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Tipsheet

Twitter Says the Taliban is Allowed to Remain on its Platform as Long as Rules are Followed

AP Photo/Jeff Chiu, File

Twitter indicated Tuesday that it will not kick the Taliban off its platform like other tech giants, such as Facebook and Youtube, have elected to do after the group took over Afghanistan amid the withdrawal of U.S. troops from the region.

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While a Twitter spokesperson would not directly say whether or not they plan on banning the terror group, they did say in a statement obtained by Mediaite that the tech giant would "continue to proactively enforce" its rules on the "glorification of violence, platform manipulation and spam."

"Twitter’s top priority is keeping people safe, and we remain vigilant," the statement read.

It also emphasized that Twitter, as a tool of communication, was being used by Afghan civilians to "seek help and assistance."

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid remains on Twitter with more than 310,000 followers as of Tuesday evening.

Twitter was slammed by critics for allowing the Taliban to continue its presence on the platform while former President Donald Trump's account was banned following the Jan. 6 Capitol riot. They have also suspended users for COVID-19 "misinformation," including Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.), who questioned the effectiveness of vaccines.

"Why on God’s green Earth does the Taliban spokesman have an active Twitter account but not the former President of the United States?," Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-NC) tweeted Sunday. "Who’s [sic] side is the AMERICA BASED Big-Tech companies on?"

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Repressive governments China and Iran also continue to have a presence on Twitter, where they have produced anti-American and anti-Israel content.

Facebook has banned the Taliban and any user who praises, supports or represents the terror group from all of its platforms, which includes Instagram.

"The Taliban is sanctioned as a terrorist organization under US law and we have banned them from our services under our Dangerous Organization policies," a Facebook spokesperson told CNBC.

Facebook-owned WhatsApp told Vice that, while it is unable to moderate the contents of direct messages, it would "take action" in the event that the Taliban's presence is detected on the platform.

Youtube, which is owned by Google, pledged to prohibit the Taliban from having a presence on its platform while TikTok told CNBC that it would take down content that praises, glorifies or supports the terror group.

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