The Taliban is on Twitter now tweeting in English

first_imgWhen the Taliban first started in 1996 it wanted nothing to do with modern technology. Fast forward 15 years, and the Islamic militia group is now jumping on the Twitter bandwagon. Yes, the Taliban is tweeting.When the Guardian published its story yesterday, the Taliban’s Twitter feed, @alemarahweb, had 224 followers. At the time of publication for this story, the feed now only has 108, losing more than half of its followers within hours. The feed tweets propaganda-esque reports of attacks against the “infidel forces” and the regime of Afghan President Hamid Karzai.Most of the tweets are in Pashtu, which Google Translate unfortunately does not translate into English. The feed was actually started in December. All the tweets were in Pashtu until yesterday when the first English-language tweets appeared. The latest tweet informs its followers that “11 US-NATO invaders killed, 11 were wounded…” All of the tweets in English seem to be about how many people were killed in various attacks, and we wonder if all the tweets on the feed are that way, or if it’s only the ones written in English. The Twitter feed can actually be useful since the official Taliban website is often shut down by authorities and is switching servers all the time.Most of the tweets link to a news story on the Taliban’s Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan website. The Taliban encourages its fighters to do phone interviews, and it’s usually speedy about emailing its version of news events. Also, let’s not forget all the propaganda videos the group produces. However, with all this material, it seems the Taliban is a little upset that it’s not getting the media attention it thinks it should. According to the Guardian, the Taliban wrote an email in December complaining that the media covers less than 10 percent of the material that the Taliban sends, and the group would like to get more press. Using social media is just one way for the militia group to actually get its news out there, whether or not anyone is reading it.As the saying goes, keep your friends close and your enemies closer. Evidenced by a few of the accounts that the Taliban Twitter follows, the Taliban is keeping tabs on some unlikely Twitter handles. No, it’s not following Ashton or Bieber, the very first feed that @alemarahweb followed was that of @Afghantim, whose bio says he is a US Air Force Logistics Readiness Officer currently deployed as a combat advisor to the Afghan Army. The Taliban site is also following @AfghanHeroesUK, which is a charity that supports British troops in Afghanistan.Will the Taliban’s Twitter help it get the attention it so desperately wants? Perhaps the number of followers will increase after news breaks of the @alemarahweb account finally writing posts in English. It’ll be interesting to see if the account get’s an official verified “check” by its name.Read more at The Guardianlast_img

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