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Taliban’s websites go offline as social media giants crackdown on group, South Asia News


Taliban websites that delivered all important pieces of information to the rest of the world in different languages have gone offline abruptly.

Since the Taliban took control of Afghanistan, it has been painting a picture of change infront of the rest of the world. The Taliban have been trying to prove to the world that Afghanistan this time will be different under their rule, when compared to their previous regimen.

However, locals have been narrating different sides of the reality and are coming ahead to prove that the situation is not that different from what it was before 2001.

Also read : With new Afghan govt on cards, Taliban’s co-founder Baradar reaches Kabul

In one such contradictory claim, the Taliban has tried to prove that they will be more open and fairer this time. However, on Friday as the Taliban websites went offline, the world started thinking if the Taliban have managed to take control over internet activities too.

The Taliban deliver their victorious messages in five different language — Pashto, Arabic, Urdu, English and Dari — through a host of websites. However, all those websites were taken down abruptly on Friday, without giving any reason behind this move.

These websites have been shielded by Cloudflare, which is a San Francisco-based content delivery network and denial of service protection provider. Cloudflare protects the websites by preventing the public from knowing who hosts the sites.

This action has raised eyebrows as the Taliban today is highly tech-savvy and has heavily relied upon the internet to communicate all of its victorious messages and warnings.

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It is a possibility that the removal of these websites is just temporary as the Taliban decide new hosting arrangements.

Meanwhile, social media platforms such as Facebook, WhatsApp and Google have started removing all Taliban-related accounts and content from their platform to make sure no misinformation is passed on and their platforms are not used to spread more hatred or violence.

WhatsApp is “obligated to adhere to US sanctions laws. This includes banning accounts that appear to represent themselves as official accounts of the Taliban,” its spokesperson Danielle Meister told the AP.

However, Twitter is one rare platform that has allowed the Taliban to operate on the social media platform. Taliban’s spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid still has more than 300,000 followers on Twitter. The social media platform says that the accounts will not be banned unless these people or groups misuse the platform to incite or glorify violence and hatred.

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