Online abuse of politically energetic Afghan girls tripled after Taliban takeover, rights group studies | EUROtoday

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Online abuse and hate speech concentrating on politically energetic girls in Afghanistan has considerably elevated because the Taliban took over the nation in Aug. 2021, in line with a report launched Monday by a U.Okay.-based rights group.

Afghan Witness, an open-source mission run by the non-profit Center for Information Resilience, says it discovered that abusive posts tripled, a 217% enhance, between June-December 2021 and the identical interval of 2022.

Building on experience gained from comparable analysis in Myanmar, the Afghan Witness crew analyzed publicly obtainable info from X, previously often called Twitter, and performed in-depth interviews with six Afghan girls to research the character of the net abuse because the Taliban takeover.

The report mentioned the crew of investigators “collected and analyzed over 78,000 posts” written in Dari and Pashto — two native Afghan languages — directed at “almost 100 accounts of politically active Afghan women.”

The interviews indicated that the unfold of abusive posts on-line helped make the ladies targets, the report’s authors mentioned. The interviewees reported receiving messages with pornographic materials in addition to threats of sexual violence and demise.

“I think the hatred they show on social media does not differ from what they feel in real life,” one girl advised Afghan Witness.

Taliban authorities spokesmen weren’t instantly obtainable to remark in regards to the report.

The report recognized 4 normal themes within the abusive posts: accusations of promiscuity; the assumption that politically energetic girls violated cultural and non secular norms; allegations the ladies had been brokers of the West; and accusations of creating false claims with the intention to search asylum overseas.

At the identical time, Afghan Witness mentioned it discovered the net abuse was “overwhelmingly sexualized,” with over 60% of the posts in 2022 containing phrases corresponding to “whore” or “prostitute.”

“Since the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan, social media has turned from being a place for social and political expression to a forum for abuse and suppression, especially of women,” the mission’s lead investigator, Francesca Gentile, mentioned.

The Taliban have barred girls from most areas of public life and work and stopped women from going to highschool past the sixth grade as a part of harsh measures they imposed after taking energy in 2021, as U.S. and NATO forces had been pulling out of Afghanistan following twenty years of battle.

“The Taliban’s hostility towards women and their rights sends a message to online abusers that any woman who stands up for herself is fair game,” added Gentile.

One feminine journalist, talking with Afghan Witness on situation of anonymity, mentioned she deactivated a few of her social media accounts and not reads feedback, which impacts her work when attempting to achieve out to on-line sources.

The report mentioned it discovered the overwhelming majority of these behind the net abuse had been males, “from a range of political affiliations, ethnic groups, and backgrounds.”