US senator Joe Lieberman, chair of the Senate Homeland Security Committee, has called for the Taliban to be banned from using Twitter. But critics argue that banning the use of social media by extremist groups risks leading to a system where non-mainstream voices are blocked altogether.
Banning the Taliban from Twitter would not really achieve much. The group uses the service for propaganda rather than planning, and there are plenty of other services that could be used instead. Nevertheless, Twitter arguably does give the Taliban a chance to appeal to a wider range of users than might otherwise be possible.
Twitter is believed to be resisting the move to ban the Taliban from its service. If the Taliban do end up being banned, there would be a danger that other groups would start to be banned. This isn’t the first controversial call by Lieberman, who previously called for the US to be able to switch off net access in times of emergencies.