Twitter ‘verifies’ Muslim Brotherhood while expelling conservatives

© Getty

© Getty

The Hill, by Kyle Shideler, November 28, 2016:

Social media users have long considered Twitter’s coveted blue check mark an online status symbol.

While formally used as a way to visually display that Twitter has confirmed a given user’s identity, marketing specialists say that the little blue check mark is immense advantage to promoting one’s brand and message.

Twitter says verified accounts are those viewed as being in the “public interest,” and emphasizes “users in music, acting, fashion, government, politics, religion, journalism, media, sports, business, and other key interest areas.”

It’s no wonder then, that social media erupted when it was discovered that the Twitter decided to verify @Ikhwanweb, the official twitter handle of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Critics have rightly pointed out that @Ikhwanweb has been used by the Muslim Brotherhood to promote violence, including publishing a 2015 call for violent jihad and “martyrdom,” and spreads anti-Israel, anti-Jewish, and anti-Western hatred online.

The Muslim Brotherhood is a global Islamic revivalist organization that seeks to take political power in order to promote its ideology, which calls for the establishment of Islamic law and ultimately promotes violent jihad against all those who oppose it, Muslim and non-Muslim alike.

The Brotherhood has historically helped to spawn numerous terrorist organizations including Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, and even Al Qaeda, and Brotherhood members in the United States have been convicted of providing material support for terrorism.

After falling from power in Egypt in 2013 amidst a popular uprising and military coup, the Muslim Brotherhood was designated as a terrorist organization by Egypt as well as the United Arab Emirates. Other regional states, including Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Jordan have also launched occasional crackdowns on the Islamist group, which they accuse of promoting the overthrow of governments and close ties to terrorism.

Since its ouster from power the Brotherhood has been credibly accused of waging a campaign of terror, conducting attacks on Coptic Christian churches, and assassinating of government officials.

The U.S. Congress is also currently considering legislation that would ask the State Department to designate the group as a terrorist organization. Walid Phares, a counterterrorism advisor to the Trump campaign, has said that President-Elect Trump would consider designating the group as well.

Twitter’s decision to verify the Muslim Brotherhood comes at a time when the social media company’s platform is already regarded as something of a bête noire among counterterrorism professionals who say it serves as a ready outlet  for Islamic extremists to promote their message, conduct recruiting, and even promote terror attacks.

Despite pressure from governments, Twitter’s effort to crackdown on such abuse has not been successful. In August of this year, British MPs issued a formal report that social media outlets, including Twitter, “are consciously failing” to police their platforms against terrorists.

Yet while Twitter has failed against Islamic extremists, it’s proven remarkably effective at purging right-wing voices with which it apparently disagrees.

As an example, Twitter notably yanked the same blue checkmark from Breitbart editor Milo Yiannopoulos in January of this year before finally permanently banning the online provocateur.

Twitter argues that verification does not represent an endorsement but their use of revoking verification as a form of punishment against those with whom it disagrees belies the fact.

Twitter has also successfully purged controversial “alt-right” twitter accounts from its platform, leading Hollywood actor James Woods, a noted conservative with an active twitter following, to announce he would quit the social media platform over what he regarded as censorship.

The verification of the Muslim Brotherhood’s twitter account creates a very real, and odious, double standard. A group linked to actual terror, and designated as such by governments, receives something akin to Twitter’s imprimatur while other voices, regarded as merely offensive, have been silenced. Twitter’s success with targeting some voices, while permitting others free-reign and advantage suggests it is playing favorites.

At a minimum, the social media company should meet with Muslim Brotherhood’s critics to receive an appropriate education on the nature of the group and to show that @Ikhwanweb is far from a “public interest” group.

Even more preferably would be the revocation of @Ikhwanweb’s verification status and an investigation into what policy failures led the company to make the decision to provide the Muslim Brotherhood with verification in the first place.

Failing to do so may be viewed as an implicit endorsement of the Muslim Brotherhood and its behavior.

Kyle Shideler is the Director of the Threat Information Office at the Center For Security Policy.

