Twitter under fire for allowing Taliban propaganda while banning Trump
A Republican congressman has sent a letter to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey denouncing the social media giant's “troubling double standard” for banning the former president from its platform but allowing the Taliban.
Rep. Doug Lamborn of Colorado sent the letter to Dorsey on Tuesday, with Lamborn posting a copy of it on his Twitter and Facebook accounts on the same day.
Lamborn accused Twitter of not enforcing any of its fact-checking efforts on the Taliban accounts, or banning them in light of the social media site’s prohibition on “violent organizations.”
“It is clear that the Taliban is a violent organization,” wrote the congressman, noting that he “did not find a single fact check on any of their tweets, nor any warnings for false or misleading content.”
“It is impossible to see how the accounts of [Taliban members] Zabihullah Mujahid and Yousef Ahmadi do not violate your policies.”
Lamborn added that he believed it was “clear that Twitter has political bias in its algorithms and a troubling double standard.” The congressman requested “a prompt reply on why a former United States President is banned while two Taliban spokesmen are allowed to remain.”
For their part, Twitter told Newsweek on Tuesday that they will hold the Taliban accounts to content standards and "continue to proactively enforce our rules and review content that may violate Twitter rules, specifically policies against glorification of violence, platform manipulation and spam.”
By contrast, other social media sites such as Facebook have reaffirmed their commitment to ban content that promoted the Taliban, which has been in effect for several years.
“The Taliban is sanctioned as a terrorist organization under U.S. law and we have banned them from our services under our Dangerous Organization policies,” a Facebook spokesperson told CNBC on Tuesday.
In January, two days after hundreds of pro-Trump protesters stormed the U.S. Capitol, Twitter announced that they were banning then President Trump from their platform.
In a statement released Jan. 8, Twitter argued that Trump should be permanently suspended following the protests “due to the risk of further incitement of violence.”
“Our public interest framework exists to enable the public to hear from elected officials and world leaders directly. It is built on a principle that the people have a right to hold power to account in the open,” stated Twitter.
“However, we made it clear going back years that these accounts are not above our rules entirely and cannot use Twitter to incite violence, among other things. We will continue to be transparent around our policies and their enforcement.”
In July, Trump filed a lawsuit against Twitter, Facebook and other social media outlets that had banned him, stating that their actions constituted unlawful censorship.