Twitter gets bizarre endorsement from Taliban as militants give verdict on rival Threads

Militant group that brutally represses women in Afghanistan criticises Meta’s new app over ‘freedom of speech’

Vishwam Sankaran
Tuesday 11 July 2023 05:58 BST

Related video: Twitter’s Traffic Drops

Twitter has received an unlikely endorsement from a Taliban leader amid woes as the number of users of the Elon Musk-owned platform is “tanking” following the release of Meta’s rival app Threads.

Taliban leader Anas Haqqani tweeted his approval of Twitter over other social media platforms, highlighting what he thought were some advantages of the Musk-owned site.

“Twitter has two important advantages over other social media platforms,” Mr Haqqani tweeted.

“The first privilege is the freedom of speech. The second privilege is the public nature & credibility of Twitter. Twitter doesn’t have an intolerant policy like Meta. Other platforms cannot replace it,” he said.

Twitter has been facing major hurdles since the Tesla and SpaceX chief took over the company last year with further hardship after Meta’s Mark Zuckerberg launched the Threads app.

It appears that the number of Twitter users may also be “tanking” following the release of Threads, according to Cloudflare’s chief executive Matthew Prince.

Mr Prince showed a graph last week highlighting an apparent decline in Twitter’s popularity since Mr Musk’s takeover of the company, along with a steep drop after the launch of Threads.

A record number of users have flocked to Mr Zuckerberg’s Twitter-clone with the app gaining over 100 million sign ups within days of its launch.

“That’s mostly organic demand and we haven’t even turned on many promotions yet. Can’t believe it’s only been five days!” the Meta boss said.

While Twitter appears to have fallen out of favour with many users, The Taliban, however, still seems to prefer it over Threads.

After “free-speech absolutist” Mr Musk took over Twitter and fired over three-fourths of the company’s workforce, including entire teams behind content moderation, social media experts expressed dissatisfaction over the rise of hate speech on the platform and advertisers as well as regular users have exited the site.

But according to Mr Haqqani, a Taliban thought-leader, the biggest draw of Twitter – where the militant group continues to post updates – is the site’s flexible moderation policy.

This is in contrast to Meta’s Facebook which views the Taliban as a terrorist organisation and disallows it from posting on the platform.

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