Twitter Grants Verification to Muslim Brotherhood’s Violent, Anti-Semitic Online Mouthpiece

AP

AP

Washington Free Beacon, by Adam Kredo, November 28, 2016:

The social media website Twitter is facing criticism for its recent decision to grant verification to the Muslim Brotherhood’s official mouthpiece, which routinely writes in favor of violent terror acts and disseminates anti-Semitic propaganda.

The Muslim Brotherhood–which has been designated as a terror outfit and banned by Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Russia, and elsewhere–operates in the online sphere via a website known as Ikhwan Web, which serves as the Brotherhood’s “official” English-speaking feed.

Twitter recently granted verification to Ikhwan Web’s online feed, giving the organization an air of legitimacy that leading lawmakers and experts described as reckless given the Brotherhood’s history of supporting violent jihad and terrorism.

‎”Verifying the Muslim Brotherhood’s Twitter feed helps further their narrative of civilization-Jihad,” Sen. Ted Cruz (R., Texas), a Muslim Brotherhood critic who has authorized legislation to designate it in the United States as a terror organization, told the Washington Free Beacon.

“This maneuver makes the Brotherhood seem like a legitimate group while providing them cover to spread their radical version of Islam,” Cruz added. “I look forward to working with the new administration to expose the Brotherhood’s efforts to increase their influence in America.”

Ikhwan Web’s Twitter feed serves as a central hub for the Brotherhood’s radical propaganda and official statements. A Free Beacon request for comment to Twitter’s public relations department went unanswered.

Twitter has faced a wave of criticism for failing to shut down various accounts promoting radical jihad and terrorism against Western countries. Others have criticized the social media site for cracking down on accounts associated with conservative-leaning thinkers and writers.

Recent tweets indicate that the Brotherhood is, via its Twitter feed, advocating continued violence and resistance against Egypt’s ruling government. It also is working to mainstream the Brotherhood as a legitimate resistance organization and governing body.

Ikhwan Web has a history of promoting violence in the Middle East, primarily in Egypt, where the Brotherhood led a bloody coup and continues to support violence against the country’s ruling authority.

“It is incumbent upon everyone to be aware that we are in the process of a new phase, where we summon what is latent in our strength, where we recall the meanings of jihad and prepare ourselves, our wives, our sons, our daughters, and whoever marched on our path to a long, uncompromising jihad, and during this stage we ask for martyrdom,” the Brotherhood said in a 2015 statement that was posted on Ikhwan Web.

The website also has a history of defending individuals accused of organizing terror attacks on U.S. soil.

Other recent articles posted by the group promote violence against the Israeli government and Jewish people, including one 2009 post quoting a Muslim Brotherhood leader as calling for “jihad” to “liberate” Jerusalem from Israeli control.

The Brotherhood falsely claims that Israel is attempting to vandalize Muslim holy sites and prevent access for adherents to the faith.

Other postings rally against “the ugly face” of Zionism.

Kyle Shideler, director of the Center for Security Policy’s Threat Information Office, told the Free Beacon that Twitter’s decision to grant legitimacy to the organization is “deeply concerning.”

“This decision by Twitter to provide the Muslim Brotherhood with this literal blue check of approval is deeply disconcerting,” Shideler said.

“At a time when Twitter is already facing criticism for banning individuals based solely on speech, Twitter has effectively lionized a group responsible for the burning of Coptic churches and the killing of Egyptian police and judiciary officials,” Shideler added. “How is Twitter supposed to help defeat online radicalization when it essentially endorses the biggest source for Islamist radicals in the world?”

Think Tank Report Merges Racism With Criticism of Islam To Achieve ‘Islamophobia Crisis’ Numbers

BBC-Demos-3-640x480Breitbart, by Liam Deacon, Aug. 19, 2016:

The BBC has seized upon a report by a left-wing think tank, which openly conflates criticism of Islam with racism, to claim “islamophobia” on social media has “peaked” and imply more censorship is needed.

