UN-backed tech group adds Taliban to list of terrorist organizations

UN-backed tech group adds Taliban to list of terrorist organizations
© Getty

Tech platforms should ban or restrict content from the Taliban, a United Nations-backed group advised Monday. 

The group, Tech Against Terrorism, added the Taliban, which has regained control of Afghanistan amid the pullout of U.S. forces, to its Terrorist Content Analytics Platform (TCAP), which detects verified terrorist content online and alerts platforms of it. 

“The Taliban was one of the groups that we have considered adding to the TCAP for a long time, however in light of recent events in Afghanistan and to provide clarity for the tech companies we work with on this (admittedly challenging) content moderation issue, we have decided to accelerate inclusion of official Taliban content,” the group said in a statement.

ADVERTISEMENT

“Whilst we appreciate that this is a challenging moderation issue, the fact that the Taliban now effectively constitutes the Afghan government should not prevent platforms from implementing their rules in this area and from removing material produced by a designated terrorist organisation,” the group said. 

The TCAP has previously listed ISIS and al Qaeda content, as well as content from designated far-right organizations. 

The TCAP is available for use by “all types of tech platforms” and aims to support smaller platforms, according to its website. Its alerts are made on an advisory basis, and it is up to companies to decide how to take action based on their own content standards. 

After the Taliban took control of Kabul earlier this month, major social media platforms reiterated policies that ban content that comes from or praises the militant group. 

Facebook and YouTube said they would keep existing content bans in place, citing the Treasury Department’s designation of the Afghan Taliban as a global terrorist entity. 

Twitter said last week it would not impose a broad ban on the content in the same way, but a spokesperson said the platform would “continue to proactive enforce” its policies that ban glorification of violence.