On August 19, Twitter suspended all accounts associated with caretaker President Amrullah Saleh of Afghanistan. Afghan President’s official handle @Afghanpresident and his party Afghanistan Green Trend’s (AGT) handle @AfgGreenTrend were suspended by the micro-blogging site. Reportedly, Saleh is still mobilising forces to counter the takeover of Afghanistan. He is currently lodged in the Panjshir province that has not yet fallen into the hands of the Taliban.
What is interesting is that while Twitter suspended accounts associated with Saleh, the Taliban’s spokesperson account is still active on the platform. In fact, accounts of several Taliban leaders are available on Twitter. Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid who is actively updating his account with the latest updates, has over 300,000 followers. Spokesperson Suhail Shaheen also has over 300,000 followers, while Qari Yousaf Ahmadi has around 60,000 followers on Twitter.
While Facebook and YouTube swiftly started banning accounts associated with the Taliban and its followers, Twitter refrained itself from doing so. It said that the Taliban’s accounts are under constant monitoring, and they would take action against the Jihadi group if they “cross the line”.
Facebook, while announcing the ban on Taliban, stated that it had designated Taliban a terrorist organisation as per US laws and it would remove all accounts and content associated with Taliban from all its platforms, including Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram.