Facebook Bans Taliban Accounts Under ‘Dangerous Organization’ Policy

Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg
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Facebook has banned official Taliban accounts and any content promoting the terrorist group from all of its platforms including Instagram, and WhatsApp. A Facebook spokesperson said: “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.”

CNBC reports that tech giant Facebook has banned the Taliban and any content promoting the group from its various platforms including its main Facebook social media platform, photo-sharing app Instagram, and messaging app WhatsApp.

The Taliban has used social media platforms including Facebook and Twitter to promote its messages for years, but now Facebook has stated that it considers the Afghan group to be a terrorist organization and will no longer be allowing it to operate on Facebook platforms.

Taliban fighters take control of Afghan presidential palace after the Afghan President Ashraf Ghani fled the country, in Kabul, Afghanistan, Sunday, Aug. 15, 2021. (AP Photo/Zabi Karimi)

Taliban fighters take control of Afghan presidential palace after the Afghan President Ashraf Ghani fled the country, in Kabul, Afghanistan, Sunday, Aug. 15, 2021. (AP Photo/Zabi Karimi)

Facebook’s manual content moderators have now been instructed to remove any posts, images, and videos related to 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.”

As a result, Facebook will remove accounts maintained by the Taliban and those that praise or support the jihadist organization. The Facebook spokesperson added: “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.”

WASHINGTON, DC – APRIL 10: Facebook co-founder, Chairman and CEO Mark Zuckerberg testifies before a combined Senate Judiciary and Commerce committee hearing in the Hart Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill April 10, 2018 in Washington, DC. Zuckerberg, 33, was called to testify after it was reported that 87 million Facebook users had their personal information harvested by Cambridge Analytica, a British political consulting firm linked to the Trump campaign. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

WhatsApp has reportedly been a popular communication tool for Taliban members and as conversations on the app are end-to-end encrypted, Facebook is unable to see what content is being shared via the app. A WhatsApp spokesperson told Vice this week: “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.”

However, a Facebook spokesperson told CNBC that WhatsApp uses AI software to scan unencrypted group chat information including profile photos, names, and group descriptions to meet legal obligations.

A Twitter spokesperson commented on the situation in Afghanistan, stating: “The situation in Afghanistan is rapidly evolving. 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. 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.

Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-TX) blasted Twitter for its policy of allowing the terrorist group to maintain accounts on its platform. Tweeting to CEO Jack Dorsey, Crenshaw wrote: “Hey @jack why does the Taliban get an account..? You see why Americans are pissed about your BS standards?”

Read more at CNBC here.

Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering issues of free speech and online censorship. Follow him on Twitter @LucasNolan or contact via secure email at the address lucasnolan@protonmail.com

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