Taliban Propaganda and Social Media: First English Tweet

Social media is being progressively used all over the world and for all sorts of uses and we recently reported on social media’s role in the Egyptian protests, how internet access had been shut down in Libya, and also told about Tunisia’s so-called ‘Twitter Revolution.’ Today we have news about the Taliban using social media to spread propaganda and the fact that the first English tweet has now been sent from its Twitter account.

The account was started last December with the first tweets coming from Pashtun and there have been 750 tweets so far, according to Sarah Kessler over on Mashable, sourced from the Guardian. The tweets from the @alemarahweb account are what the Guardian describes as “highly exaggerated reports,” of Taliban strikes on their enemies.

From this Thursday the first tweets in English also began, with the majority being apparent death tolls. Since the account was detailed in the Guardian the number of followers has begun rising quickly, from 224 on Thursday to over 4,000 as of today (Saturday). An interesting aside of this is that although the Taliban has had its own website since around 2001, it has previously declared the Internet as unholy and in 2000 banned the internet for Afghan citizens.

What are your thoughts on Twitter being used in this way by groups such as the Taliban? Although Twitter has recently been used in positive ways for political causes, should there be more control over who uses it? Let us know by sending us your comments.

  • Sheila Quinn

    There shouldn't be more control over it. Who is to say what is positive and what is not? The issue of Taliban using "Twitter" is not a valid concern about the constructive use of any social media website. Such an issue is highly political- and therefore should not even be an issue concerning the use of any social media.