Facebook moves to protect Afghan users’ accounts amid Taliban takeover

Facebook moves to protect Afghan users' accounts amid Taliban takeover
There are fears Taliban opponents in Afghanistan could be tracked down via social media platforms. Source: EPA
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Daily US Times: Facebook has introduced new safety measures for users worried for their safety and security in Afghanistan, as the Taliban continue to cement their hold on power.

The social media giant says it “removed the ability to view and search the ‘Friends’ list for Facebook accounts in Afghanistan” to protect people from being targeted.

LinkedIn, the professional networking site, has also taken steps by hiding the connections of anyone in the country.

There are concerns the hardline Islamist group Taliban are using social media to track opponents.

On Thursday, the additional safety measures were announced by Nathaniel Gleicher, Facebook’s head of security policy.

Mr Gleicher tweeted: “We’ve launched a one-click tool for people in Afghanistan to quickly lock down their account. When their profile is locked, people who aren’t their friends can’t download or share their profile photo or see posts on their timeline.”

He said that on Instagram, owned by Facebook, “we’re rolling out pop-up alerts in Afghanistan with specific steps on how to protect your account”.

Mr Gleicher added that Facebook, the biggest social networking site in the world, was “working closely with our counterparts in industry, civil society and government to provide whatever support we can to help protect people”.

Earlier, Facebook confirmed it would introduce a team of expert about Afghanistan and continue to ban Taliban content from its platforms as it considers the group to be a terrorist organisation.

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