Washington Post: ‘Sophisticated’ Taliban is Promoting Less Violence on Twitter than Trump

 The Washington Post argued in a Wednesday story that the Taliban had become “strikingly sophisticated” when it came to using social media — and maintained a better relationship with tech companies than even former President Donald Trump because it did less to incite “violence.”

“In accounts swelling across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram — and in group chats on apps such as WhatsApp and Telegram — the messaging from Taliban supporters typically challenges the West’s dominant image of the group as intolerant, vicious and bent on revenge,” The Post’s Craig Timberg and Cristiano Lima asserted in the news item.

They said the group’s tactics “show such a high degree of skill that analysts believe at least one public relations firm is advising the Taliban on how to push key themes, amplify messages across platforms and create potentially viral images and video snippets.”

Of the companies Timberg and Lima cited, just one — Twitter — permits the Taliban to retain an active presence on its platform. Facebook and its subsidiary, Instagram, actively ban the Taliban from promoting its message. Critics have observed that Twitter’s policy stands in contrast to its move to ban Trump in January on grounds that he had violated its policies on “inciting violence” after he posted a video telling rioters at the Capitol that he had won the election in a “landslide … but you have to go home now.”

“U.S. conservatives have been demanding to know why former president Donald Trump has been banned from Twitter while various Taliban figures have not,” Timberg and Lima noted. “The answer, analysts said, may simply be that Trump’s posts for years challenged platform rules against hate speech and inciting violence. Today’s Taliban, by and large, does not.”

“The Taliban is clearly threading the needle regarding social media content policies and is not yet crossing the very distinct policy-violating lines that Trump crossed,” Ritz Katz, executive director of the SITE Intelligence Group, a monitor of online extremism, told the paper.

“The Taliban’s social media tactics in recent months can be seen as fitting a broader charm offensive,” the authors said, “including recent conciliatory public remarks about pardoning those who worked with Americans and urging skilled people not to flee the country.”

Nonetheless, they added, “Analysts remain wary of the Taliban’s use of social media to repackage itself.”

Washington Post: ‘Sophisticated’ Taliban is Promoting Less Violence on Twitter than Trump Washington Post: ‘Sophisticated’ Taliban is Promoting Less Violence on Twitter than Trump Reviewed by STATION GOSSIP on 04:22 Rating: 5

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