Taliban websites that delivered the victorious insurgents’ official messages to Afghans and the world at large in five languages appeared to have vanished from the internet Friday, indicating an effort to try to squelch them. It was unclear who or what took down the Taliban sites offline, though all sites previously had CloudFlare protection, a San Francisco-based company that helps websites deliver content and defend against cyberattacks. The Taliban operate separate websites in five different languages – Pashto, Dari, Arabic, Urdu, and English. According to reports, Cloudflare has not respond to emails and phone calls seeking comment on the development, which was first reported by The Washington Post. Numerous WhatsApp groups used by the Taliban, and its Facebook accounts have been banned since Friday. Notably, Twitter has not followed suit of banning Taliban accounts on its platform, reflecting both its different corporate judgments and the murkiness of US policy and law. Twitter has allowed several official Taliban accounts, including some used by spokesmen for the group, to continue operating so long as they obey rules against objectionable content, such as inciting violence through tweets. Also read:  Kabul evacuation among ‘largest, most challenging’ airlifts in history, says US President Joe Biden The websites' disappearance may just be temporary as the Taliban secures new hosting arrangements. The militant group has been an active user of social media and the Internet for years to deliver its messages, casting itself as a liberation army aiming to free Afghanistan from outside occupation and restore a traditional brand of Islamic law. Also at the same time, it has sought to soften its harsh ‘inside and outside Afghanistan’ image — as a brutal insurgent force bent on revenge nearly 20 years after US-led coalition drove them from power. Google's YouTube too, like Facebook, considers the Taliban a terrorist organization and has prohibited it from operating accounts. The Taliban is not on the US list of foreign terrorist organizations, however the US has imposed sanctions on it. NOTE: Asianet News humbly requests everyone to wear masks, sanitize, maintain social distancing and get vaccinated as soon as eligible. Together we can and will break the chain #ANCares #IndiaFightsCorona

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