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396 fake social media accounts created in name of 21 key figures

396 fake social media accounts created in name of 21 key figures

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6 Feb 2024 - 16:17
396 fake social media accounts created in name of 21 key figures
author avatar
6 Feb 2024 - 16:17

KABUL (Pajhwok): Many fake social media pages have been created in names of key figures and politicians in the previous and current government, sowing hate, hostilities, prejudice and differences in the nation.

Pajhwok Afghan News has found pages in the name of a number of former and current government officials and politicians on Facebook and X pages with pictures.

There are some other pages in the names of these people, but they are not included in this report because there are many people which same names and the pages without photographs may belong to other people.

Pajhwok identified original Facebook and X accounts of the individuals, either confirmed by reliable sources or marked with green verification marks by Facebook and X handles.

The list features at the top individuals with most fake pages in their name and at the bottom those with least fake Facebook accounts.

Mohammad Ashraf Ghani

About 25 fake Facebook and 38 X pages have been created in the name of former president Mohammad Ashraf Ghani.

Ghani’s verified Facebook account: http://tinyurl.com/admx4n9a

Ghani’s verified X (formerly known as Twitter) account: http://tinyurl.com/3fvj8kw8

Hamid Karzai

The most (35) FB pages and six X handles have been created in the name of former president Hamid Karzai.

Karzai’s confirmed FB page: http://tinyurl.com/478m5apj

Karzai’s confirmed X page: http://tinyurl.com/ms98dsx4

Atta Mohammad Noor

About 34 FB and six X pages have been created in the name of Atta Mohammad Noor, leader of Jamiat-i-Islami Afghanistan.

Noor’s verified X page: http://tinyurl.com/3ush26h4

Pajhwok could not find a verified FB page of Noor. There was a verified FB page in the name of Noor before (https://bit.ly/3l1scU2) but this account does not exist any longer.

Amrullah Saleh

About 26 FB and seven X accounts exist in the name of former vice-president Amrullah Saleh.

Saleh’s verified FB account:

Saleh’s X account, which has 1.1 million followers and most of the media quoted its posts, has no mark of verification.

Gulbaddin Hekmatyar

About 24 FB and two X pages exist in the name of Hezb-i-Islami Afghanistan leader Gulbadin Hekmatyar.

A source in HIA told Pajhwok that Hekmatyar had only one FB page in his name, and the rest of social media pages created in his name are fake.

Confirmed by this source, Hekmatyar’s X page: http://tinyurl.com/5xznkwtn

Abdul Rashid Dostum

Nineteen FB and five X accounts have been created in the name of Jumbish Milli leader Abdul Rashid Dostum.

Dostum’s FB account with verified mark: http://tinyurl.com/3c9juec2

Ehsanullah, spokesman for the ex-VP, told Pajhwok Dostum had no social media account and all the pages in his name, including the verified one, are forged.

Anas Haqqani

About 18 X account have been created in the name of the high-ranking official of Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA), Hafiz Anas Haqqani.

Mufti Abdul Matin Qane, spokesman for the Ministry of Interior, said Haqqani had only one X page and the rest are phony.

Mohammad Yaqoob Mujahid

About eight FB and 12 X pages exist in the name of the acting defence minister, Maulvi Mohammad Yaqoob Mujahid.

Enayatullah Khwarzami, spokesman for MoD, says the acting minister did not have any social media account.

Zabihullah Mujahid

Three FB and 13 X accounts are available in the name of chief spokesman of IEA Zabihullah Mujahid.

Mujahid says he has only one X account and no FB page.

Muahid’s X handle: http://tinyurl.com/3jph74sa

Mohammad Mohaqiq

About 12 FB and four X accounts exist in the name of Mohammad Mohaqiq, leader of the Wahdat-i-Islami People party.

Mohaqiq’s verified FB page: http://tinyurl.com/2mcn5bp9

His verified X account: http://tinyurl.com/2zrjfc3k

Dr Abdullah Abdullah

About 15 FB accounts are available in the name of former chairman of High Council for National Reconciliation Dr Abdullah Abdullah. Pajhwok found no fake X handle in his name.

