Just as the ISIS, the Taliban are working hard on their technological capabilities to spread their message all around the world. This time, the Islamic fundamentalist group created an app for Play Store but, luckily, it was deleted by Google late last week.
The app, called Alemarah, was discovered on Friday by a non-governmental counterterrorism organization: SITE Intelligence GrouP. They saw that the app contained official statements, news, videos from the Taliban and terrorist propaganda. According to Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahed, Alemarah was their first application developed to reach a global audience.
On the other hand, Google decided to remove the app from its platform because Alemarah represented a clear violation of their policies against hate speech, and claimed that they reserved the right to remove apps that “advocate against groups of people based on their race or ethnic origin, religion, disability, gender, age, nationality, veteran status, sexual orientation, or gender identity”.
“Our policies are designed to provide a great experience for users and developers. That’s why we remove apps from Google Play that violate those policies,” Google added in a statement.
Despite the actions of Google, Bloomberg reporter, Mr. Eltaf Najafizada tweeted that a Taliban representative affirmed that Almerah will be back on Play Store shortly because it was only removed due “technical issues”.
Technological abilities of Islamic groups
The Taliban online presence has grown through the years. The group has a website running in five languages, several amounts of social media accounts and channels on mobile messaging apps, they even use the encrypted messaging service Telegram, which previously had to take actions against them too and blocked dozens of ISIS-related channels.
Almerah might be down, or at least for now, but the app created by the Islamic State, called Aleawi, is still available for download officially from Google, who hasn’t been able to remove it for a technicality: it turns out that this is a messaging app, so the creators can wash their hands because they are not directly responsible for the use users give to the app, even if it’s mostly used to propagate violence against innocent civilians.