KABUL (Pajhwok): Some circles have been trying to spread horror and intimidate people through fake social media accounts using logos of renowned media outlets including Pajhwok Afghan News simultaneously with ongoing peace talks.
This comes when peace talks between Afghan warring parties have been underway since September this year and the second round of talks is scheduled to begin on Jan 5 amid a surge in violence in the form of blasts, murder, targeted killings and landmine blasts.
In such circumstances, some circles using fake social media accounts have been trying to harm trust among Afghans, damage the image of media and further promote surge in violence in the interest of their nefarious designs to damage the unity of the people of Afghanistan.
A facebook page Khalid Ahmad Al-Naemi, shared a post with a fake photograph using the logo and name of Pajhwok Afghan News.
The fake post says: “In response to women’s modeling show in Kabul, the Taliban have declared war. Unlike the past, the Taliban will destroy roads and schools until the government stops such shows. Zabihullah Mujahed, the Taliban spokesperson, confirmed this to Pajhwok in audio message.”
The fake post is circulating in social media while Pajhwok Afghan News never shared such things nor Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid had talked to Pajhwok Afghan News on the matter.
The post says Taliban termed the modeling show held on December 6 in Kabul as against the identity, culture of Afghans and Islamic values and dubbed the show as the copy of western culture.
The post adds the Taliban said the Afghan government negotiating team upon return to Doha from Kabul might count the modeling show as one of the past 19 years achievements.
The Taliban added they defended pure demands of people of Afghanistan and were committed to protecting the culture, dignity and honor of people and would crush supporters of modeling show.
The fake post of Khalid Ahmad Al-Naeemi was confirmed by some people as unreal.
Isa Fathai, a facebook user, in comment section wrote: “I did not find this on Pajhwok page, would you please share the link.”
Hidaytullah Afghan, another Facebook user, also shared the post, but when realized it was fake, he wrote: “Our enemy is so clever, to the extent that it resides in Washington, Virginia and White House and turns Afghans as each other enemies. This story doesn’t exist on Pajhwok Afghan News wall not it is shared by Pajhwok. ZabihullahMujahid also did not call Pajhwok administration. It is time to identify who is our enemy and who is using our color, language, soil and resources against us.”
Some other social media users expressed their views and said the post was falsely associated to Pajhwok Afghan News.
ShafiullahAmeeri wrote: “The photo-shopped screen shot is done by someone who wants to fuel disunity and conflict in the country.”
Another facebook user Ahmad Gul wrote: “Everything you see in the Facebook is not a reality. For a reality check there is need for wisdom and thought.”
Earlier, fake facebook pages Mujala-e-KhabariPajhwok, NangarharPajhwok, Azhans-e-KhabariPajhwok had been created with a slight change in the logo and elimination of the word Afghan.
Mujala-e-Pajhwok and NangarharPajhwok — the two fake pages — have no post and publication, but the other two pages Azhans-e-Khabari Pajhwok and Pajhwok sometimes publish fake information.
The Azhans-e-KhabariPajhwok shared a post saying: “Azhan-e-KhabariPajhwok has obtained another classified information about the Taliban. It shows the Taliban are not committed to peace and are living in Qatar with their families.”
Another fake facebook page “Pajhwok” wrote: “One of the reasons why Afghanistan is burning in the flames of fire is due to the Islamic ideology and in order to stop this extremist mindset, the Imams should be stopped from peaching.”
This comes at a time when Pajhwok Afghan News is a recognized news agency based on recognized and approved standards of journalism. The agency would never disseminate such information.
Khalil Aseer, editor-in-chief of Hasht-e-Subah Newspaper, told Pajhwok Afghan News: “unfortunately, two fake Facebook pages have been created in the name of Hasht-e-Subah. These fake pages were closed after eight months of hard work with the support of the facebook administration.”
He said identifying people behind such crime was difficult, adding these people misused the publicity some oganisations have in a country.
Earlier, a letter believed to be from Taliban’s Quetta Council circulating in social media allegedly directed the group fighters to increase infiltration attacks and assaults on important government employees, personnel who harass Taliban prisoners, attorney generals and personnel of 01 Unit.
However, ZabihullahMujahid, Taliban spokesman, told Pajhwok Afghan News that there was no council named Quetta Council in the Taliban structure and the letter was only a propaganda paper.
“I do not confirm this information. In general, anyone who engages in crimes and fights against us, particularly intelligence organs and special operation personnel are our enemies; they were under our chase in the past too and they would be our target in future, we have no any new orders in this regard,” he said.
Khalilullah Shankar Daeezada, deputy head of the Hizb-e-EradaMellat Afghanistan, said regarding fake materials: “The purpose behind publishing fake information in the name of renowned media outlets is to hurt public trust in these media outlets and to disturb public minds.”
“Such activities are part of plan against credible media organizations. Fake accounts are made with the purpose to spread chaos and instability and cause concern among people.”
According to Pajhwok Afghan News report dated November last year, at least 10 fake facebook pages in name of different ministries have been created that disseminate wrong and baseless information.
NasratullahNasratNaseri, spokesperson for the Ministry of Telecommunication and Information Technology (MoCIT), said on official requests of individuals and organizations, 436 violations that occurred in social media had been addressed.
He added the ministry did not have control over social media pages, adding in case of complaint the ministry was ready to cooperate in coordination with social media pages owners.