Twitter has granted a terrorist, anti-Semitic Islamist organization access to a global public. Is this how Twitter plans to fight radicalism on its platform?
The social media platform Twitter recently granted verification to the official mouthpiece of the Muslim Brotherhood, an Egypt-based Islamist organization that has been designated as a terrorist organization in its home country since December 2013.
The Muslim Brotherhood operates through a website known as Ikhwan Web, which serves as the Brotherhood’s “official” English-speaking feed. Many are critiquing Twitter’s decision to grant Ikhwan Web verification, saying it legitimizes the group’s anti-Semitic propaganda.
“Verifying the Muslim Brotherhood’s Twitter feed helps further their narrative of civilization-Jihad,” US Senator Ted Cruz (R-Tx), 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.”
The Muslim Brotherhood is the parent group of the Palestinian terrorist organization Hamas. Kyle Shideler, director of the Center for Security Policy’s Threat Information Office, said Twitter’s decision is “deeply concerning.”
Terrorism Lurking in Social Media
“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 told the Free Beacon. “How is Twitter supposed to help defeat online radicalization when it essentially endorses the biggest source for Islamist radicals in the world?”
Terror organizations regularly use the vast world of social media to communicate, disseminate their ideology and even coordinate attacks. Twitter has vowed to combat extremists who use the platform, but has so far failed to do so.
The platform has been most heavily used by the Islamic State (ISIS) to crowdsource supporters and potential terrorists, though it also has used YouTube and Facebook. Counterterrorism and law enforcement officials have pointed to ISIS’ online presence for inspiring deadly attacks in Europe and the United States, including some by individuals who never had physical contact with any of its leaders or fighters in the Middle East. These include the attackers who killed 14 in San Bernardino, California, last December.
A recent report on anti-Semitism in the United Kingdom found that Twitter fails to properly handle abusive tweets from its users, especially anti-Semitic abuse,
By: JNS.org and United with Israel Staff
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