Facebook Helped People To Flee Afghanistan, Including Its Staff, The Firm Says

Social media company Facebook participated in an effort to help 175 Afghan citizens to leave the country following te Taliban taking over the country, the company has informed BBC.  

Some employees of the company were also on the flight to Mexico City, the company said. That claim was later confirmed by the Mexican government, and said that there were activists and independent journalists along with their families were on the flight. It also included 75 children.

The current situation in Afghanistan has also prompted multinational companies and organisations to continue to exit the country.

“In the process of assisting Facebook employees and close partners leave Afghanistan, we joined an effort to help a group of journalists and their families who were in grave danger,” a Facebook spokesperson told the BBC.

“Thanks to the leadership of the Mexican government, and the support of the UAE in providing the initial landing, the journalists have been welcomed in Mexico,” the company added.

No further details were provided by the company because of the current volatile and dynamic security situation in Afghanistan.

The group of Afghan citizens arrived in the country on Wednesday, the Mexican government said. “This group, the fourth to come to Mexico for humanitarian reasons due to the situation in Afghanistan, is made up of social media workers, activists and independent journalists and their families, including 75 children.”

New safety measures for users who were worried about their safety in Afghanistan, with the Taliban continuing to cement its hold on power, were brought in by Facebook two weeks ago, the company said.

Facebook’s head of security policy, Nathaniel Gleicher, announced the additional safety measures.

“We’ve launched a one-click tool for people in Afghanistan to quickly lock down their account. When their profile is locked, people who aren’t their friends can’t download or share their profile photo or see posts on their timeline,” Gleicher tweeted.

Facebook will also continue to ban content related to Taliban on its platforms since the group is considered to be a terrorist organization by the company, it had said earlier this month.

“The Taliban is sanctioned as a terrorist organization under US law and we have banned them from our services under our Dangerous Organisation policies. This means we remove accounts maintained by or on behalf of the Taliban and prohibit praise, support, and representation of them,” a Facebook spokesperson said.

Funding for projects in Afghanistan were halted by the World Bank last week because of its concerns about how the takeover of the country by the Taliban will affect “the country’s development prospects, especially for women”.

A few days prior to the World Bank’s decision, the International Monetary Fund had also suspended payments that were to be made to the country while money of the country’s central bank held abroad has also been frozen.

(Adapted from BBC.com)

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