Supervisor Elham AbolFateh
Editor in Chief Mohamed Wadie

Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn Secure Afghans' Accounts amid Taliban Takeover

Fri 20 Aug 2021 | 11:30 AM
Ahmad El-Assasy

This week, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn said that they have taken steps to secure the accounts of Afghan nationals in order to protect them from being targeted in the wake of the Taliban's quick takeover of the country.

Facebook's security policy chief Nathaniel Gleicher tweeted on Thursday that the ability to see or search the friends lists of accounts in Afghanistan has been temporarily disabled.

Gleicher also announced that the business had introduced a "one-click solution" for Afghan Facebook users to lock down their accounts, preventing non-friends from seeing their timeline updates or sharing their profile photographs.

Human rights organisations have expressed fears that the Taliban could track Afghans' digital records or social relationships via online platforms. Thousands of Afghans, including professors, journalists, and human rights campaigners, are facing Taliban reprisals, according to Amnesty International.

In addition, the former captain of the Afghan women's soccer team has asked players to deactivate social media accounts and hide their identities.

Twitter Inc said it was in contact with civil society partners to offer assistance to organisations in the country, and that it was working with the Internet Archive to speed up direct requests to erase archived tweets.

It said if inpiduals were unable to access accounts containing information that could put them at risk, such as direct messages or followers, the company could temporarily suspend the accounts until users regain access and are able to delete their content.

It stated that if users were unable to access accounts holding sensitive information, such as direct messages or followers, the business might temporarily suspend the accounts until the users regained access and were able to erase their content.

According to a LinkedIn representative, the Microsoft-owned professional networking site has temporarily obscured its members' connections in Afghanistan so that other users cannot see them.