Demos, whose Chief Executive is Claudia Wood, who joined the think tank from Tony Blair’s strategy unit, developed a method of supposedly automatically identifying Tweets that are “hateful, derogatory, and anti-Islamic”.

They claimed that over 5,000 “Islamophobic” tweets are sent every day and that the number “peaked” after a number of Islamist terror attacks rocked Europe this July.

“Over July, we identified 215,247 Tweets, sent in English and from around the world… On average, this is 289 per hour, or 6,943 per day”, the report claims.

“Islamophobic tweets ‘peaked in July’”, claimed a BBC article and extended segment on the BBC News Channel, after they were given “exclusive access” the report which they published alongside a series of emotive and subjective interviews with “offended” and aggrieved British Muslims.

These “possibly socially problematic and damaging” online utterances were said to “contain one of a number of specified keywords”.

However, the National Secular Society (NSS) labelled the report “an accidental case-study in why we should all stop using the meaningless and sinister word ‘Islamophobia’”, and identified some serious methodological flaws.

Benjamin Jones, the communications officer of the NSS, explained in a blog post:

“In their report Demos selects some tweets it included in the study, which they presumably think are good examples of their methodology in action. A tweet stating “Morocco deletes a whole section of the Koran from school curriculum as it’s full of jihad incitement and violence The Religion of peace” is treated the same way as a tweet saying “I fucking hate pakis” in their methodology.

“One of these tweets criticises an idea. The other is racist. One describes and mocks a belief system, the other (verbally) attacks people. Demos’ methodology treats both of these tweets in the same way.

“I have read (an English translation of) the Koran. Saying it contains violence (it does) is in no way comparable to using racist language.

“This is an appalling conflation, which creates a false moral equivalence between racism and criticising a set of ideas.

“Another tweet Demos offer as an example reads: “Priest killed in #Normandy today by a Radical Islamic Terrorist yet Hillary says that Islam is peaceful! 1274 attacks this year=peaceful? Ok.”

“Is asserting that Islam doesn’t seem to be conducive to peace really ‘Islamophobic’? The BBC apes Demos’ dangerous line, referring not to anti-Muslim, but explicitly to “anti-Islamic” tweets as ‘Islamophobic’.

“… Wanting to jail homosexuals might also be “socially problematic”, but pointing out that half of British Muslims do want to criminalise homosexuality and most think it is immoral would have me labelled an ‘Islamophobe’ under Demos’ methodology.”

The report’s authors claim that “we believe it is important that the principle of internet freedom should be maintained… However, racist, xenophobic, Islamophobic and misogynistic abuse can curtail freedom…”

In the methodology section of their paper, they write that “An Islamophobic expression was defined as the illegitimate and prejudicial dislike of Muslims because of their faith”, but conceded that, “Islamophobia can take on a very large number of different forms, and its identification, especially within Twitter research, was often challenging.”

“Ultimately, this research comes down to the judgement of the researchers involved”, they add.

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According to NSS, Demos clearly failed to successfully identify bigotry, and by conflating it with legitimate criticism Islam and Islamism, they and the BBC have damaged people’s ability to speak freely on the subject.

An example of this conflation came within the BBC’s own report, when a man interrupted one of the Muslim interviewees to say that “there is no sharia law here” and “we’re losing our freedom of speech”.

The man was immediately castigated by the Muslim interviewee, and the BBC ran a second article titled: “BBC Islamophobia discussion interrupted by Islamophobia”, implying that stating Sharia law isn’t part of UK law is itself Islamophobic.

Convictions for crimes under Section 127 of the Communications Act of 2003, a law increasingly used to prosecute “internet trolls”, have increased ten-fold in a decade.

Earlier this week, the office of London’s first Muslim mayor announced they had secured millions of pounds to fund a police “online hate crime hub” to work in “partnership with social media providers” to criminalise “trolls” who “target… individuals and communities.”

And in May this year, the EU announced that Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Microsoft had “committed” to working more closely with them and national governments and “their law enforcement agencies” to help “criminalise” perceived “illegal hate speech” online.

