The ‘queer.af’ Mastodon instance disappeared because of the Taliban

Dark blue Mastodon logo on a light blue background, centered with four small, dark blue pieces of the logo spread around it in different orientations in the four corners of the image.
Image: The Verge

Were you aware that the “.af” domain extension is administered by Afghanistan’s government? That’s a truth that the “queer.af” Mastodon instance is now reckoning with as the Taliban, which has controlled the country since 2021, has shut down the domain, according to 404 Media. And it may not be alone, given reports that other .af domains have abruptly gone dark, too.

Erin Shepherd, the administrator of the instance and key ActivityPub developer, told the outlet they were already planning “to shut things down” instead of renewing in April, but that the early termination was a surprise. An email from the Afghanistan Ministry of Communications and IT that Shepherd posted said that the queer.af domain had been suspended and that websites or…

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