Students attend a class with men and women behind the scenes at a private university in Kabul.
Several media outlets, including the New York Times and CNN, have been forced to issue explanations following a fake Twitter account claiming to be the vice chancellor of Kabul University.
According to The National, since September 21, an unverified account – which claimed to belong to the newly appointed VC of Kabul University, Mohammad Ashraf Ghairat – has posted tweets that were quickly picked up by the Western media.
One such tweet read: “Logo! I give you my words as Chancellor of Kabul University: Unless a true Islamic environment is provided for all, women will be allowed to come or work in universities.” It will not happen. Islam first. “
The tweet quickly gained traction and was picked up by NYT, which highlighted the fate of women’s education under a hardline group in a full-page report entitled: ‘New Taliban Chancellor Bars Women from Kabul University’.
However, outside of a movie at one point in the course of events, the user running the Twitter account later admitted that he was not the VC of Kabul University. Instead, the 20-year-old university student who is “broken and frustrated” tweeted from the same account.
In a Twitter thread, he explained that he saw no future with the Taliban in the war-torn country.
“I grew up in Kabul, I went to school and university, my dream was to be an influential person in Afghan society and politics. But now look at what has happened to all my aspirations,” he said.
Speaking to The National, the law graduate, identified by his pseudonym Mahmoud, said he set up the account to highlight the demise of Afghan education.
“What’s happening in Afghanistan right now is a real joke,” Mahmoud told The National in a phone call from Kabul. “It’s ridiculous. All our leaders have left the country and we are the ones facing the Taliban.
The publication quoted him as saying that his claims were not questioned because he was “tweeting only what the Taliban were already thinking”.
Meanwhile, NYT published an editor’s note above the article regarding the first version of the story.
The first version of the article and its headline included comments from an individual who claimed the honor of the newly appointed Chancellor of Kabul University, Mohammad Ashraf, saying that women were not allowed to go to work or go to college. Will be.
The comments included those posted in the name of honor on the Twitter account. Several calls were diverted to the Chancellor’s office and his superior for confirmation, the deputy said the chancellor would not speak to the media. The Taliban spokesman did not deny the account’s claims, the statement said.
He added that the authenticity of the account was called into question after the article was published. “The Times has failed to confirm its position on the school’s policies until the university chancellor, and the article has been edited to reflect skepticism about social media posts,” he said.
CNN made similar corrections and updated the story on its website.
An earlier version and headline of the story was incorrectly attributed to a Twitter account belonging to the Chancellor of Kabul University. CNN later learned that the account was not affiliated with the Chancellor or the university. The story has been updated, “he said in a note.
A Taliban spokesman, Bilal Karimi, also told CNN on Thursday that the Twitter account was fake and rejected its content.
In addition, Kabul University, as well as the Taliban’s Ministry of Higher Education, issued statements on Facebook on Tuesday, denying that Ghairat had a social media account. According to CNN, the statement said that the purpose of any page running under his name was to spread fake news.