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The Taliban’s Use of Twitter as a Tool to Spread their Voice

In the post-9/11 era, they have increasingly used technology and social media to spread propaganda worldwide.

According to the principle of realism described by Noam Chomsky in his book Propaganda and the Public Mind, those who control the media essentially have control of the public mind. In the age of globalisation with information technology ruling the post-modern society, interest groups have already realised the significance of providing relevant information to the target group for security, popular support and votes. Social media provides popular spaces where the desired interpretations of symbols and narratives are constructed for public outreach. Propaganda, as Lippmann describes it, is “a regular organ of popular rule,” not exclusively limited to the use of the state. Hence, the Taliban, one of the major militant groups in Afghanistan, have effectively been using Twitter to spread their voice to the world and build popular support.

During their first rule from 1996-2001, the Taliban had not adapted to using new digital technologies. However, in the post-9/11 era, they have increasingly used technology and social media to spread propaganda worldwide, particularly concentrated in Afghanistan. The Taliban started using Twitter in 2011 when an exchange of words was reported between International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) officials and Taliban representative Abdul Qahar Balkhi, who now serves as the Taliban Foreign Ministry spokesperson.

Read more at the Global Network on Extremism & Technology

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