Monday, 20 Sep 2021

Dominic Raab sighs as he is questioned on Taliban and Trump Twitter ban row ‘Honestly…’

Dominic Raab questioned over Taliban's presence on Twitter

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Dominic Raab appeared on GB News where hosts Patrick Christys and Mercy Muroki asked the minister questions about the Afghanistan issue and concerns from viewers about the looming refugee crisis. But Mr Raab bizarrely appeared annoyed when he was asked a simple question about Twitter allowing Taliban representatives on the site but not former President Donald Trump on with Mr Christys finding it strange the group could broadcast so openly to the world. Mr Raab shook his head and sighed and wanted to move swiftly on from the question.

Taliban spokespersons, like Suhail Shaheen, are allowed on Twitter where they give regular updates on the group’s activities with many questioning why they are allowed on the platform at all. 

Facebook chose to ban the Taliban as they agree with US law that they are a terror group and therefore can not be allowed on their site. 

However, Twitter remains one of the few major platforms which allow the Taliban on despite Donald Trump being permanently suspended for claims he incited violence over the Capitol Hill riots earlier this year. 

Ms Muroki wanted to know Mr Raab’s opinion and asked: “Are you happy that the Taliban are on Twitter but not former President Donald Trump?”

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Mr Raab pulled a face at the question and replied: “Honestly, that’s for the authorities on Twitter to decide, I’m focussed, frankly, on the evacuation effort…”

Ms Muroki once again asked whether the Foreign Secretary had an opinion on the matter.

The minister let out a sigh and replied: “I would have thought that is something that those running Twitter want to look at very carefully.”

Mr Christys added he found it strange the Taliban were able to hold their press conferences on Twitter and agreed with Ms Muroki it should be something looked into. 

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Earlier in the interview, Mr Christys asked how many refugees Mr Raab’s local council would be letting in and whether he would let refugees into his house as other celebrities have said. 

Mr Raab said the council decision is made on a case-by-case basis and that he would not let people into his house because he has a young family. 

Fellow GB News host Andrew Doyle defended keeping the Taliban on Twitter as he believes it allows people to hold them to account and understand the group better.

He explained: “Yeah, this is a monstrous group and I have no hesitation in saying that but it is in our interests to know what they are thinking.

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“If they are on social media and if they are staying within the law on social media, as in not inciting violence and that kind of thing, then it is in our interest to see it.

“That is not in any way endorse anything that they say it’s actually the reverse, by having them present on the internet, on social media, it allows people to hold them to account.

“It allows people to attack what they’re doing, as in criticising what they are doing, expose what they are doing, I think a lot of people don’t know the full extent of what’s going on.”

Mr Doyle also did not want to hand over more power to social media companies to control what people can say on their platforms as thinks they would not apply the rules equally.

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