August 23

Facebook and Twitter Weigh Giving a Social-Media Megaphone to the Taliban

By Naomi Nix, Bloomberg

FacebookTwitter and Google, already under fire for wielding outsized influence on political discourse around the world, are on the brink of another high-stakes decision — whether to give the Taliban a social-media megaphone.

Their actions will have lasting impacts on the diplomatic stage and on the lives of everyday people in Afghanistan.

The militant group’s rise to power is forcing Silicon Valley’s biggest internet companies to revisit their policies on how to treat controversial political actors. While the Taliban is banned from holding accounts or spreading propaganda on most big online networks, its takeover of the government means the tech giants will soon have to decide whether to expand its access or grant it the ability to manage Afghanistan’s official state social media channels.

They may also have to make decisions about whether to keep up or flag content that both praises and criticizes the group, with potentially perilous consequences for those posting it.

Photo courtesy of Pixabay.

Source: Fortune (link opens in a new window)

governance, media and entertainment