Twitter has refused to join its social media counterparts in banning the Taliban from its platform, saying it’ll monitor content to ensure there aren’t messages ‘glorifying violence’.
The move is in stark contrast to the company’s Big Tech rivals. Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram (both owned by Facebook), TikTok and YouTube have all banned and terminated accounts that are related to, promote or praise the Taliban.
Twitter said in a statement that it 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.’
The social media giant used this justification to permanently ban Donald Trump after the January 6 Capitol Riot, causing cries of censorship from Trump supporters.
Twitter defended its decision to allow Taliban-related accounts to remain active, saying that people in Afghanistan are using the platform to seek help and refuge.
Facebook, which also has muzzled Trump, has had its ban on the Taliban in place for years because it considers it a ‘dangerous group.’
This double standard drew the ire of Trump supporters and conservatives.
Trump supporters and conservatives question Twitter’s stance on not banning Taliban-affiliated accounts
The two Taliban spokesmen, Suhail Shaehee and Zabihullah Mujahid have more than 351,000 and 310,000 Twitter followers, respectively. Their accounts have been active for years.
On Tuesday, Rep. Doug Lamborn sent a letter to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey expressing concerns about members of the Taliban being allowed to use the platform to get their message out.
‘Why does Twitter allow two Taliban spokesmen to have a platform but restricts the First Amendment Rights of former President Trump? It’s past time to hold #BigTech accountable. #Taliban,’ he tweeted.
In his letter, Lamborn said it’s clear that the Taliban falls under the ‘violent organization category.’
‘In my review of these accounts, I did not find a single fact check on any of their tweets, nor any warnings for false or misleading content,’ Lamborn wrote in his letter to Dorsey.
‘These propaganda updates usually assert that the overthrow has been largely peaceful, despite reports to the contrary … It is impossible to see how the accounts of Zabihullah Mujahid and Yousef Ahmandi do not violate your policies.’