Abdullah’s FB account with verified mark: http://tinyurl.com/3bbpzd8c

Abdullah’s X handle with verified mark: http://tinyurl.com/39b9jbnb

Mullah Mohammad Hassan Akhund

About 12 FB pages and three X accounts have been created in the name of the Prime Minister Mullah Mohammad Hassan Akhund.

Pajhwok tried to obtain information in this regard from government spokesmen but failed. However, the Ministry of Information and Culture earlier said Mullah Hassan Akhund had no social media account.

Abdul Rab Rasoul Sayyaf.

Thirteen FB and one X pages have been created in the name of Dawat-i-Islami chief Abdul Rab Rasoul Sayyaf.

Sayyaf’s verified X: http://tinyurl.com/pcwaywuv

He has no verified FB page but there is an account that mostly publishes Hadiths: http://tinyurl.com/49ct4kwh

Pajhwok messaged these two pages, but they are yet to respond.

Sirajuddin Haqqani

Eight FB and four X pages are there in the name of Interior Minister Sirajuddin Haqqani.

But Abdul Mateen Qane, spokesman for MoI, said the acting minister had no social media page.

Abdul Ghani Baradar

Three FB and eight X pages have been created in the name of Deputy Prime Minister for Economic Affairs Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar.

But government spokesmen have said nothing in this regard. The MoIC said in the solar year 1400 that Baradar had no FB or X account.

Amir Khan Muttaqi

Three FB and as many X pages are associated with Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi.

However, Hafiz Zia Ahmad Takal, spokesman for MoFA, said Muttaqi had no FB and X accounts.

Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanikzai

Two FB and four X pages have been created in the name of Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanikzai, deputy minister of foreign affairs.

Mohammad Karim Khalil

Four FB pages and two X handles have been created in the name of Wahdat-i-Islami leader Mohammad Karim Khalili. But no verified social media account exists in the name of Khalili.

Sarwar Danish

Four FB pages exist in the name of former vice-president Sarwar Danish but no fake X page is available in his name.

Danish’s verified FB page: http://tinyurl.com/3ntxr7bj

Qari Mohammad Yousuf Ahmadi

Two X pages are available in the name of Qari Mohammad Yousuf Ahmadi, director of National Radio Television. However, Ahmadi says he has no FB account and he only has an X handle.

Ahmadullah Wasiq

Two fake X pages are available in the name of Ahmadullah Wasiq,director of physical training and Olympic Committee.

Wasiq’s verified page: http://tinyurl.com/3scpa25h

Analysts say such bogus pages are created with the purpose of stoking tensions and conflicts between Afghans and suppressing opponents.

Political expert Najibullah Jameh says: “I have come across many social addresses that clearly incite  hatred, hostilities, prejudice and conflicts in the Afghan nation.”

According to him, through these pages, efforts are being made to influence public thoughts and condemn the opposition and the people in whose names these accounts are created.

He noted propaganda on social media against national unity, sectarian harmony, cultural values and the nation’s identity had become a destructive practice in Afghanistan and the third world.

He viewed this action as a step against national unity and Afghans, saying some well-known politicians, tribal leaders and opponents of the government also wanted to fan differences within the country through fake news.

He said bring differences among tribes, supporting conflicts between tribes, encouraging controversial debate, issuing untrue statements emanated from fake social media pages.

He urged IEA authorities to adopt a comprehensive, forward-looking national strategy to contain anarchism and race-based reform.

View of IEA

Inayatullah Alkozai, spokesman for the Ministry of Telecommunication and Information Technology, says the ministry investigates fake pages that are shared by various government agencies or ordinary citizens and takes action against them.

“Many issues surface almost every month, on which relevant departments work … one of the problems in Afghanistan that persists is the lack of communication with social media companies.

“Now they (social media) do not respond to the ministry directly, the reason for which is better known to you — the issue of non-recognition,” he concluded.

sa/mud

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