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Al Qaeda’s 20-year plan to violently impose Sharia on the West in stages is just entering Phase Six (2016-2020) of “Total Confrontation”. This timeline, hatched well before 1996, was known to the West for ten years.

The other death-to-the-West Islamic timeline implemented ten years ago by a highly powerful and influential organization — the world’s second largest intergovernmental organization (next to the United Nations) and largest Islamic organization — is also building momentum in a less violent but parallel way.

The Organization of Islamic Cooperation, the largest voting bloc at the UN (comprising the world’s 57 Islamic states) proposed a Ten-Year Programme of Action (at a two-day summit in Mecca concluding on Dec.9th) to internationally criminalize any criticism of Islam or so-called Islamophobia, culminates this week (December 8th and 9th).

Criminalizing Islamophobia[1] was the OIC’s major initiative since 1999, at which time it began pushing for a blasphemy-against-Islam UN resolution. That resolution finally passed in 2011 as UN Resolution 16/18 — the underpadding of which is to establish a global Islamic hegemony or caliphate that subjugates the entire world to Sharia. UN Resolution 16/18 and the hate-speech laws that it gave rise to simply facilitate the Islamization of the West.

Both timelines are influencing, guiding, and mobilizing jihadists worldwide to launch attacks that are gaining momentum throughout the West. All-out war has begun with more and more Islamic terrorist attacks launching worldwide, including now in the U.S.

ISIS Is Winning the Twitter War

An ISIS propaganda poster featuring terrorist Omar Mateen, who killed 49 people in Orlando, Florida / AP

An ISIS propaganda poster featuring terrorist Omar Mateen, who killed 49 people in Orlando, Florida / AP

Washington Free Beacon, by Morgan Chalfant, Aug. 6, 2016:

Islamic State supporters have given the terror group an advantage over its opponents by out-tweeting critics, according to a new study.

While ISIS opponents outnumbered the group’s supporters six-to-one on Arabic-language Twitter last year, ISIS supporters “routinely outtweet opponents” and are better at using social media to propagate their message, according to a RAND Corporation study that examined ISIS Twitter networks between July 2014 and April 2015.

Researchers discovered nearly 76,000 pro-ISIS Twitter accounts using Arabic on the social media site, a marked increase over a 2014 estimate by the Brookings Institution of around 46,000 Twitter accounts used by ISIS supporters—communicating in both Arabic and English.

The RAND study found over 471,000 accounts dispersing critical messages about the terrorist group.

ISIS supporters tweeted 60 times per day on average, 50 percent more than their opponents.

“While ISIS supporters are outnumbered, it is clear that they are more active than ISIS opponents, as they produce 150 percent of opponents’ number of tweets a day. These results suggest that ISIS supporters are more energized than their opponent counterparts,” the researchers concluded in the study released on Tuesday.

“However, more than this, lexical analysis of the ISIS Supporters metacommunity demonstrates that ISIS supporters more actively adhere to good social media strategy by actively encouraging fellow supporters to ‘spread,’ ‘disseminate,’ and ‘link’ messages to expand their reach and impact,” the researchers continued.

ISIS has leveraged Twitter and other social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr, and Ask.fm, to disseminate its message and reach potential sympathizers beyond its so-called caliphate in Iraq and Syria. From 2011 to September 2015, roughly 30,000 foreign fighters, including thousands of Westerners and hundreds of Americans, tried to travel to Iraq and Syria, many seeking to join ISIS.

An Alabama high school student who joined the terror group first made contact with ISIS members and supporters on Twitter, according to an interview published by BuzzFeed last year.

ISIS hacking groups have also used social media to promote “kill lists” targeting U.S. military officials, law enforcement personnel, and civilians.

The State Department said in June that ISIS posed the greatest global terror threat last year, noting that the group’s “propaganda and use of social media have created new challenges for counterterrorism efforts.”

