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Facebook designates Taliban as terrorist group, bars content from its platforms

Facebook designates Taliban as terrorist group, bars content from its platforms

Facebook Inc said the company was closely monitoring the situation in Afghanistan and that WhatsApp would take action on any accounts found to be linked with sanctioned organisations in Afghanistan including account removal

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Social media giant Facebook has designated the Taliban as a terrorist group and banned its content from its platforms.

But Taliban members have reportedly continued to use Facebook's end-to-end encrypted messaging service WhatsApp to communicate directly with Afghanis despite the company prohibiting it under rules against dangerous organisations.

A Facebook Inc (FB.O) spokesperson said the company was closely monitoring the situation in the country and that WhatsApp would take action on any accounts found to be linked with sanctioned organisations in Afghanistan, which could include account removal.

On Twitter Inc, Taliban spokesmen with hundreds of thousands of followers have tweeted updates during the country's takeover.

Asked about the Taliban's use of the platform, the company pointed to its policies against violent organisations and hateful conduct but did not answer Reuters questions about how it makes its classifications. Twitter's rules say it does not allow groups that promote terrorism or violence against civilians.

The Taliban's return has raised fears it will crackdown on freedom of speech and human rights, especially women's rights, and that the country could become a haven once again for global terrorism.

Taliban officials have issued statements saying they want peaceful international relations and have promised to protect Afghans.

Major social media firms this year made high-profile decisions on handling sitting world leaders and groups in power.

These include controversial blocks of former U.S. President Donald Trump for inciting violence around the Jan. 6 Capitol riot and bans on Myanmar's military amid a coup in the country.

Published on: Aug 17, 2021, 11:02 AM IST
Posted by: Mehak Agarwal, Aug 17, 2021, 10:55 AM IST
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