Photo Credit: Kabul Media

Over the past decade and a half, the number of social media users has been increasing day by day. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Skype, chat and IM are some of the leading websites in the world where users have become a part of their lives.

On Facebook and Twitter, people have the right to post their opinions, photos and reactions. It is an important part of grassroots journalism that connects users from rural to urban and where the Internet is used, from all over the world, and creates its own living space in this Internet world.

The issue of media is communication. Traditional media such as magazines, television, radio and other media have the power to inform the public about the latest and most important events and issues. Social media does the same, but there is a big difference between the two.

Social media is based on dialogue and debate and is slowly transforming its users from community to analysts, rather than from information providers. New technology in every society poses many problems at first until people accept it and become accustomed to it. But in societies with low literacy levels, these problems are not easily solved. One of these problems is the presence and role of Afghan women on social media. Many Afghan girls are unable to use the media to share their views or obtain information.

Photo By: Tamana Gul

Tamana Gul is a graduate of Kabul University’s Faculty of Linguistics. She was active in the media. She would write, share ideas and keep in touch with friends. But what happened that took it away from the media?

Tamana says:  “This is not my name. I was working under this pseudonym. My family did not allow me to have an account in my name. Because I started this business under a pseudonym. But slowly my relatives came to know.” “As I register and share my views, I’m even more annoyed.”

Tamana Gul’s writings were liked by people on social media, which encouraged her to write more and comment, but why didn’t her family want to work on social media?

She says: “our relatives thought that my writings and ideas were inciting women and girls to revolt. They felt that it was too early to share such writings and ideas. The environment was not yet ready for women to be active in the media.

Afghanistan Digital@Dai

Although Tamana says she shared her views on various issues, such as women’s rights, achievements, and other different issues, it was not all acceptable to her relatives.

Tamana tried hard to keep the media active but was unable to keep her account active. She says: “My presence was important to me. I would share my views and witness positive change in many areas. My views were heard and adjusted in that area. But when I closed my account, I lost many friends and I’m unaware of what’s happening in the world. “

On the other hand, there are educated girls who were active in their first name, but now some problems have forced them to write under a pseudonym and share their views.

Sana Jan, a fourth-year law student, says:

“I changed my name because a lot of people I knew, but they were narrow-minded and negative, when they didn’t like what I said or if my writing was against theirs, they would lie again. Spreading gossip and colourful rumours. It would insult my personality. “

Sana publishes short prose on her Facebook page and comments on other friends’ posts, but many people started harassing Sana on her Facebook page and forced her to use Facebook under a pseudonym.

But can pseudonyms alleviate the plight of Afghan girls?

Since the day I changed my real name, my problems have eased, given me peace of mind and I feel like I’m out of the company of bad people,” says Sana Jan.

But the pseudonym took its identity from Haya Sultan. Haya Sultan is a Pashtun poetess who has written dozens of poems and has changed her pseudonym four times.

Haya says: “Most of the time I wrote poetry called “Zamzama” (Humming) and I would share it with my fans on Facebook. So far, all my poems have been published under pseudonyms and this issue bothers me a lot. And now I have a lot of problems sharing my art with people under a pseudonym”.

One of the worst things about Facebook in Afghanistan is that people create accounts and pages in someone else’s name, then take the advantage of it. It spreads false information and insults the personality which has started a very harmful process. You may have read and seen many pages and addresses that were created in the names of others and made them a big headache.

Identifying fake social media addresses in Afghanistan is also a bit difficult because Facebook has not yet given everyone the right to verify in Afghanistan. Verification is a legal document of Facebook, Twitter or other media, a token and a confirmation issued to users by these agencies.

Unfortunately, many Facebook pages in Afghanistan are published by famous women who have spread a very bad message because their information is incorrect and inappropriate. People have lost real and real addresses. Arbitrarily publishing photos, videos and false reports is a clear weakness of social ethics and to prevent this the government must find a solution and the intelligence agencies must investigate those who have activated wrong addresses and are abusive.

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