After banning President Trump, Twitter says Taliban can remain on platform as long as they don’t get too violent

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According to reports, Twitter is allowing the Taliban to remain on their platform, so long as the group doesn’t violate their terms of service. It’s a move befuddling to many, as both Facebook and TikTok will not allow any posts that even promote the Taliban.

While Afghanistan’s Taliban is not listed on the State Department’s list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations, the group certainly fit the mold to be declared one – which a 2017 report from VOA News suggests the Taliban only remained off the State Department’s list for hopes that peace talks could be accomplished.

On August 17th, social media outlets Facebook and TikTok confirmed that they will continue to view the Taliban as a terrorist organization and will ban any content that even promotes the Taliban.

Facebook has even gone so far to start banning profiles flagged as being linked to Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid.

Yet, while Facebook and TikTok plainly stated that the Taliban (or promotion of it) would be barred from their platforms, Twitter’s statement on the matter fell short.

Instead of the company spokesperson outright saying the Taliban would be banned, the spokesperson claimed that Twitter policies will continue to be enforced:

“We will continue to proactively enforce our rules and review content that may violate Twitter rules, specifically policies against glorification of violence, platform manipulation and spam.”

“The situation in Afghanistan is rapidly evolving. We’re also witnessing people in the country using Twitter to seek help and assistance. Twitter’s top priority is keeping people safe, and we remain vigilant.”

Sometimes it’s what’s not said that rings the loudest, and Twitter’s official statement regarding the Taliban’s presence on the platform says it all. And as sure as anything, Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid is on the platform (with over 300K followers).

Most of August 15th, Mujahid took to Twitter announcing all of the areas that the Taliban conquered throughout Afghanistan:

“The military units of the Islamic Emirate entered Kabul to provide security. Sect 111 Pul-e-Charkhi was conquered, and progress continues normally. Also, the centers of 11 districts of Kabul (Stalf, Sarobi, Deh Sabz, Qarabagh Khakjabar, Paghman, Bagrami, Musa, Chaharsiab, Goldara and Shakardara) were conquered.”

“The city of Parun, the capital of Nuristan province, was also conquered. Moments ago, the Mujahideen of the Islamic Emirate entered the city of Parun, the capital of Nuristan province, and seized the provincial building, the police headquarters, the intelligence center and all its accessories. A large number of weapons, tools and equipment fell into the hands of the Mojahedin.”

“Charikar city, the capital of Parwan province, was also conquered. During today’s rapid Fatah operation in the city, the provincial governor, the police chief, and the intelligence center, with all its accessories, came under the complete control of the Mojahedin. A large number of weapons, tools and equipment fell into the hands of the Mojahedin.”

“Important: This morning, the center of Kajran district of Daikundi province, with the police commander, the intelligence center and all its facilities, were completely captured by the Mujahideen.

The soldiers of the Kabul administration laid down their weapons and joined the Mujahideen. A large number of weapons and equipment fell into the hands of the Mojahedin. Ahmadi”

The irony cannot be lost on this, regarding Twitter’s allowance of the Taliban and their spokesperson to remain on their platform.

While as recently as January, the platform decided to ban former President Trump permanently for “incitement of violence” in connection to the January 6th riot – the platform is allowing Zabihullah Mujahid to offer a play-by-play of the violent overthrow of a government.

One must remember the two tweets from former President Trump that, in Twitter’s own statement on January 8th, was deemed as being tantamount to a “glorification of violence”.

The first offending tweet was:

“The 75,000,000 great American Patriots who voted for me, AMERICA FIRST, and MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN, will have a GIANT VOICE long into the future. They will not be disrespected or treated unfairly in any way, shape or form!!!”

And the second offending tweet was:

“To all of those who have asked, I will not be going to the Inauguration on January 20th.”

But apparently, Zabihullah Mujahid detailing how the Taliban “conquered” city after city, forcibly taking control of police stations and government buildings, seizing assets and weapon via hostile force – that is somehow not only allowed, but also isn’t a “glorification of violence”.

