In a surprising twist, a prominent Taliban leader has weighed in on the ongoing social media feud between tech moguls Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg, highlighting the perceived advantages of Twitter over its competitors.
Anas Haqqani, a senior figure who played a key role in the Taliban’s negotiations with Afghanistan’s previous government, recently shared his thoughts on social media platforms in a post dated July 10.
He emphasized that Twitter possesses crucial benefits, primarily its commitment to freedom of speech. Haqqani also praised Twitter for its public nature and credibility.
However, he expressed disdain for Threads, a rival application launched by Zuckerberg’s company, Meta, earlier this month.
According to Haqqani, Twitter distinguishes itself from Meta, citing an alleged “intolerant policy” on free speech adopted by the latter. He contended that other platforms cannot replace the unique qualities offered by Twitter.
Elon Musk, known for his staunch support of free speech, has positioned Twitter as a platform that welcomes all types of lawful speech, even controversial views.
Nevertheless, concerns have been raised about Twitter’s increased compliance with censorship requests from governments like Turkey and India since Musk assumed control.
Critics have accused Musk of prioritizing censorship requests ahead of Turkey’s presidential election, leading to a backlash. In response, Musk argued that Twitter had little choice but to comply with these requests.
Despite requests for comment, Twitter, which dismantled its media relations department under Musk’s ownership, remained silent on the matter.
An endorsement from Haqqani, a controversial figure who was released from an Afghan prison in 2019 after being incarcerated for five years as part of a prisoner swap with the Taliban, carries significant weight.
Haqqani, who joined Twitter eight months after his release, was described by Afghan officials as a computer expert involved in strategic decision-making and fundraising for the Haqqani Network, an insurgent group affiliated with the Taliban.
His father, Jalaluddin Haqqani, founded the Haqqani Network, which was considered the most lethal and sophisticated insurgent group in Afghanistan during the US-led operation..