The Taliban and its supporters have a massive presence on Twitter since the launch of the Twitter Blue service in December, as they began purchasing blue ticks on Twitter.
Due to the Taliban’s use of Twitter’s paid-for verification feature, several of their accounts now have blue ticks.
The blue tick, which Twitter had previously used to identify “active, notable, and authentic accounts of public interest,” was unavailable for purchase.
However, users can now purchase them through the brand-new Twitter Blue service.
The checkmarks are now being used by at least two Taliban officials and four notable sympathisers in Afghanistan.
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The Taliban’s director of “access to information,” Hedayatullah Hedayat, now has the tick.
His Twitter account has 187,000 followers, and he frequently shares news about the Taliban government. According to local media, he had his paid-for blue tick removed last month, but it has now returned.
The Afghan Ministry of Information and Culture’s head of media oversight, Abdul Haq Hammad, has a blue tick on his account and 170,000 followers.
Prominent Taliban supporters have also obtained the blue tick.
On Monday, Muhammad Jalal, a former Taliban official, complimented Twitter’s new owner, Elon Musk, saying that he was “making Twitter great again.”
For some time now, there has been debate regarding the existence of hard-line Islamists on Twitter.
In October 2021, former US President Donald Trump, who was removed from office after his supporters stormed the US Capitol, said: “We live in a world where the Taliban has a huge presence on Twitter, yet your favorite American President has been silenced.
“This is unacceptable.”
In December, the Twitter Blue service was launched.
Users of the Twitter app for Apple devices must pay an additional price of $11 per month in addition to the $8 monthly subscription.
According to the platform, Twitter Blue subscribers receive “priority ranking in search, mentions, and replies” to aid in the fight against spam and bots.
Before the launch of Twitter Blue, none of the official Taliban accounts that had been spotted had the blue check symbol, which Twitter had previously used to identify individuals whose identities had been verified.
The group seized control of the Afghanistan Cricket Board and other previously-run verified accounts after retaking control of Kabul in August 2021. The athletic organization’s account now has a gold tick.
According to Twitter’s new rules, corporations are indicated with a gold checkmark, while other users, such as governmental entities, are indicated by a grey checkmark.
Twitter is frequently used by Taliban leaders and followers to deliver important messages.
Twitter did not respond to a request for comment.