Taliban helpline number blocked by WhatsApp in Afghanistan, and YouTube cracks down on Tablin accounts:
Social media companies have maintained a strong stance against the Taliban regime in Afghanistan. Google-owned YouTube said it would not allow accounts operated by the Taliban on its site. Facebook’s messaging app WhatsApp has also shut down a grievance helpline for Afghans to contact the Taliban. The helpline group was set up after the Taliban gained control of Afghanistan after 20 years.
The return of the Taliban to power in Afghanistan has created fear among the citizens of the country. People are desperate to flee the country as they fear that their freedom of expression will be snatched away by the terrorist organization in power. Women are frightened by the harsh treatment meted out under the dreadful Taliban regime. As soon as the terrorist organization took power, it painted the images of women black at storefronts around the city of Kabul.
According to the Financial Times report, WhatsApp has shut down the helpline groups run by the Taliban. Although WhatsApp has not commented on the matter, it has said that “the service was bound by US sanctions laws to ban accounts that present themselves as official accounts of the Taliban.” Facebook along with other Taliban channels also blocked emergency helpline numbers issued by the organization. The numbers were reportedly issued for citizens to report cases of loot and violence.
Facebook had said it designated the Taliban as a terrorist group and banned content related to the organization from its platform. Facebook, in turn, was accused by a Taliban spokesman of censoring its content on its platform.
YouTube also said it would close all accounts linked to the Taliban. “YouTube complies with all applicable sanctions and trade compliance laws, including relevant US sanctions. As such, if we believe an account is owned and operated by the Afghan Taliban, we terminate it,” said a company spokesperson. said in the statement.
However, Twitter, on the other hand, does not plan to present a comprehensive policy on Taliban activities on its platform. The company said it takes action against any account that violates its guidelines.