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Where are the fact checker? Twitter allows BLM to knowingly spread lies that Chicago police threatened group

(Originally published August 13th, 2021)

CHICAGO, IL – Twitter has allowed Black Lives Matter to post a fake email purporting to be from the Chicago police union threatening the organization without removing or labeling the post as false.

The fake email stated, “TIME IS UP THUGSLIVESMATTER! WE’RE COMING FOR YOU HOMEBOYS.”

The fake email was sent by someone impersonating the head of the Chicago Fraternal Order of Police but was later determined to be a fake by an authentication service.

The August 11 post said FOP President John Catanzara sent them an email at 2 a.m. making the threat. BLM Chicago commented under the post:

“Yes, John Catanzara, the FOP president, called us “Thugs Lives Matter” and said he was coming for us ‘homeboys.’

“Yes, yes he did say that.”

Despite later learning that the email was not real, BLM Chicago allowed the post to remain displayed on its Twitter account without correction.

The only indication on their page that there was anything inaccurate was a follow-up post thanking “everyone” for sharing how to authenticate an email:

“Thanks to everyone for sharing how to authenticate an email.

“We get hate mail, death threats via email, phone, messenger, etc. daily, however this was a new one from a seemingly official account.

“Each one teach one. We appreciate our village.”

The Chicago FOP Lodge #7 replied by posting an image of the organization’s email to BLM Chicago demanding the fake email post be removed. In the email addressed to BLM Chicago and copied to the Black Lives Matter national organization, the email read:

“Please be advised that neither I nor anyone associated with the Fraternal Order of Police, Chicago Lodge #7 sent an email on August 11, 021 at 2:00 a.m. (or at any time), which appears on your formal Twitter account.

Clearly, it is false, misleading, and extremely troubling that your organization would re-post such an inflammatory email without verifying its authenticity.”

The email reply goes on to emphasize that the email was clearly sent to stoke discontent and demanded the post be removed and BLM Chicago’s followers be informed that it was fake:

“As the civil unrest in the city continues, you must inform your followers on your official Twitter account that this email was not sent by, or in any way, authorized by me or Lodge 7. At a minimum, you must retract or clarify the post given what you now know.”

The email reply was signed by Catanzara.

BLM Chicago tweeted another claim that the FOP was responsible for the threatening email before others notified them that it was false. BLM Chicago tweeted:

“The FOP is saying the email is fake (Of course they are) Next they will say it was hacked. We sent the email to our attorneys.

“This behavior is what is to be expected from Catanzara. What’s most surprising is that he forgot to log out of his official acct before hitting send.”

Several followers began to point out the threatening email’s false nature and ask BLM Chicago why they have not apologized. Simon Willison said:

“If you share the full raw text of the email including the headers there are likely to be DKIM headers which can authenticate that the sender and message content hasn’t been tampered with.”

Another user posted the DKIM header showing the email to be from a fake mailer service. This prompted user Louis Mensch to ask:

“Where is your apology to him? You just talk about email headings, no ‘we were wrong?’”

Interestingly, throughout this entire exchange, which went on well into the next day, Twitter never took action to remove the fake post or to label it as misinformation.

Ironically, Twitter did shield from view some replies that called out BLM Chicago for not correcting the record.

Several comments calling for an apology were marked as “offensive,” and required approval to be displayed. The “offensive” comments included user StaceyB tweeting:

“So, if you know it’s fake why do you keep the tweet? To contribute to defame John? To great controversy? To incite? Likely all 3.”

Another post deemed too “offensive” included:

“Seeing how many people have shown this to be a fake, it looks like you owe an apology…NOW.”

One user questioned the decency of BLM for allowing the falsehood to continue on their page:

“You’re not even decent enough to apologize when proven wrong.

“Tells me everything I need to know about BLM:  quick to accuse, non-existent to own a mistake.  Rotten to the core.”

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