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Facebook ‘Proactively’ Removing Taliban Content, Executive Says

·2-min read

(Bloomberg) -- A Facebook Inc. executive said the company is “proactively” removing content from its platforms that promotes the Taliban as the group seizes power in Afghanistan.

The Taliban is on the company’s list of dangerous organizations and therefore any content promoting or representing the group is banned, Adam Mosseri, head of Facebook’s photo-sharing app Instagram, said Monday during a Bloomberg Television interview.

“We are relying on that policy to proactively take down anything that we can that might be dangerous or that is related to the Taliban in general,” Mosseri said. “Now this situation is evolving rapidly, and with it I’m sure the risk will evolve as well. We are going to have to modify what we do and how we do it to respond to those changing risks as they happen.”

Thousands of people are seeking to flee Afghanistan after Taliban fighters took control of the capital of Kabul. The U.S. said Monday it was taking steps to secure the airport and evacuate American citizens, as well as locally employed staff and their families. The move came after American-backed President Ashraf Ghani fled the country and the Taliban said it would soon declare a new “Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan” after seizing the presidential palace.

The Taliban uses social media to mobilize support, said Emerson Brooking, a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council and co-author of “LikeWar: The Weaponization of Social Media.” “The decisions that are made by Facebook and Twitter in the next couple of days will have a direct impact on the lives on the many people who find themselves under the Taliban’s rule,” Brooking said in an interview with Bloomberg Television.

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