Article by: Dumisane Dube
Facebook has recently announced that it was blocking WhatsApp accounts linked to the Taliban after Islamic group seized control of Afghanistan and sought to use the messaging service to help it govern.
The news comes with social media platforms facing pressure to block accounts used by the Taliban since the offensive which led to the takeover of the war-ravaged country.
“The Taliban is sanctioned as a terrorist organization under US law and we have banned them from our services under our Dangerous Organization policies,” a Facebook spokesperson told the media.
The social media giant says that the company is required to follow US sanctions and they are still seeking information with regards to the matter.
” We’re seeking more information from relevant US authorities given the evolving situation in Afghanistan… This means we remove accounts maintained by or on behalf of the Taliban and prohibit praise, support, and representation of them ” the company said.
Facebook further says they have a dedicated team of Afghanistan experts, who are native Dari and Pashto speakers and have knowledge of local context, to help guide policy.
“Our teams are closely monitoring this situation as it evolves. Facebook does not make decisions about the recognized government in any particular country but instead respects the authority of the international community in making these determinations,” Facebook said.
A Taliban spokesman meanwhile criticized Facebook for blocking “freedom of speech” in the country as a result of the crackdown by the US firm.
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