Facebook said Tuesday it was blocking WhatsApp accounts linked to the Taliban as the radical Islamic group took control of Afghanistan and tried to use the messaging service to help the government.
“Under US law, the Taliban is recognized as a terrorist organization and we have banned their services under our dangerous organization’s policies,” a Facebook spokesman told AFP.
Facebook’s move shut down a WhatsApp hotline set up by the Taliban to receive complaints of violence and looting.
A WhatsApp spokesman told AFP in an email that the company needed to comply with US sanctions.
“This includes banning accounts that represent themselves as official Taliban accounts,” the company said.
“This means that we remove the accounts held by or on behalf of the Taliban and restrict their definition, support and representation.”
The news came with a social media platform that is under pressure from the Taliban to block accounts used after the aggression, which has led to the occupation of the war-torn country.
Facebook said it was using “a dedicated team of Afghan experts, who speak local Dari and Pashto and have knowledge of local contexts” to help guide policy.
“Our teams are closely monitoring the situation as it develops. Facebook does not make decisions about a recognized government in a particular country, but respects the authority of the international community to make that decision,” Facebook said. does.”
Meanwhile, a Taliban spokesman criticized Facebook for blocking “freedom of expression” in the country as a result of a crackdown by a US firm.
In a news conference streamed online, the Taliban official said in response to a question about freedom of expression, “This question should be asked of those who claim freedom of expression who do not allow the publication of all information. Facebook company, this question should be asked of them. “
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