Afghanistan Free Speech Activists Take To Facebook

By Justin Lafferty 

Free speech activists in war-torn Afghanistan are finding a new way to get their message across: Facebook. However, they’re facing quite a dilemma, as access to the Internet is fleeting.

Reuters reported that as a way to break through the governmental gridlock, free speech activists are posting to Twitter and Facebook to debunk NATO and Taliban claims and speak the truth about what is really going on in Afghanistan. Nai Media Institute of Afghanistan has launched a social media campaign to help people get their message out.

Abdul Mujeeb Khalvatgar, Nai’s executive director, talked about how social media has changed the landscape in Afghanistan:

Social media is a free tool to use to transfer information without the influences of the government, warlords, or Talibs. But right now, there’s the problem of having an audience.

Social media stat database Socialbakers shows that Afghanistan has just a tick under 300,000 Facebook users — 1 percent of the country’s population. Reuters notes that only one-third of Afghanistan’s population has electricity in their homes. In comparison, more than 50 percent of Americans are on Facebook. However, Facebook usage among Afghanistan residents is on the rise.

But as Internet cafés pop up throughout the country, the younger generation is taking to Facebook and Twitter to combat social norms.

Readers: Do you feel Facebook and other social media sites help situations like this?

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.