Social networks standardize their moderation of Taliban content

The impending formation of a Taliban government has called on social media to clarify their position vis-à-vis the Afghan group. Tech Against Terrorism’s Terrorist Content Analysis Platform (TCAP) recommends that Big Techs remove or restrict access to content produced by the fundamentalist group.

A decision that aligns with the designation of the fundamentalist group as a terrorist organization by several jurisdictions, including the European Union, Canada and the US Treasury. The TCAP specifies in its press release:

“This integration of Taliban content has been strengthened in response to recent events in Afghanistan […] Initially, TCAP focused on a select range of violent Islamist groups and overt far-right terrorist groups. For us, this approach has been the right one, because it allows us, as a non-governmental actor, not to contribute to the establishment of undue standards and to avoid the “cartelization of content” in our support mechanisms. technology companies. Also, we wanted to make sure that we had perfected our methodology on a smaller set of groups before expanding it. “

Tech Against Terrorism, an initiative supported by the United Nations Counterterrorism Executive Directorate, launched the Terrorist Content Analysis Platform (TCAP) in November. So far, the database has only included content for a small segment of terrorist organizations, including Islamic State and Al Qaeda, as well as violent far-right groups including the Proud Boys.

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The Global Internet Counterterrorism Forum, which was founded by Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Microsoft, also said it would start considering TCAP for its own repository, which tech companies can use to automatically prevent terrorist content from being published on their platforms.

Lack of means

This is not the first time that a state account has been removed from social platforms. Instagram, for example, banned the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guards corps and Facebook banned the Myanmar army. More recently, Donald Trump’s account was disabled from Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

The organization stresses an increased difficulty for small platforms, rarely able to identify Taliban content. A referencing complicated by the fact that there is no international consensus on the status of the Taliban. TCAP encourages governments to “Improve the appointment mechanisms while respecting human rights and fundamental freedoms”.

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A recommendation that will confront the recent choice of Twitter and YouTube not to specifically censor pro-Taliban content. The account of an official spokesperson for the Taliban approaches in particular the 360,000 subscribers on the network of the firm to the blue bird. As for Whatsapp, the application under the fold of Facebook has closed a group created by the Taliban while the encryption of its messaging should not allow the filtering of discussions.

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