SCOTT SIMON, HOST:
With the Taliban now in power in Afghanistan, should they control the country’s official Twitter and Facebook accounts? That’s a question social media companies are confronting just as the international community weighs how they should view the Taliban. NPR tech reporter Bobby Allyn reports.
BOBBY ALLYN, BYLINE: The last time the Taliban were in power 20 years ago was before Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. The group sent reporters videotaped statements recorded in caves. Now they turn to YouTube, Instagram and Facebook to spread the word. The platforms ban Taliban content, but sometimes not before it’s viewed by thousands. The Taliban also use encrypted messaging apps Signal and Telegram.
RAFFAELLO PANTUCCI: They have found ways of, you know, mastering current social media and the current media environment in such a way to ensure that when people hear what the Taliban want to say, they hear it in the way that the Taliban wanted it to be heard.
ALLYN: That’s Raffaello Pantucci. He’s a fellow at the British think tank the Royal United Services Institute. He says the Taliban of the ’90s went around the country destroying television sets. Today, the spokesman for the Taliban has more than 300,000 followers on Twitter. Unlike other platforms, Twitter hasn’t banned the Taliban but says it will crack down on glorifications of violence. Afghanistan’s official presidential account on Twitter has been suspended and not handed over to the Taliban. That could change.
Emerson Brooking of the Atlantic Council says the social media platforms are in a tricky position.
EMERSON BROOKING: The platforms would desperately like the international community to act first. Facebook, YouTube and Twitter don’t want to be setting international precedent when it comes to recognizing or not recognizing the Taliban.
ALLYN: When the U.S. invaded Afghanistan in 2001, the internet barely existed there. A recent survey found that now 40% of residents have internet access and 90% have mobile phones. Pantucci says it’s unclear if the Taliban will eventually crack down on Afghans’ connection to the rest of the world.
PANTUCCI: So will we see sort of bans on, you know, faces, on soap operas, on sex and stuff like this? Music, for example, is something that the group is not particularly a fan of unless it’s religious music.
ALLYN: Pantucci says the Taliban hasn’t changed its fundamental belief system just because it’s on Twitter. He says the Taliban’s goal on social media right now is to try to appear legitimate. But if it wants, it could eventually cut the internet off completely.
Bobby Allyn, NPR News, San Francisco.
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City of Brandon – August 7th Media Release – City of Brandon –
For the last 24 hours:
Drinking in Public Leads to Multiple Criminal Charges:
At about 11:40 AM Saturday morning, it was reported that a male subject was acting bizarrely in and around the 700 block Rosser Ave. When located in the area, the 21 year-old was drinking an alcoholic beverage so was detained under the LGCCA. He was subsequently found to be in breach of multiple conditions of two separate Probation Orders. Search incident to arrest revealed a machete in his backpack. He disclosed taking an unknown quantity of unknown pills, so was released on appropriate police imposed conditions as he was receiving medical assessment and treatment. He is to appear in Court on October 3rd, facing one count of possessing a weapon and six counts of failing to comply with a Probation Order.
Break & Enters:
An unlocked attached residential garage on Falcon Crescent was entered overnight on Friday and tools were stolen. Some of those were recovered strewn across neighbouring property.
A resident in the 300 block 27th Street reported that the detached garage had been forcibly entered overnight Thursday – Friday. The complainant was unsure if anything had been stolen but the walk-through door frame had been damaged during the incident.
Theft With Threat:
At about 3:50 PM Saturday afternoon, it was reported that a resident in the 700 block 20th Street had been robbed of a bicycle approx. 20 minutes prior, while in his back yard. Police attended and spoke with the victim who related that an unknown male came into his back yard and stole an old bicycle of no value, and brandished a knife while doing so. The suspect left without further incident. The suspect was described as Indigenous in appearance, 6’5”, skinny, wearing a blue hoodie, black bandana and hat. The knife was pulled from the front right pants’ pocket.
A 28 year-old female was encountered in the 700 block 18th Street Saturday evening, with personal effects strewn about a business vestibule. A records query revealed a warrant for arrest for failing to comply with a Probation Order. She was arrested and released on scene with a court date of October 3rd.
Just before midnight Saturday night, Brandon RCMP advised having a 51 year-old male in custody on the strength of a BPS held warrant for arrest for sexual assault. RCMP had attended to a complaint in Glenboro and encountered the accused. He is held in custody and will appear before the court later today.
Motor Vehicle Collision With Injuries:
At 11:15 PM Saturday night, 911 reported a two vehicle collision at the intersection of Russell Street and Madison Crescent. Two occupants were stuck in a vehicle that had rolled over onto its’ side. The investigation revealed that the driver of the rolled vehicle failed to stop at the stop sign. That driver was transported to BRHC by EMS with non-life threatening injuries. The second driver was uninjured.
Several people were detained from separate incidents, for their own safety or to prevent a breach of the peace, due to their level of intoxication. They will be held in custody until sober enough to care for themselves.
RELEASE AUTHORIZED BY:
A/Staff Sergeant Dallas Lockhart, #101
Anyone with information on any unsolved crime is asked to call Brandon Crime Stoppers at 204-727-(TIPS) 8477, www.brandoncrimestoppers.com or by texting BCSTIP and your message to CRIMES (274637). Crime Stoppers pays up to $2000.00 cash for information that leads to the solution of a crime.
CRIME STOPPERS 204-727-TIPS
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