After vetoing the Taliban on all its apps, Facebook on Thursday unveiled measures to protect vulnerable users in Afghanistan, where Islamic fundamentalists have seized power.
“For a week, our teams worked night and day to do what they could to help keep people safe,” tweeted Nathaniel Gleicher, director of safety regulations for the California group.
Following recommendations from human rights defenders, journalists and NGOs, the social network created a feature that allows users to “lock their account with a single click”. The action prevents people who are not among your contacts from downloading or sharing your profile picture or viewing content from your feed.
Instagram users in Afghanistan will receive notifications with ways to secure their accounts. “We have also temporarily removed the ability to view a user’s friend list to search for accounts in Afghanistan” of people who could be sought after by the Taliban, added Gleicher. The executive also recommended guides to protect internet activity.
Facebook this week deleted a WhatsApp account used by the Taliban to respond to complaints from Afghans. “We are obligated to comply with US sanctions laws, which include blocking accounts that pose as Taliban officials,” explained a spokesman for the messaging app.
The fundamentalists responded last Tuesday, at their first press conference, with criticism of Facebook, which they accused of attacking freedom of expression.
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