Twitter, which fosters anti-glorification of violence and threats policies, has not suspended Taliban-affiliated accounts and does not intend to do so.
According to Newsweek, a Twitter spokesperson said the company was committed to staying watchful in following its regulations, which include those prohibiting the promotion of violent content. But he had not addressed if Taliban accounts would be barred in the future.
“We will continue to proactively enforce our rules and review content that may violate Twitter Rules, specifically policies against glorification of violence, platform manipulation and spam,” said a Twitter spokesperson.
This could mean the Taliban accounts can just continue using as long as they do not explicitly post terrorist-related content.
Two days after the Taliban took over Kabul and slowly established its reign in Afghanistan, social media giants have different ways of dealing with the insurgent group’s usage of their services.
The U.S. has not officially recognized the Taliban as a Foreign Terrorist Organization. However, the outlet noted that the group was added to a list of Specially Designated Global Terrorists and Specially Designated Nationals maintained by the U.S. Treasury Department.
Pro-Taliban accounts could either recruit new members from all over the world or spread false information about the unfolding civil war, The Wrap alleged.
Facebook and Youtube recognized the Taliban as a terrorist group to be blocked from their platforms since it was clearly “sanctioned as a terrorist organization under US law.”
TikTok had also vowed not to lift its ban on the Taliban.
But on Twitter, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid has a 347,000-follower account that is active but unverified.
Mediaite revealed there had been clear proof of at least a person seeking to join the Taliban via interaction with Mujahid’s Twitter account. This perhaps has slipped from Twitter’s category of concerning content.
“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,” said Representative Doug Lamborn in a letter to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, Newsweek reported. “It is impossible to see how the accounts of Zabihullah Mujahid and Yousef Ahmandi do not violate your policies.”
Lamborn also noted the Taliban accounts on Twitter were clearly spreading false information on its “peaceful” intention in taking over Afghanistan, contradicting the reality that the militant group is using violence against civilians, according to media reports.
A Twitter spokesperson had said Afghans might seek help by using social media sites and promised that it would “remain vigilant” in enforcing its policies.
“The situation in Afghanistan is rapidly evolving,” Twitter spokesperson said. “We’re also witnessing people in the country using Twitter to seek help and assistance. Twitter’s top priority is keeping people safe, and we remain vigilant.
Many critics had quickly pointed to a double standard considering the former U.S. President Donald Trump remained blocked on Twitter.
Newsweek pointed to CNN correspondent Donie O’Sullivan who said that while Trump is banned, and the Taliban is not, “some huge gaps in the company’s policy,” have been exposed.