Meta blocks Taliban WhatsApp accounts, disrupting group’s communications

Meta, the parent company of WhatsApp, has recently blocked or temporarily deactivated numerous WhatsApp accounts belonging to Taliban officials and soldiers.

WhatsApp’s action against the Taliban, according to the New York Times, has disrupted the group’s communications.

Taliban officials and soldiers have been using WhatsApp and other encrypted messaging platforms such as Telegram for communication and coordination of their activities. The messaging platform was particularly useful during the group’s war against the previous government and Western allies.

Meta’s restrictions on the Taliban are due to US sanctions on the group, which makes providing services to the group a criminal offence.

A Meta spokesperson told the New York Times that WhatsApp has been scanning group names, descriptions and profile photos to identify Taliban members.