Google hits delete on Taliban propaganda app: report

Google has reportedly removed a Taliban propaganda app from Google Play. It appears the app had been running for only a short time before news reports about it emerged and Google shut it down.

The Afghan rebels, like other militant organizations including ISIS and Al-Qaeda, have increasingly turned to the Internet and social media for messaging and recruiting.

The Taliban’s “Alemarah” app for Google’s Android operating system was in Pashto, the language spoken by Pashtuns, the ethnic group from which the Taliban arise.  Its content included official Taliban videos and statements, Bloomberg reported.

In response to a question on the matter from tech website The Next Web, Google said it didn’t comment on specific apps but said, “we remove apps from Google Play that violate our policies.”

Those policies include a ban on apps that facilitate or show gratuitous violence, allow terrorist groups to showcase their attacks, provide instructions for committing violent activities including bomb-making, or promote action against people based on gender or ethnicity.

A Taliban spokesman attributed the disappearance of the app to “technical issues” and said it would be back up soon, according to Bloomberg. The use of mobile phones is widespread in Afghanistan.

Photo:  Former Taliban fighters line up to disarm in 2012 (Wikimedia Commons/NATO)


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