With the recent revolutions that swept across the Middle East, Twitter has secured a firm position as a necessary tool for any anti-government group that seeks to communicate with supporters and the media to get its message out to the world.
Those anti-government groups have generally been suppressed peoples trying to break free from the strangleholds of dictatorial regimes. Until now: The Taliban has its own Twitter account, reports the Guardian, telltale evidence that the historically technology-wary terrorist clan is starting to dip its toes into the 21st Century’s digital age.
Under the handle @alemarahweb, the Afghan militia group actually began tweeting all the way back on December 19, 2010. The reason the militants microblogging habits are now in the news is because they’ve began to release messages in English, a sign that the group hopes to reach a more global audience.
Nearly all of the tweets posted to the feed link to the Taliban’s official website. And of those posted in English, all of them praise some ghastly victory for their side. Things like, “34 killed, 23 enemy vehicles destroyed as US military supply convoy attacked,” “US invaders spy plane shot down in Wardag,” and “8 local minions killed, 7 wounded in Kunduz province.”
At the time of this writing, the Taliban’s feed had more than 2,800 followers, a number that has skyrocketed since its first English tweet was posed on Thursday, having only been at 224 followers yesterday morning. The militants only follow 12 other Twitter users, however, which include: @AfghanAction, a charity that teaches carpet weaving to local Afghans; @AfghanHeroesUK, a charity for British Joint Forces serving in Afghanistan; and @Afghantim, a US Air Force Logistics Readiness Officer who served in Afghanistan until at least late last year.
- Twitter mulls ‘trusted friends’ feature for targeted tweets
- Twitter may let you select who can reply to your tweets
- Twitter removes more than half of abusive tweets automatically
- Twitter’s threaded tweets keep tweetstorms from clogging your feed
- Twitter looks at expanding 140-character limit to encourage ‘expression’