RAND researchers analyzed publicly available Twitter data over a 10-month period to understand different communities talking about ISIS and develop recommendations for U.S. and allied efforts to combat the terror group on social media.

The Obama administration has struggled to counter terrorist propaganda online. In January, it overhauled its efforts to curb ISIS and other terror groups’ digital influence with the creation of a counterterrorism task force.

The State Department, which was widely mocked in 2014 for its “Think Again Turn Away” counter-messaging campaign, shuttered its Center for Counterterrorism Communications at the start of this year after an expert panel concluded that the U.S. government should not be so overtly engaged in information operations against ISIS.

The department replaced the program with the Global Engagement Center, which largely relies on foreign states to lead counterterrorism messaging.

Twitter began suspending ISIS accounts in March 2015, which may have resulted in a gradual decline of ISIS supporters, the RAND research indicated. Still, the organization’s use of social media has exacerbated concerns about its ability to inspire future attacks like the Orlando nightclub shooting carried out by ISIS sympathizer Omar Mateen in June. That attack killed 49 people.

Phillip Lohaus, a national security expert at the American Enterprise Institute, told the Washington Free Beacon that Twitter has been effective at cracking down on jihadist accounts, but that some supporters have found ways to direct individuals to ISIS resources without being flagged by the company.

“There are people who sympathize with jihadist groups, with ISIS, that are on Twitter and that know what boundaries not to cross, and therefore can serve as a conduit to point people toward certain resources or to get out messages that are sympathetic to ISIS if they’re not necessary inciting people to violence or things that Twitter would immediately kick them off for,” Lohaus explained.

He said that ISIS has used Twitter and other platforms to “create an online community” that the U.S. government has thus far been ineffective at countering.

“The way that the government has handled this so far has been to kind of send out a couple snarky tweets and they think that’s sufficient,” Lohaus explained. “The real issue here is that these jihadist groups are creating an online community. It’s not just that they’re just sending out all this horrible propaganda. It’s that they’re sending out things like poems, they’re sending out highly-polished videos, they’re sending out all kinds of essays that maybe are only tangentially related to extremists.”

The RAND study recommended that the State Department provide “social media trainings and other engagements” to ISIS opponents using Arabic-language Twitter to amplify their messages. “Of course, with al-Qa’ida and its affiliates counted among the ISIS opponents, care will have to be taken in selecting those suitable to train and empower,” the researchers noted.

RAND researchers also recommended that government organizations looking to combat ISIS with counter-messaging on Twitter should tailor their messages to target specific communities because the terror group’s Twitter community “is highly fragmented and consists of different communities that care about different topics.”

The U.S. military and State Department should also continue to highlight global atrocities committed by ISIS, the researchers wrote, highlighting data indicating that intense attention to such acts resulted in an influx of anti-ISIS messaging. “Note, however, ISIS clearly uses ultraviolence as a key component of its brand, and a messaging strategy, consequently, highlighting such actions risks playing into its hands,” they warned.

In addition to public social media platforms, ISIS has also turned to secure messaging platforms like Kik to communicate with potential supporters and fighters, which Lohaus indicated could be more of a threat than propaganda spread through Twitter.

“These are secured chat platforms where ISIS recruiters and propagandists can directly get in touch with youths or with anybody who might be interested in their cause,” Lohaus said, adding later that militants could leverage these platforms to call for future attacks against the West.

“There’s a whole section of communications in our society to which the government doesn’t have access and I think that we are already seeing Islamists exploit that, and I can’t imagine why they wouldn’t for operational things either,” he said.

Federal Government Authorizes Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube to Censor “Anti-Islam” Speech; Lawsuit Filed

3320334677Center for Security Policy, July 13, 2016:

Today, the American Freedom Law Center (AFLC) filed a federal lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, challenging Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act (CDA) under the First Amendment.

Section 230 provides immunity from lawsuits to Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, thereby permitting these social media giants to engage in government-sanctioned censorship and discriminatory business practices free from legal challenge.

The lawsuit was brought on behalf of the American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI), Pamela Geller, Robert Spencer, and Jihad Watch.

