New Jersey Institute of Technology: Use of Twitter Helped Taliban Regain Control in Afghanistan, Researchers Find

New Jersey Institute of Technology: Use of Twitter Helped Taliban Regain Control in Afghanistan, Researchers Find. “Twitter was a strategic tool for Taliban operations in overthrowing the Afghanistan leadership during the country’s civil war, and some accounts associated with the oppressive group triggered the company’s algorithms to promote ads for well-known Western brands, researchers from New Jersey Institute of Technology, Princeton University and University of Regina found.”

AFP: Hackers Targeted Afghan Officials on Facebook Amid Taliban Offensive

AFP: Hackers Targeted Afghan Officials on Facebook Amid Taliban Offensive. “Facebook revealed Tuesday it had worked to block a hacker group that targeted the accounts of people tied to Afghanistan’s then-government and security forces as the Taliban was moving in to take power. The Pakistan-based group, known as SideCopy, used ‘romantic lures’ from what appeared to be young women on the platform to try to trick the targets into giving the hackers access to their pages.”

Task & Purpose: The Pentagon quietly removed more than 130,000 Afghanistan War photos and videos from public view

Task & Purpose: The Pentagon quietly removed more than 130,000 Afghanistan War photos and videos from public view. “The Pentagon has quietly removed a massive collection of Afghanistan War footage totaling more than 120,000 photos and 17,000 videos from its official visual record. The images and videos, which date back more than a decade, were previously published to the Defense Visual Information Distribution Service, or DVIDS, a vast repository of public domain material that’s available for use by the public and the press.”

IndieWire: Afghanistan’s Film Archives Were Saved from the Taliban Once Before. What Now?

IndieWire: Afghanistan’s Film Archives Were Saved from the Taliban Once Before. What Now?. “Efforts to protect, restore, and digitize that window into Afghanistan’s history emerged over the last 20 years, coinciding with a robust return of film and TV to the country. But now that the Taliban has returned to power, huge questions loom about the status of that archive, which dates back to 1927.”

ANI: Afghan newspapers go online due to financial crisis

ANI: Afghan newspapers go online due to financial crisis. “The Afghanistan National Journalists’ Union on Wednesday reported that due to the financial crisis, around 150 print media outlets across Afghanistan have stopped printing newspapers and magazines since the fall of the former government, reported Tolo News. Watchdog organizations recently said the Afghan media outlets are running out of funds and face a lack of information under the Taliban. Many Afghan outlets continue publishing news online, while some have shut down completely.”

WMTV: New initiative aims to welcome Afghan refugees, give support information

WMTV: New initiative aims to welcome Afghan refugees, give support information. “A new website launched Tuesday aims to help anyone wanting to welcome and support Afghan refugees who have arrived in the United States. [The site] provides information about volunteering, donations and providing legal aid or sponsoring a family. It can also connect people to groups and organizations helping with the resettlement efforts.”

Politico: Top U.S. diplomat during Kabul evacuation tests positive for Covid

Politico: Top U.S. diplomat during Kabul evacuation tests positive for Covid. “Ross Wilson, who was the chargé d’affaires of the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, recently tested positive for Covid-19, according to three people familiar with the matter. He currently only has very mild, cold-like symptoms, one of the people said. Wilson was evacuated from the U.S. Embassy to the Kabul airport on Aug. 15 and spent the last couple weeks there helping in the rush to get American citizens, Afghan allies, and other vulnerable Afghans into the airport and onto planes to safety.”

CNN: The Taliban’s social media dilemma

CNN: The Taliban’s social media dilemma. “…even as the Taliban presses for US forces to leave the country, it remains reliant on American social media companies such as Facebook (FB) and Twitter (TWTR) to get its message out, both within Afghanistan and beyond its borders. On Twitter, for example, multiple Taliban spokesmen, including Mujahid and Suhail Shaheen, have active, unverified accounts, each with more than 300,000 followers. But many of those platforms, including Facebook and its subsidiary WhatsApp, have said they will crack down on accounts run by or promoting the Taliban.”

Washington Post: An army of veterans and volunteers organizes online to evacuate Afghans, from thousands of miles away

Washington Post: An army of veterans and volunteers organizes online to evacuate Afghans, from thousands of miles away. “On a quiet, tree-lined street in the Bay Area, Jon Reed’s computer screen swam with maps of Kabul, chat threads and text messages from Special Operations forces, other service members and civilian contractors inside and around Hamid Karzai International Airport. A former Green Beret, Reed is one of thousands of veterans, active-duty service members, former government officials and civil servants working online to help Afghans flee Taliban retaliation.”

Upworthy: Meme artist raises more than $2 million in 5 hours to rescue Afghans on Taliban kill list

Upworthy: Meme artist raises more than $2 million in 5 hours to rescue Afghans on Taliban kill list. “We’ve all spent several days watching the news from Afghanistan with a mixture of horror, sadness, and frustration. Images of crowds of people clamoring to get onto planes at the Kabul airport, human beings clinging to a flying jet before falling to their deaths from the sky, hordes of men, women, and children desperate to escape a violent, extremist regime crammed like sardines into U.S. cargo planes—it’s all too much. We know there are so many people we can’t help. That’s the tragic reality. But there are people we can help. And that’s happening, right now, on the internet and on the ground in Afghanistan.”

“We do not feel safe”: A Kabul-based crisis alert app struggles to protect its own employees (Rest of World)

Rest of World: “We do not feel safe”: A Kabul-based crisis alert app struggles to protect its own employees. “Ehtesab means “accountability” in Dari and Pashto, and the app, formally launched in March 2020, offers streamlined security-related information, including general security updates in Kabul to its users. With real-time, crowdsourced alerts, users across the city can track bomb blasts, roadblocks, electricity outages, or other problems in locations close to them…. Despite the company’s single-minded focus on security, the Ehtesab team was caught off-guard by the sudden collapse of the Afghan government over the weekend.”

BBC: Nine Afghan girl robotics team members safe in Qatar

BBC: Nine Afghan girl robotics team members safe in Qatar. “After scrambling for days to bring them to safety, nine members of an Afghan all-girls robotics team have arrived in Qatar, the team’s parent organisation has confirmed.Their flight out of Afghanistan was organised by the Qatar government, which expedited visas and sent an aircraft.The team first made headlines in 2017 after winning a special award at an international robotics competition in the US.”

CNET: Facebook unveils tools to protect Afghan people who fear becoming Taliban targets

CNET: Facebook unveils tools to protect Afghan people who fear becoming Taliban targets . “As many Afghans hurry to hide their social media profiles out of fear the profiles will make them targets for Taliban violence, Facebook is launching new tools to help them delete their digital footprints. The move comes just days after the Taliban reclaimed Kabul, the Afghan capital, on Sunday, and announced they’d be taking power in the country for the first time in 20 years.”