Tsavkko Garcia, Raphael
Publication year: 2021

Following the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan, social media helped desperate Afghans leave their country after the Taliban took over. Whether via WhatsApp or Google Forms, people in Afghanistan have been organizing themselves to find support and ultimately escape the new regime. Social media has been fundamental in sharing what’s happening on the ground.

On the other hand, thousands of activists in Afghanistan fear for their safety and are looking for ways to erase their data and digital history to avoid being identified by the terrorist group. Facebook posts, tweets, Instagram profiles, even Spotify playlists can prove dangerous to Afghans who remain in the country. Fear of the Taliban’s wrath are rampant. Talibs have been heavily using social media as a tool of propaganda, despite bans from major platforms.

Messy and poorly planned exit aside, the U.S. military left behind not only ordnance but also biometric device tools, potentially putting countless lives at risk—making it easier for terrorists to identify who worked with foreigners.

Full article at Newsweek’s website. Date of publication: 21/09/2021.

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