Activists launch petition calling on Twitter to ban Taliban accounts

A group of activists, including artists, former diplomats, and academics, have launched a petition calling on Twitter and its current chief Elon Musk to ban Taliban accounts from “illegal” and “alarming misuse” of the platform.

The petition, set up on Thursday, argues that the Taliban and the Haqqani Network are utilising sophisticated tactics on Twitter to spread their violent ideologies, recruit followers, and incite violence and hate speech.

It claims that the increasing number of Taliban and affiliate accounts on Twitter undermines the platform’s commitment to safety, inclusivity, and respect for human rights.

Furthermore, the petition highlights that the Taliban openly takes credit for killing civilians on the platform, despite its senior members being listed in both the UN sanctions and the FBI’s most wanted lists.

Currently, the petition has garnered over 1,300 signatures.

It emphasises that the majority of the Afghan population “disfavors” the Taliban, considering them a “foreign proxy force hijacking the country’s population,” as their leaders have received training in Pakistani madrassas, including Haqqani leaders.

The petition signatories emphasise that banning the Taliban and Haqqani Network from Twitter would send a strong message, demonstrating the platform’s stance against violence, terrorism, and manipulation.

The petition follows a tweet by Anas Haqqani, a senior Taliban figure, who praised Twitter for its openness and respect for freedom of expression.

Last month, Meta reportedly blocked or temporarily deactivated numerous WhatsApp accounts belonging to Taliban officials and soldiers, disrupting the group’s communications.