Facebook closes accounts of Taliban-controlled Afghan vehicles
Organization uses Facebook and Twitter since taking power in Afghanistan
O Facebook closed the accounts of at least two Afghan state-owned media outlets – the company confirmed this Thursday (21), in accordance with the laws of the United States who consider the Taliban a “terrorist organization”.
The Taliban have used Facebook and Twitter since they took power in August last year, but they exercise tight control over state media in the country, including television, radio and newspapers.
Facebook announced today that it has closed the accounts of at least two Afghan state-run media outlets, citing the need to comply with US law that classifies the Taliban as a terrorist organization.
Public radio and television group RTA and state agency Bakhtar complained that their Facebook accounts were closed.
“The Taliban is sanctioned as a terrorist organization under US law and is prohibited from using our services,” a spokesperson for Meta, Facebook’s parent company, said in a statement sent to AFP.
“We have closed the accounts of the Taliban, or that are in their name, and we prohibit any praise, support or representation” of the Islamic fundamentalist group, he added.
Meta did not release a list of banned Afghan companies, but Facebook accounts for some private media appeared to be operating normally on Thursday.
Taliban government spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid criticized the ban, which he said showed Facebook’s “impatience and intolerance”.
“The slogan ‘Freedom of Speech’ is used to deceive other nations,” he tweeted.
In a video statement, RTA director Ahmadullah Wasiq said his organization’s Dari and Pashto pages had been closed on Facebook and Instagram, also owned by Meta, “for unknown reasons.”
“The RTA is a national institution, the voice of the Nation”, he declared, regretting this decision.
Bajtar also asked Facebook to reconsider the move.
The Taliban is on the US Treasury’s list of terrorist organizations, but is not classified as a foreign terrorist organization by the State Department.