As alleged in the lawsuit, Geller and Spencer, along with the organizations they run, are often subject to censorship and discrimination by Facebook, Twitter and YouTube because of Geller’s and Spencer’s beliefs and views, which Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube consider expression that is offensive to Muslims.

Such discrimination, which is largely religion-based in that these California businesses are favoring adherents of Islam over those who are not, is prohibited in many states, but particularly in California by the state’s anti-discrimination law, which is broadly construed to prohibit all forms of discrimination.  However, because of the immunity granted by the federal government, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube are free to engage in their otherwise unlawful, discriminatory practices.

As set forth in the lawsuit, Section 230 of the CDA immunizes businesses such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube from civil liability for any action taken to “restrict access to or availability of material that” that they “consider to be obscene, lewd, lascivious, filthy, excessively violent, harassing, or otherwise objectionable, whether or not such material is constitutionally protected.”

Robert Muise, AFLC co-founder and senior counsel, issued the following statement:

“Section 230 of the CDA confers broad powers of censorship upon Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube officials, who can silence constitutionally protected speech and engage in discriminatory business practices with impunity by virtue of this power conferred by the federal government in violation of the First Amendment.”

Muise went on to explain:

“Section 230 is a federal statute that alters the legal relations between our clients and Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, resulting in the withdrawal from our clients of legal protections against private acts.  Consequently, per U.S. Supreme Court precedent, state action lies in our clients’ challenge under the First Amendment.”

David Yerushalmi, AFLC co-founder and senior counsel, added:

“Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube have notoriously censored speech that they deem critical of Islam, thereby effectively enforcing blasphemy laws here in the United States with the assistance of the federal government.”

Yerushalmi concluded:

“It has been the top agenda item of Islamic supremacists to impose such standards on the West.  Its leading proponents are the Muslim Brotherhood’s network of Islamist activist groups in the West and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), which co-sponsored, with support from Obama and then-Secretary of State Clinton, a U.N. resolution which called on all nations to ban speech that could promote mere hostility to Islam.  Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube are falling in line, and we seek to stop this assault on our First Amendment freedoms.”

AFLC Co-Founders and Senior Counsel Robert J. Muise and David Yerushalmi, along with the plaintiffs in this case, Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer, will hold a Press Call from 2:00-2:30 p.m. on Wednesday, July 13.  To access this press conference call, dial (641) 715-3655 and enter code 111815.

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European Union Declares War on Internet Free Speech

This week, the EU, in partnership with Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Microsoft, unveiled a "code of conduct" to combat the spread of "illegal hate speech" online in Europe. The next day, Facebook suspended the account of Ingrid Carlqvist, Gatestone's Swedish expert, after she posted a Gatestone video to her Facebook feed — called "Sweden's Migrant Rape Epidemic."

This week, the EU, in partnership with Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Microsoft, unveiled a “code of conduct” to combat the spread of “illegal hate speech” online in Europe. The next day, Facebook suspended the account of Ingrid Carlqvist, Gatestone’s Swedish expert, after she posted a Gatestone video to her Facebook feed — called “Sweden’s Migrant Rape Epidemic.”

Gatestone Institute, by Soeren Kern, June 3, 2016:

  • Opponents counter that the initiative amounts to an assault on free speech in Europe. They say that the European Union’s definition of “hate speech” and “incitement to violence” is so vague that it could include virtually anything deemed politically incorrect by European authorities, including criticism of mass migration, Islam or even the EU itself.
  • Some Members of the European Parliament have characterized the EU’s code of online conduct — which requires “offensive” material to be removed from the Internet within 24 hours — as “Orwellian.”
  • “By deciding that ‘xenophobic’ comment in reaction to the crisis is also ‘racist,’ Facebook has made the view of the majority of the European people… into ‘racist’ views, and so is condemning the majority of Europeans as ‘racist.'” — Douglas Murray.
  • In January 2013, Facebook suspended the account of Khaled Abu Toameh after he wrote about corruption in the Palestinian Authority. The account was reopened 24 hours later, but with the two posts deleted and no explanation.

