Taliban sides with Elon Musk against Zuckerberg in Twitter vs Threads war

Taliban sides with Elon Musk against Zuckerberg in Twitter vs Threads war
2 min read
11 July, 2023
A senior Taliban leader has praised Elon Musk's Twitter after his social media rival unveiled a new social media app Threads.
Musk's Twitter has faced a powerful new rival with Threads [Getty]

A Taliban leader has endorsed Elon Musk's Twitter, highlighting the platform's "important advantages" over Mark Zuckerberg's Threads app.

Anas Haqqani, a former member of the Taliban's negotiating team, claimed Twitter was more committed to free speech than its new social media rival Threads, which is part of the Meta network.

Musk and Zuckerberg have engaged in a war of words since the launch of Threads last week, much of it personal including challenges of a cage fight.

Musk has accused Zuckerberg of hiring fired Twitter workers to create a "copycat" of the platform, which he paid $44 billion last year and has since seen a slump in users, according to some social media monitors.

Haqqani weighed in on Musk's side this week by tweeting, naturally, that the latest social media platform is likely to offer fewer "freedoms" than Twitter.

"Twitter has two important advantages over other social media platforms. The first privilege is the freedom of speech," he said on Twitter.

"The second privilege is the public nature & credibility of Twitter. Twitter doesn't have an intolerant policy like Meta. Other platforms cannot replace it."

The Taliban came to power in Afghanistan last year, seizing the capital Kabul and forcing the government into exile. The movement has been widely criticised for a crackdown on human rights, particularly women's, and general mismanagement of the country which has seen an exodus of vital NGOs. 

While no country recognised the Taliban as rulers of Afghanistan, Twitter has become an important platform for figures from the Islamist movement with many senior officials buying up "blue ticks" when Musk made the status symbol available to all users - for a fee.

These Twitter Blue subscriptions were later taken down but thousands of members of the Taliban still use the Twitter platform.

With the Taliban banned on Facebook and attempts to dislodge its members from WhatsApp - both under Zuckerberg's umbrella - it is likely that the Taliban will remain the movement's social media platform of choice for the time being.