Twitter said in a statement on Tuesday that the Taliban will be allowed to stay on its social media platform, as long as they don’t get overly violent. The company claims it will “proactively enforce our rules” but stopped short of saying it would blacklist the Taliban, as Facebook did today.
After receiving inquiries about whether Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid will be banned from Twitter in the wake of the terrorist group seizing control of Kabul last weekend, a spokesperson for the company released a statement informing the media that the Taliban will remain on the platform while Twitter “proactively” enforces its rules.
Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid (L) gestures as he speaks during the first press conference in Kabul on August 17, 2021 following the Taliban stunning takeover of Afghanistan. (Photo by Hoshang Hashimi / AFP) (Photo by HOSHANG HASHIMI/AFP via Getty Images)
“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,” a Twitter spokesperson told CNBC.
“The situation in Afghanistan is rapidly evolving,” the spokesperson added. “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.”
Despite Twitter’s position on the terrorist group, Facebook has banned all Taliban accounts from its main platform, Instagram, and WhatsApp under its “Dangerous Organization” policy.
Social media users quickly took to Twitter to point out that the company appears to have a much harsher protocol for U.S. presidents than it does for the Taliban, as former President Donald Trump was banned earlier this year after holding a rally at the White House while he was still a sitting U.S. president.
Taliban’s official spokesman has an active Twitter account. Meanwhile, the former President of the United States remains banned. pic.twitter.com/bnMcFH9qNk
— Ian Miles Cheong @ stillgray.substack.com (@stillgray) August 15, 2021
French politician Jerome Riviere also weighed in on the matter, tweeting on Sunday, “Freedom and democracy are not doing well when #Twitter continues to ban #Trump’s account but relays the #Taliban spokesperson’s without any second thoughts.”
— Jerome Riviere (@jerome_riviere) August 15, 2021
In the meantime, Mujahid continues to tweet freely to his than 311,00 followers as of Tuesday evening.
Over the weekend, thousands of Americans were left stranded in Kabul, Afghanistan as President Joe Biden bungled the U.S. withdrawal from the country, and while heavily armed Taliban fighters thronged across the capital, eventually taking control of the presidential palace — abandoned by Afghan president Ashraf Ghani, who reportedly fled the country with four cars and a helicopter filled with cash.
Meanwhile, chaos ensued at Kabul’s main airport, as America’s 20-year campaign in Afghanistan came to end, leaving the country just as the U.S. initially found it in 2001: under Taliban rule.
Mujahid insists that the jihadist terrorist organization “will not be violent,” and that it will treat women as sharia demands.