The European Union (EU), in partnership with Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Microsoft, has unveiled a “code of conduct” to combat the spread of “illegal hate speech” online in Europe.

Proponents of the initiative argue that in the aftermath of the recent terrorist attacks in Paris and Brussels, a crackdown on “hate speech” is necessary to counter jihadist propaganda online.

Opponents counter that the initiative amounts to an assault on free speech in Europe. They say that the EU’s definition of “hate speech” and “incitement to violence” is so vague that it could include virtually anything deemed politically incorrect by European authorities, including criticism of mass migration, Islam or even the European Union itself.

Some Members of the European Parliament have characterized the EU’s code of online conduct — which requires “offensive” material to be removed from the Internet within 24 hours, and replaced with “counter-narratives” — as “Orwellian.”

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Twitter and Facebook Vow to Eliminate ‘Hate Speech’

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Henceforth only far-Left and pro-jihad views will be allowed.

Front Page Magazine, by Robert Spencer, June 1, 2016:

Could it soon be illegal to oppose jihad terror on the Internet?

AP reported that “the European Union reached an agreement Tuesday with some of the world’s biggest social media firms, including Facebook and Twitter, on ways to combat the spread of hate speech online.”

Not only Facebook and Twitter, but also YouTube and Microsoft, “have committed to ‘quickly and efficiently’ tackle illegal hate speech directed against anyone over issues of race, color, religion, descent or national or ethnic origin. The sites have often been used by terrorist organizations to relay messages and entice hatred against certain individuals or groups.”

Vera Jourova, whom AP identifies as “the EU commissioner responsible for justice, consumers and gender equality,” explained: “The internet is a place for free speech, not hate speech.” She added that the new rules would “ensure that public incitement to violence to hatred has ‘no place online.’” But incitement to violence isn’t all that the social media giants are planning to stamp out: Karen White, Twitter’s European head of public policy, declared: “We remain committed to letting the Tweets flow. However, there is a clear distinction between freedom of expression and conduct that incites violence and hate.”

The problem with both Jourova’s and White’s statements is that they assume that “hate speech” is an entity that can be identified objectively, when actually it is a subjective judgment based on one’s own political preconceptions. And given the years-long insistence from Leftists and Islamic supremacists that any honest discussion of how Islamic jihadis use the texts and teachings of Islam to justify violence and supremacism constitutes “hate speech,” these new rules could mean the end of opposition to jihad terror on the Internet.

Consider, for example, what Twitter does not consider to be “hate speech.” A Muslim named Obaid Karki, @stsheetrock on Twitter, who runs a website headed “Obaid Karki St.Sheetrock’s Painfulpolitics Offensive Comedy Hepcat” and another called is called “Suicide Bombers Magazine” posted this on one of them last Sunday: “Robert Spencer mustn’t [be] featured but lynched from his scrotum along with Zionists scumbags, Pamela Geller, Pat Condell, Daniel Pipes, Debbie Schlussel and JIHADWATCH Jackass duo Baron Bodissey & Geert Wilders for inspiring Anders Behring Breivik to [kill] innocent students in 2011.”

Neither Bodissey or Wilders actually run Jihad Watch – I do — and I didn’t inspire Breivik to do anything, but what is interesting about Karki’s loony message is that he posted this call for me and others to be lynched on Twitter.

Twitter supposedly has a policy against death threats. “The Twitter Rules” say: “Violent threats (direct or indirect): You may not make threats of violence or promote violence, including threatening or promoting terrorism.” I therefore duly reported this one – but as of this writing, it has not been taken down (in fact, Karki posted it along with variants of it several times). I reported Karki’s tweet (which he republished on Twitter several times, and on Monday received this message from Twitter: “Thank you for letting us know about your issue. We’ve investigated the account and reported Tweets for violent threats and abusive behavior, and have found that it’s currently not violating the Twitter Rules (https://twitter.com/rules).”

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