The takeover of Kabul by extremists Taliban has sparked a series of actions from tech companies dedicated to social media. Facebook, as part of its “zero tolerance” policy against dangerous organizations, has announced the arrival of a new tool for Afghanistan that helps limit the scope of personal profiles, and reduce the exposure of people at risk to possible attacks.
This decision comes after the takeover of Kabul by Taliban extremists, who have claimed political and security control in that country. Since last Sunday, companies such as TikTok, Twitter, Facebook and Google have exercised greater control over the blocking of members associated with the Taliban or accounts that support this group of extremists.
Facebook’s new suite of tools includes a button that allows people to lock their accounts, preventing unrelated third parties from downloading your profile photos or viewing your posts. On Instagram, pop-up alerts will appear for people in Afghanistan outlining specific steps to help them protect their accounts. The ability to view and search people’s friend lists has also been temporarily restricted in Afghanistan to prevent people from being attacked.
Reduce the exposure of “potential targets” of the Taliban
“For the past week, our teams have been working around the clock to do everything they can to help keep people safe,” Nathaniel Gleicher, head of security policy at Facebook, shared on Twitter. “While we must be careful not to alert bad actors, here are some security measures we put in place for people in the country to protect their accounts.”
This tool is focused on protecting activists, journalists and civil society groups, whose movements can be monitored by social networks from unofficial accounts of the Taliban, an organization blocked by Facebook under the application of US laws. The new feature also includes links to some useful online safety guides for journalists and activists from civil society experts.
“We have created a special operations center to respond to new threats as they arise. We know that no single step is sufficient in a crisis like this, but we are closely watching the situation unfold and will take steps to help protect people in real time, ”Gleicher added.