Mr. Mohseni said a wholesale clampdown on the news media would also prove difficult in the era of TikTok and Twitter. About 60 percent of Afghans are 25 or younger, he noted, and they had come of age with mixed classrooms of male and female students; uncovered women; and Snapchat.
“Today’s Taliban are savvy. They check or ban smartphones and WhatsApp in remote villages. They can monitor phones,” he said. “But the country has changed, the population is young, and the Taliban will not suddenly be able to deprogram people and tell them the world is flat when they know that it is not.”
Understand the Taliban Takeover in Afghanistan
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Who are the Taliban? The Taliban arose in 1994 amid the turmoil that came after the withdrawal of Soviet forces from Afghanistan in 1989. They used brutal public punishments, including floggings, amputations and mass executions, to enforce their rules. Here’s more on their origin story and their record as rulers.
Who are the Taliban leaders? These are the top leaders of the Taliban, men who have spent years on the run, in hiding, in jail and dodging American drones. Little is known about them or how they plan to govern, including whether they will be as tolerant as they claim to be.
What happens to the women of Afghanistan? The last time the Taliban were in power, they barred women and girls from taking most jobs or going to school. Afghan women have made many gains since the Taliban were toppled, but now they fear that ground may be lost. Taliban officials are trying to reassure women that things will be different, but there are signs that, at least in some areas, they have begun to reimpose the old order.
Massoud Sanjer, director of content for Tolo’s entertainment arm, recalled that during the last Taliban rule, he watched foreign films like “Braveheart” by installing a banned satellite dish on his roof, hidden behind a concrete wall.
“Afghans know how to adjust to circumstances,” he said.
Mr. Mohseni said that after entering Kabul, the Taliban visited Tolo’s compound, confiscated all the state-issued weapons and offered their protection. He said Tolo politely declined.
Though many female journalists have fled, he added, some have continued to report on the ground despite his pleas for them to stay at home.
Though he said Tolo’s news content wasn’t being censored, a review of recent coverage on Tolo’s popular “6 P.M. News” showed some signs of self-censorship. Stories about what a future Taliban government may look like are conspicuously absent or underplayed, as are profiles of Taliban leaders.