Republican congressman Rep. Doug Lamborn of Colorado on Tuesday sent a letter to Jack Dorsey, CEO of Big Tech giant Twitter, in which he criticized the company's "troubling double standard" for allowing members of the Taliban on the platform while upholding the lifetime ban on former President Donald Trump.
The former Republican president was banned from the platform following the January 6 attack at Capitol Hill, which occurred at about the same time he finished his speech at the Ellipse urging his supporters to make their voices heard with regards to the questionable election results..
"It is clear that the Taliban is a violent organization," Rep. Lamborn wrote in the letter, which he shared to his Twitter and Facebook accounts on Tuesday. The Colorado congressman argued in the letter that there was not "a single fact check on any of their tweets, nor any warnings for false or misleading content."
"It is impossible to see how the accounts of Zabihullah Mujahid and Yousef Ahmadi do not violate your policies," Rep. Lamborn wrote, as reported by the Christian Post. Mujahid and Ahmadi are official spokespersons of the Taliban militant group in Afghanistan, which capital of Kabul was taken control of on Sunday.
Rep. Lamborn added that it was "clear that Twitter has political bias in its algorithms and a troubling double standard." The 67 year old congressman demanded that Dorsey's $4.4-billion company issue a "prompt reply on why a former United States President is banned while two Taliban spokesmen are allowed to remain."
On speaking out on the issue of Taliban censorship, a Twitter spokesperson told Newsweek that the Big Tech giant will "continue to proactively enforce our rules and review content that may violate Twitter rules, specifically policies against glorification of violence, platform manipulation and spam."
Back in 2020, a Twitter update read that the company has "no place" for violent organizations. The Big Tech giant said that their assessments as to what constitutes a "violent organization" under company policy are "informed by national and international terrorism designations" and include organizations that declare themselves to be an extremist group, have engaged or are currently engaging in violence as a campaign for their cause, and targeting civilians.
According to the counterterrorism guide of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, the Taliban is listed as a terrorist group, which was also placed on a Treasury Department list of specially designated global terrorists. However, the State Department had never declared the Taliban as a foreign terrorist organization, which may be the reason why Twitter is still allowing its members to use the platform.
This is in direct contrast to Facebook, which spokesperson told CNBC, "The Taliban is sanctioned as a terrorist organization under U.S. law and we have banned them from our services under our Dangerous Organization policies." Facebook remained firm on its decision to censor content that promotes the Taliban on the platform. Mujahid criticized Facebook's decision, claiming that the Big Tech giant is stifling the group's freedom of speech.