Social media fill the gap
The austere Taliban banned Internet use to stop people viewing what they derided as vulgar, immoral and anti-Islamic material, although they are now among many groups using social networking to communicate and buy youtube views promote their messages.While Internet cafe use has sprouted in towns and cities, particularly among young people, the use of social media has mainly been confined to combating conservative cultural norms such as limited women's rights, which are more difficult for mainstream media to confront without provoking a backlash."Where traditional media are weak, that is where social media step in," Khalvatgar said.Nai, he said, was launching its campaign to encourage government officials, rights groups and aid organizations to widen the use of social media and combat negative conceptions of the Internet among some Afghans."Social media is a free tool to use to transfer information without the influences of the government, warlords or Talibs," Abdul Mujeeb Khalvatgar, executive director of Afghan media advocacy group Nai, said as he launched the new campaign on Sunday."But right now there's the problem of having an audience," said Khalvatgar, pointing to the limited uptake of new media in a country racked by war and poverty. Just 2 million of Afghanistan's 30 million people have Internet access.While Afghans have enthusiastically embraced improved access to phones and communications since the 2001 ousting of the former Taliban government by U.S.-backed Afghan troops, a majority continue to live in simple homes, often made of mud brick. Only one in three have electricity.
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Build a sizable and engaged following
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