Right-wing extremists are rooting for the Taliban online

Right-wing extremists are rooting for the Taliban online

On Telegram, 4Chan and 8Chan white supremacists and far right greet the escalation in Afghanistan. And the Taliban continue to spread undisturbed propaganda on Twitter

Taliban in Kabul, Afghanistan (Xinhua / Ipa) Right-wing European and American extremists are the new friends of the Afghan Taliban. Or rather, their cheerleaders, to use the same term chosen by Politico, who in the latest issue of the Digital Bridge newsletter reports online debates by white supremacists and QAnon movements. In particular, journalist Mark Scott spent two weeks monitoring social accounts linked in some way to the Taliban, finding large pockets of consensus among far-right users.

"It might seem curious that such groups support each other - said Adam Hadley, director of the NGO Tech Against Terrorism - but I think it makes sense since both are united by their bigotry". Predictably, the most interesting content came from Telegram and imageboards such as 4Chan and 8Chan, accused several times in the past for being too lenient towards supremacist terrorists. On Telegram, supporters of the far right are wondering if the Taliban are the real enemy and if they are really as anti-American as they say. The suspicions of the supremacists emerged after the Taliban publicly complained that they were suffering the backlash of the alleged censorship by Facebook.

Screenshot Telegram, Gabriele Cruciata While Twitter has now become the preferred platform for Taliban digital propaganda and continues to not respond to requests for clarification of its position on the matter, Facebook has in fact repeatedly stated that it is working tirelessly to remove the Taliban contents. It is in fact on Twitter that a user posted a photo (later removed) in which the demonstrators of Capitol Hill are associated with the Taliban in the presidential palace in Kabul.

Screenshot Telegram, Gabriele Cruciata Like Facebook, YouTube also said it was removing Taliban content in accordance with the terms of service. Despite this, it is still very easy to access controversial material, including videos of extremists training in the gym or playing bumper cars.

Screenshot Telegram, Gabriele Cruciata Wired was able to verify that much of the support of the extreme right "western" to the Taliban is due to the censorship on social media, which unites the two groups. Yet some users support the Taliban for other reasons. “Is it really a crisis? "Asks a user on Telegram, who adds:" The Taliban are a militia of Afghan citizens who now control their own territory. That's what America needs in my opinion. "

Many users argue that the escalation in Afghanistan is a false flag, that is, an event cleverly combined to distract public opinion. "They want you to focus on Afghanistan instead of on the election results", writes another user referring to the false electoral fraud of US President Joe Biden to the detriment of former number one, Donald Trump, spread by his supporters: "Have you ever noticed that every time they are caught with their hands in the jam a catastrophic event happens? ”

Like Telegram, even the boards remain free of rules. Wired visited / Pol /, one of the best-known sections of the 4Chan imageboard. Inside / Pol / many right-wing extremists from all over the world traditionally gather, even if it is almost impossible to verify their geographical origin as almost all of them use a VPN.

An apparently German user wonders why the media talks about Taliban as terrorists since "they just want to save their country from globalization and have fun with friends". A thread opens in which other users from all over the world reply that it is "because they are nationalists and want to save their country and their culture" or because "not joining the cult of American Jews and LGBTs is a serious violation of rights. humans ". A user with a Canadian flag concludes that "we should do like them: anything that is not white and Christian can fuck you".

The rise of the Taliban on the internet closely resembles that of the far right. The main difference, however, is that while right-wing extremists have been removed from most of the social networks, the Taliban still remain fairly undisturbed. Politico's investigation again shows that if supremacists often have to hole up on Telegram or resort to boards, the Taliban use Twitter and other popular social networks. At least as long as they are allowed to do so.

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Afghanistan Internet Terrorism Twitter globalData.fldTopic = "Afghanistan, Internet, Terrorism, Twitter "

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