Social media company Facebook has said it will continue to ban the Taliban and content supporting it from its platforms as the insurgent group is sanctioned as a terrorist organisation under United States law, reported BBC on Tuesday.
“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,” a Facebook spokesperson told BBC.
The insurgent group has been banned from Facebook platforms for many years, a company spokesperson told CNBC.
The Taliban took control of Afghanistan on Sunday evening after making rapid advances through the country amid the withdrawal of foreign troops. Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani left the country, reportedly for neighbouring Tajikistan.
The airspace over Afghanistan was closed on Monday afternoon after thousands fearful of Taliban rule desperately thronged the airport in an attempt to flee the war-torn country. At least five people were reportedly killed amid the chaos at the Kabul airport. Some videos showed horrifying images of at least two people who tried to escape Kabul by clinging to a plane fall after takeoff.
The Taliban takeover has posed problems for social media companies on how to handle the content of the insurgent group as many governments consider them a terrorist organisation, according to Reuters. Different social media platforms are handling the matter differently.
On the Taliban assuming control of Afghanistan, the Facebook spokesperson told BBC that the company does not make decisions about recognising governments. The spokesperson said that the company follows the “authority of the international community”.
To this, Facebook said it will take action if it found accounts on the cross-messaging platform linked to Taliban.
Meanwhile, Twitter said that it will continue to review content that may violate the company’s rules, specifically its policies against the “glorification of violence, platform manipulation and spam”, reported ANI.
A company spokesperson added: “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.”
Video sharing platform YouTube, which is owned by Google, refused to say if it has banned the Taliban and its related content. However, the company told Reuters that it depends on governments to define Foreign Terrorist Organisations, which guides the enforcement of its rules.
The company pointed out that according to the US State Department’s list, the Taliban is not listed under Foreign Terrorist Organisations. YouTube said that the US instead classifies the group as “Specially Designated Global Terrorist”. Those under the designation have their US assets frozen and American citizens are barred from working with them.