The Taliban’s Latest PR Strategy: Buying Blue Checks And Praising Elon Musk

(Photo by WAKIL KOHSAR/AFP via Getty Images)

Dylan Housman Chief Foreign Affairs Correspondent
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The Taliban are making use of Elon Musk’s new Twitter Blue, buying up blue checks and praising the enigmatic business leader for his stewardship of the social media platform.

Two Taliban officials and four notable supporters of the terrorist organization have purchased blue checks with Twitter Blue, the BBC first reported. When tech billionaire Elon Musk purchased Twitter late last year, he made blue checks purchasable for $8 a month as part of the Twitter Blue service, rather than requiring notability and identity verification for blue checks like the prior Twitter regime.

Head of the Taliban’s department for “access to information,” Hedayatullah Hedayat, purchased a blue check several weeks ago. It has since been withdrawn by Twitter after public outcry. Abdul Haq Hammad, an official at the Afghan Ministry of Information and Culture, had purchased a blue check that has seemingly been removed in the past 24 hours.

Some high-profile Taliban backers have tried buying the blue checks as well. Muhammad Jalal, a self-identified former Taliban official who now posts in support of the group, tweeted Monday that Musk is “making twitter great again.” (RELATED: Afghan Commandos Abandoned By Biden Reportedly Being Trained By Russia To Fight Ukraine)

Twitter did not respond to a request for comment from the BBC, but appears to have removed several of the blue checkmarks from the Taliban and their supporters since the initial report was published. Twitter Blue confers other benefits to subscribers as well, beyond just the blue check — users of the service get priority ranking in searches, mentions and replies, Twitter says. Twitter did not respond to questions from the Daily Caller about whether the Taliban were still receiving other Twitter Blue benefits.