Information Warfare: Twitter Cracks Down On Genocide

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January 27, 2014:   Several times in January Hamas, a Palestinian Islamic terrorist group that rules the Gaza Strip had its Twitter accounts suspended for violating the Twitter terms of service. Hamas was constantly advocating genocide and the use of terrorism against civilians. Hamas makes no secret about its desire to destroy Israel and kill any Jews who refuse to leave the region. Twitter points out that since Hamas has been designated (since 1997) as a Foreign Terrorist Organization it is against U.S. law for American firms to provide it with any kind of support. This is not always enforced, unless the terrorists seem to be making effective use of something and then the company in questioned is reminded of the law by the U.S. government. Hamas has long been using the Internet to get its message out, as well as to raise money and seek out recruits. Apparently they were becoming too successful. But at the same time there were more and more non-Moslem media monitoring groups that were publicizing what Arab language media (of Hamas and other Islamic radical groups) were saying about their goals. While these groups moderate their message in English, they are more blunt and scary in Arabic. This is not a translation issue, Hamas leaders want to kill lots of Jews and are not happy about their lack of success.

Hamas is not the only Islamic terrorist group to have had their Twitter accounts shut down. This sort of thing has become more frequent as Twitter turned into another form of mass media. In 2013 Somali Islamic terrorist group Al Shabaab had its twitter account shut down several times for violating Twitter terms of service. Twitter management was particularly upset when al Shabaab used twitter to announce and discuss its involvement in a horrendous terror attack on a Nairobi, Kenya shopping mall that killed over 60 civilians. For that al Shabaab had its twitter account shut down on September 6th. Despite that the terrorist group started a new account on September 10th that was also shut down. Earlier in 2013 (February) al Shabaab began using a new Twitter account and criticized Twitter for shutting down al Shabaab’s original (since 2011) account on January 20th because the Islamic terrorists had used Twitter to make specific threats against several people on January 16th. This is not allowed by the Twitter terms of service. The al Shabaab account had over 20,000 followers. The Hamas account had more than twice as many. Both groups are still active on Twitter using accounts that do not feature the name of the groups. Hamas also tries to distance itself from the nasty stuff said in its name by claiming it’s all the fault of a “militant wing” of Hamas. 

 

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