Facebook on Wednesday morning blocked the WhatsApp accounts of the radical Islamist terrosist group, Taliban.
The social media company said the ban was in compliance with the sanctions given by the White House on the terrorist organizations.
Facebook closed a WhatsApp account that the Taliban opened to receive complaints about violence and looting, according to the Financial Times . A WhatsApp spokesperson specified in an email to AFP that the company must comply with US sanctions.
“ That includes banning accounts that appear to be official Taliban channels. We are seeking more information from important authorities in the United States given the evolution of the situation in Afghanistan, ”the company said. The announcement comes as social media platforms face pressure to block accounts used by the Taliban amid the offensive that led them to take over the conflict-ravaged country.
Facebook said it has launched ” a team of experts dedicated to Afghanistan, who are native speakers of Dari and Pashtun (languages) and have knowledge of the local context ” to help enforce its policies.
“ Our teams closely monitor the evolution of the situation. Facebook does not decide on the recognition of a government in any country, but rather respects the authority of the international community to make those decisions , ”the company said.
A Taliban spokesman criticized Facebook for blocking ” freedom of expression ” in the country.
In a press conference broadcast online, the Taliban official responded to a question on freedom of expression by saying: “ I should ask the same question to people who claim to be promoters of freedom of expression, but it does not allow all the information to be published (. ..) You should ask the Facebook company ”.
The Taliban on Wednesday repressed a massive protest in eastern Afghanistan in favor of the Afghan tricolor , where protesters opposed replacing it with the white flag inscribed with the declaration of Islamic faith, which represents the insurgents and their Islamic Emirate.
The protests took place this morning in the streets of Jalalabad , capital of Nangahar province, one of the last cities to fall into the hands of the Taliban. The public demonstration of dissent had to face an overwhelming use of force. The insurgents fired into the crowd and beat protesters and journalists.
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