Facebook Suspends Pages of Taliban-Controlled Media, Remains Firm on Policy Against Taliban

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Facebook’s anti-Taliban policy continues to remain firm as the social media platform suspended pages of the Taliban-controlled Afghanistan National Television and Bakhtar news agency. The pages of Afghanistan National Television and Bakhtar news agency are no longer accessible, reported Khaama Press, adding that since the Taliban seized control of Afghanistan National Television’s media centre, they conducted extensive media activities. However, the pages of this media centre and Bakhtar news agency are currently inaccessible.

According to the head of Afghanistan National Television, Ahmadullah Wasiq, Facebook has banned the Pashto and Dari pages of this media organization.

Facebook is one of the most widely used social networking sites worldwide and was the first to name the Taliban as a terrorist organization following their takeover in mid-August, 2021, Khaama Press reported.

The social media platform perceives the Taliban as a “terrorist organization” and has banned the publication of any content created by or supporting this organization on its social media platform, the report added, citing sources.

Notably, the pages of Taliban-controlled government agencies in war-torn Afghanistan on the social networking site were previously shut down by Facebook.

According to a Facebook spokesperson, the social media platform enforces its anti-Taliban policy on all of its platforms, including Facebook itself, Instagram, and WhatsApp.

Taliban officials and spokespersons are active participants on Twitter as well.

The Afghan media community continues to face overwhelming challenges under the brutal regime of the Taliban.

Numerous organizations were forced to shut down due to economic collapse, threats and draconian reporting restrictions since the Islamist outfit came to power.

Thousands of journalists and media professionals, especially women, have lost their jobs.

The survey, conducted by IFJ-affiliate Afghanistan National Journalists Union (ANJU) across 33 provinces, shows 318 media have closed since 15 August 2021. The crisis has hit newspapers the hardest with just 20 out of 114 continuing to publish. 51 TV stations, 132 radio stations and 49 online media have ceased operations according to the report compiled for the IFJ.

72 percent of those who have lost their jobs are women, IFJ said in a release.

As per the report, released by United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), human rights violations affected 173 journalists and media workers, 163 of which were attributed to the de facto authorities.

Among these were 122 instances of arbitrary arrest and detention, 58 instances were of ill-treatment, 33 instances of threats and intimidation, and 12 instances of incommunicado detention. Six journalists were also killed during the period (five by self-identified ISIS Khorasan, one by unknown perpetrators).

According to some media-supporting organizations, over 70 percent of media outlets halted their operations since the Taliban came to power.


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