Afghans Revolting Online: #BanTaliban

Published July 21st, 2022 - 09:16 GMT
Afghans Revolting Online: #BanTaliba
In this photo taken on February 6, 2019, an Afghan reporter looks at messages sent by Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid in the newsroom at Maiwand TV station in Kabul. (Photo by WAKIL KOHSAR / AFP)

"Ban the Taliban today if you want a Free Afghanistan tomorrow", this is how social media users from Afghanistan are trying to fight the extremist group that has been controlling their country for nearly a whole year, using the hashtag #BanTaliban.

The online campaign that started several hours ago on Twitter aims to mainly pressure Twitter to ban accounts used by members of the Taliban government, who have been quite active on the platform often perceived as the most political of our days.

Expressing their discontent with the Taliban's rule of Afghanistan following the US withdrawal last August, many Afghan commentators tweeted their full names, in a show of bravery and fearlessness while they asked Twitter to block the Taliban's officials from using the platform "to justify their practices and policies" in Afghanistan.

The Taliban's spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid's account on Twitter has nearly 625k followers.

Some users also argued that Twitter has been serving as "an empowering tool" for the Taliban, as it has helped the group "gain legitimacy" as the government of Afghanistan. 

#BanTaliban

Source: Twitter

In a tweet, award winning Afghan journalist Habib Khan explained that Twitter's decision to allow the Taliban's officials on the platform has helped the latter "whitewash atrocities, spread disinformation, and promote terrorism".

Ever since re-ascending to power in August 2021, the Taliban's promises to protect the rights of minority groups and women and to adopt a modern approach of governing in Afghanistan did not last long, as girls' schools have been closed, depriving more than 3.6 million girls from the right to education.

Last June, the Taliban organized a gathering of more than 3,000 of the country's political, social, and religious leaders in Kabul, aiming to discuss "unifying" the country. Yet, no women were invited to take part.

On the 20th of July 2022, the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan released a report highlighting the different aspects of human rights violations committed in Afghanistan during the past 11 months, during which the Taliban has been in power, pointing out "160 extrajudicial killings confirmed, as well as 178 arbitrary arrests and detentions, and 56 instances of torture", since August 2021.


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