Technology

Official Taliban website closed


It is not clear why 5 websites operated by the Taliban suddenly closed. The incident occurred in the context of technology companies increasing their control over this force on the Internet.

Follow Washington Post, five Taliban websites, which had been instrumental in helping the militant group deliver official messages to people inside and outside Afghanistan, abruptly shut down on August 20.

It remains unclear who or what caused the Taliban’s websites to go offline. All five websites use the services of CloudFlare, the San Francisco-based company responsible for content distribution and Internet security for customers.

CloudFlare did not respond to .’s request for comment Washington Post about websites using their services being shut down.

The Taliban's official website is yours 1

Afghans access social media at an Internet cafe in Kabul. Photo: AP.

These websites have been the most important channel for the Taliban to spread messages to people inside and outside Afghanistan, since they gained control of the country. These sites are geared towards readers of different languages, including trilingualism, Arabic and English.

Almost at the same time, many WhatsApp groups used by the Taliban were also closed on August 20, according to information from SITE Intelligence Group, an organization that specializes in monitoring the activities of extremism on the Internet.

Alison Bonny, a WhatsApp spokesman, declined to comment on the possibility of the company stepping up its measures against the Taliban by shutting down its chat groups. She only reiterated previous statements in line with Facebook’s general policy.

“We have an obligation to comply with US sanctions law. This includes banning official Taliban accounts. We seek further information from relevant US agencies as the situation in Afghanistan is evolving,” Alison Bonny responded. Washington Post.

However, Twitter does not apply such a policy. The social network allows some official Taliban accounts, including the spokesman’s account, to continue operating as long as they do not comply with the rules against objectionable content.

The Taliban have mastered the use of social media and the Internet for many years to spread official messages. They called for “liberating Afghanistan from outside forces, restoring the Muslim nation”, and building a new, more friendly and less repressive image.

On Twitter, Taliban spokesman Suhail Shaheen told his more than 375,000 followers that the militant group would respect the rule of law, property rights and women’s rights. This message stands in stark contrast to the scandal of violence and repression that prevailed during his previous rule.

Follow Zing/Washington Post

The US hastily removed photos of Afghans on the Internet

In order to protect former employees and civilians from the risk of Taliban retaliation, many US agencies are aggressively deleting photos posted online that show the appearance of Afghans.

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