July 23, 2014

Facebook remove Taliban recruitment page from the site

By Sadaf Shinwari - Thu Dec 13, 8:39 am

Taliban Facebook pageFacebook removed a page set up by the Taliban in Pakistan, after a monitoring group reported on its existence as a fresh example of a social media tool being used for the recruitment of terrorists.

Earlier, the US-based SITE Intelligence Group said the Umar Media TTP page used Facebook as “a recruitment” tool.

This month, 270 users clicked a link to say they “like” the page. The account appeared to have been created in September and has just a handful of messages, written in English.

On Friday, TTP spokesman Ahsanullah Ahsan had confirmed to AFP that they were temporarily using Facebook for a recruitment drive before launching the outfit’s own website.

While posting this recruitment notice itself, the TTP appears to have anticipated the removal of its page from Facebook. The post provided an email address and asked readers to “plz spread it” as the “Facebook account may be deleted”.

“At Facebook, we have rules that bar direct statements of hate, attacks on private individuals and groups, and the promotion of terrorism,” a Facebook statement said.

“We have a large team of professional investigators both in the US and abroad who enforce these rules. Where abusive content is posted and reported, Facebook removes it and disables accounts of those responsible.

“Whenever we become aware of possible violations of our terms, we will investigate these instances and take action if violations of our Statements of Rights and Responsibilities take place”.

The page, which Facebook took offline in the past few weeks, has not been the only Taliban-related one on Facebook — there are others, including one supportive of the Afghanistan Taliban and another about Taliban news (neither of which appear to be very active).

A Facebook spokesperson told NBC News in an email that the social network — with more than 1 billion users worldwide now — does have rules that “bar direct statements of hate, attacks on private individuals and groups and the promotion of terrorism.”

“We have a large team of professional investigators both in the U.S. and abroad who enforce these rules,” the spokesperson said.

“Where abusive content is posted and reported, Facebook removes it and disables accounts of those responsible. Whenever we become aware of possible violations of our terms, we will investigate these instances and take action if violations of our statements of rights and responsibilities take place.”

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