posted by the Taliban instead of outrightly banning the Taliban accounts.
Twitter told Mediaite, “Twitter’s top priority is keeping people safe, and we remain vigilant,” and that it was “witnessing people in the country using Twitter to seek help and assistance.”
Unlike social media giants. TikTok, Facebook and Facebook-owned Instagram, Twitter doesn’t have an outright ban on Taliban accounts. Facebook said it will continue to enforce a ban on Taliban accounts that’s been in place for “several years”.