By Elizabeth Culliford and Eva Mathews
(Reuters) – Alphabet Inc’s YouTube said on Tuesday that it bans accounts it believes are owned and operated by the Taliban, amid efforts by US social media companies to publicly clarify their rules about the group that is in control of Afghanistan.
After US-led forces withdrew most of their remaining troops from the country last month, the Taliban campaign accelerated as Afghan military defenses retreated. Taliban insurgents occupied the capital Kabul on Sunday.
His return has raised fears of a crackdown on freedom of expression and human rights, especially women’s rights, and concerns that the country could once again become a space for global terrorism.
Separately, the Financial Times reported that Facebook’s WhatsApp messaging service closed a complaints helpline created by the Taliban after it took over Kabul.
A WhatsApp spokesman declined to comment but said the service was required to ban accounts that appear to represent official Taliban accounts as part of US law.
The complaints number, which was an emergency hotline for civilians reporting violence, looting or other problems, was blocked by Facebook on Tuesday, along with other official Taliban channels, the report said.
Facebook said on Monday that it designates the Taliban as a terrorist group and bans it, as well as content supporting the group, on its platforms.
YouTube, asked whether it banned the Taliban on Monday, declined to comment.
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