The Taliban embrace social media: ‘We too want to change perceptions’
By Sarah Atiq
In early May, as US and Nato forces began their final withdrawal from Afghanistan, the Taliban stepped up their military offensive against Afghan national security forces.
But they also did something less common in the group’s history of conflict in the country – they launched a comprehensive social media campaign to go with it.
A network of social media accounts highlighted the alleged failures of the Kabul government while lauding the Taliban’s achievements.
Tweets boasted about the group’s recent victories – sometimes prematurely – and pushed several hashtags, including #kabulregimecrimes (attached to tweets accusing the Afghan government of war crimes); #westandwithTaliban (an attempt to drive grassroots support) and #ﻧَﺼْﺮٌ_ﻣٌِﻦَ_اللهِ_ﻭَﻓَﺘْﺢٌ_ﻗَﺮِﻳﺐٌ (help from God and victory is near). The first of the hashtags at least trended in Afghanistan.