Afghanistan: Social media users delete profiles over fear of attack – BBC News

Afghanistan: Social media users delete profiles over fear of attack – BBC News

By Khudai Noor Nasar
BBC, Islamabad

Before the Taliban took power in Afghanistan last month, there were numerous influential social media users in the country who were strong opponents of the group's policies.
But since 15 August, Afghans have been deleting photos and tweets from their past – and many have turned away from social media altogether for fear of being targeted by Taliban forces.
Although the Taliban announced a general amnesty for all Afghans who had previously fought against them or were part of the previous government, some of those fleeing the country told the BBC they did not trust the militant Islamist group.
There have been reports from different parts of the country that Taliban fighters have killed civilians after the fall of the capital Kabul, despite the earlier promise of their leaders.
Last week, Taliban Defence Minister Mohammad Yaqoob issued an audio message acknowledging that there had been some reports of "revenge killings" of civilians by the group's fighters. He did not provide further details or mention specific incidents.
The news sparked fears of possible repercussions from social media posts, and Facebook introduced additional features for users in Afghanistan – including allowing them to lock their profiles and deny access to content.
The BBC spoke to two people, one in Kabul and one in another major Afghan city, who had millions of followers on social media and who were considered influential before the Taliban came to power.
Both have since deleted their accounts for fear of being targeted. Given the situation in Afghanistan, the names of the users interviewed have been changed in our report.
Fida, an Afghan man based in Kabul, was a prolific social media user and staunch opponent of the Taliban, frequently criticising their policies and behaviour.
But Fida has now deleted his Facebook account and is on a list of people who will be granted asylum abroad by Western countries.
Speaking to the BBC, he claimed that after the Taliban gained control of Kabul, he was told by relatives that he was in danger for playing a detrimental role in the Taliban's war against "occupiers".
"They told my relatives that people will not forgive, despite the general amnesty," he said, adding that his name appeared on a list describing people being "shot in the head wherever they are found".
According to Fida, the day after the Taliban's takeover of the capital, on 16 August, he deleted all of his social media accounts. He said his last Facebook post was anti-Taliban and that he no longer wanted to live in Afghanistan.
"I would rather die than live here now," he said.
Haris, who now lives under Taliban rule in another city, told the BBC he deleted his social media accounts two days before the fall of Kabul because, he said, "the Taliban regime is coming and democracy is gone".
For many years prior to the Taliban's takeover last month, the Afghan government had been accused of sponsoring social media accounts – allegedly providing salaries from the presidential palace in exchange for posts supporting the government and criticising the Taliban.
But Haris, who is one of hundreds of young Afghans who will soon leave their country and seek refuge elsewhere, said he had never posted anything at anyone's request or for money.
"I was in favour of democracy, not President Ashraf Ghani," he said, adding that he had also posted criticism of Mr Ghani.
Asked why he wanted to leave the country following the Taliban's announced amnesty for all Afghans, he said he felt unsafe.
"They are still targeting people, killing people and searching for them," he said, adding: "It's just the beginning, just wait."
Haris said he believed the Taliban would impose their strict interpretation of Sharia – or Islamic – law across the country in the coming months. "I don't think any educated Afghan will be able to stay here," he said.
The Taliban have repeatedly told Afghans not to leave the country, and to work with them in national institutions so the country's educated can serve their own country instead of serving another.
However, many young Afghans have said they cannot trust the Taliban or their promises, and plan to leave the country as soon as possible.
In rural Afghanistan, a family welcomes Taliban rule
Don't trim beards, Taliban warn Afghan barbers
Executions to return, says senior Taliban official
Girls excluded as Afghan secondary schools reopen
Afghans begin uneasy transition to Taliban rule
Life under Taliban rule one month on
Inquiry into failures over Sarah Everard's killer
The public have a right to know why he was allowed to continue as an officer, the home secretary says.
Pandora Papers: Your questions answered
Secret owners hold UK property worth billions
The flood that drowned American dreams
Should you date someone based on their music taste? Video
Why did Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram go down?
Conservative claims about wages fact-checked
PM's sunny outlook risks looking out of touch
Pumpkin farmer's firm grown from one pack of seeds
The sculpture created from 1765 Antarctic air
It was one of the darkest moments in Brazilian football
Risking death trying to get to England in a pedalo. Video
Exposing the secret wealth of world leaders
The deals that presidents, prime ministers and royalty don’t want you to know about
Finding a mate isn't just about love…
Sir David Attenborough explores how creatures find the perfect partner
Why did Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram go down?1
Chances missed to check on killer babysitter2
London hit by flooding after overnight downpours3
PM: I'm not worried over jobs gap and price rises4
Inquiry into failures over Sarah Everard's killer5
Russian film team boldly shoot into orbit6
Zuckerberg apologises for six-hour Facebook outage7
UK officials meet Taliban leaders in Afghanistan8
Middlesbrough mayor tells of ADHD diagnosis9
Secret owners hold UK property worth billions10
Get cosy with these Autumn anthems! Audio
The best ways to deal with heartbreak. Audio
It was the fight of the century. Audio
Christmas all year round? Audio
© 2021 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read about our approach to external linking.

source

How do I find SEO services
Dominate search engine result pages, crush your competition, get more sales, and be the #1 provider in your service area. Work with Top SEO Agency in Dublin that also provides quality Digital Marketing Optimisation services. 

Our Search Sngine Optimisation Consultants will improve your site performance in all major search engines by implementing the Best SEO Solutions, Strategies and Techniques. Let us help you increase organic traffic, get more leads, more customers, and grow your revenue with a customised affordable SEO package.

Contact Us

Globe Boss Digital Marketing Agency

Hampton Square
Dublin - Ireland
Tel: (+353)1 868 2345