I’ve written a piece in the latest issue of the New Statesman about how banned organisations in Pakistan are increasingly embracing social media. It was an interesting piece to work on; I spoke to the “social media wings” of several banned groups about how they are using the internet to change their image. I was quite surprised at how tech savvy and organised these groups were.
Here’s the opening of the piece:
On 22 November last year, a new magazine sought writers through an advert on Facebook. “Dear brothers and sisters, ‘the pen is mightier than the sword’. Now you have a chance to use this mighty weapon,” said the ad, which was posted on Umar Media, the Facebook page of Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP).
The previous month, the same page had announced “online job opportunities”, including “video-editing, translations, sharing, uploading, downloading, and collection of required data”. Offering an email address on which to contact the Taliban, the two adverts urged readers to spread the word in case the Facebook account was deleted.
You can read the rest over at the New Statesman website, and the cutting is below.