World Affairs Canada is purging web sites, social media amid Taliban takeover – Nationwide |

2021-08-23 19:00:06

World Affairs Canada is purging content material from its web sites and social media platforms in what officers say is a bid to guard Afghans vulnerable to reprisal from the Taliban.

However a number of the content material being eliminated or hidden additionally seems to incorporate tweets that condemned the Taliban for “violent, damaging motion” and others that promoted gender equality initiatives.

“Given the present atmosphere and the elevated danger to Afghan nationals who labored with Canada in Afghanistan, we’re reviewing our public going through web sites and social media platforms to make sure content material, together with imagery, doesn’t pose a danger to Afghan nationals who supported us,” spokesperson Christelle Chartrand mentioned on Friday night.

“That is consistent with our worldwide companions.”

She mentioned there’s a “massive quantity” of photographs and movies now being reviewed and eliminated, however wouldn’t touch upon why the content material being eliminated seems to incorporate posted statements and retweets of Canadian authorities initiatives to advertise gender equality.

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“The privateness and security of Afghan nationals who labored with Canada is of utmost significance and we’ll proceed to take all attainable measures when obligatory,” she wrote in an electronic mail.

“For safety causes, we can not present further particulars about our operations.”

Learn extra:
‘We’re determined’ — The scary new actuality confronted by the ladies of Afghanistan

World Information first contacted World Affairs Canada final week after turning into conscious that the Twitter accounts of the Canadian embassy in Afghanistan — one in French, one in English — had been locked.

That transfer stood in distinction to the profiles of the embassies of allies concerned within the effort to evacuate hundreds of Afghans from Kabul amid the Taliban’s seizure of the nation — together with the U.Ok., France, Italy, Norway, the Netherlands, Germany, Australia, the European Union and the U.S.

Officers didn’t reply questions on why the accounts had been restricted, the place the route to take action got here from, and who was deciding which accounts ought to be permitted to see the embassy’s actions.

“Our ongoing work to carry Canadians and Afghans to security in Canada beneath the Particular Immigration Measures continues and stays a prime precedence,” mentioned a spokesperson for the division final week.

“For safety causes, we can not present further particulars about our operations.”

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Inside 48 hours, the embassy’s profile was switched once more from restricted to public.

Nevertheless, the overwhelming majority of its tweets had been deleted or hidden.

Authorities of Canada/Twitter

As of Wednesday, the embassy’s restricted profile view hid the content material of its tweets however the variety of tweets attributed to the account was seen: 4,750.

By Friday afternoon, solely 74 remained and all however 4 had been invisible on the newly open profile.

As of Monday morning, 77 tweets had been attributed to the account and solely seven had been seen.

A authorities official talking on background didn’t reply questions from World Information about why the tweets both hidden or deleted seem to incorporate some that shared joint statements condemning Taliban assaults on infrastructure in addition to some selling gender equality.

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“Given the big variety of imagery that now we have printed on a number of platforms all through our years in Afghanistan, the handbook assessment and removing course of can have taken time,” the official mentioned.

“We’re utilizing the accounts to offer vital info as early as attainable, on the particular immigration program and consular information.”

In response to archived views of the embassy Twitter account saved on the Wayback Machine, the embassy’s accounts had been locked in some unspecified time in the future after Feb. 8, 2021, although an absence of archival knowledge in regards to the profile’s URL means the precise date of restriction will not be clear.

The extremist group seized management of Afghanistan in a lightning advance cumulating within the fall of Kabul on Monday, because the world watched in horror and U.S. President Joe Biden defended his withdrawal of troops from the nation after 20 years of battle.

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American troops secured the Kabul airport this week, and a deal reached between Canada and the U.S. on Wednesday has allowed Canadian army plane to start resuming evacuation flights, although with considerably fewer folks on board than the American evacuation flights utilizing the identical plane.

Learn extra:
Evacuating as many Afghans as Canada needs ‘almost unattainable,’ Trudeau says

Hundreds of determined folks have crowded outdoors the safety perimeter arrange by American and allied forces which might be holding the airfield, and entry into and out of the world is severely restricted by each the crowds and Taliban assaults on civilians.

The Taliban’s lightning seizure of the nation has escalated fears that hundreds of Afghans who supported allied forces in roles like interpreters throughout the two-decade battle within the nation shall be focused for reprisals by the extremist group.

These considerations final week led American officers to verify that a number of U.S. authorities businesses are purging content material from their web sites that might endanger Afghans who supported troops there.

The Related Press reported on Aug. 17 that spokespeople from the State Division, the U.S. Company for Worldwide Improvement (USAID) and the Agriculture Division had confirmed taking down articles, photographs and different info over the previous week because the Taliban swept into energy.

State Division spokesman Ned Worth mentioned the division was advising personnel to seek for and take away social media and web site content material that includes civilians as a result of the protection of Afghan contacts “is of utmost significance” to the federal government.

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—With recordsdata from The Related Press.

© 2021 World Information, a division of Corus Leisure Inc.

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