Twitter Shuts Down 125,000 Accounts For Promoting Terrorist Activity
Twitter took off 125,000 accounts from the website for threatening or promoting terrorist activity. All these accounts were linked to the extremist group, ISIS -both its members as well as sympathisers. ISIS’ tech-expertise are no big secret. Its members have been brazenly using the virtual space to get their message across.
There has been no official verification for the identity of the users of these accounts. Also, if they truly were related to ISIS -there really is no way to know how effective this move was. Many of these accounts are often handled by the same person who can very easily create another network of Twitter accounts and pick up exactly from where they left.
In the past, ISIS has used many apps, websites, softwares and all sorts of virtual entities to keep itself on its feet. While SoundCloud has been used to release audio reports, Instagram and WhatsApp have been the platforms to share graphic content in the form of videos and images.
Battle summaries have been published on JustPaste, while hundreds of questions have been answered about joining ISIS on Ask.fm. The website also gives guidelines regarding the footwear to carry and availability of toothbrushes for new recruits.
Reportedly, many ISIS volunteers have been put in touch with members of the organisation in Turkey or Syria following an introduction that says, “Kik me”, followed by discussion in private on many smartphones-based virtual platforms.
Quite recently a woman in the US sued Twitter for allowing official ISIS accounts to run on its platform, sparking off yet another debate about the exchange of content on social media.
The lawsuit followed an attack by an ISIS member on November 9th when he shot down five people to death in Jordan. Two of them happened to be Americans. The husband of the plaintiff was one of the two American victims.
However, despite various complaints and lawsuits over the last couple of years, no serious action has been possible against any social media platform. Websites like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube are protected by Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. It means that these websites are exempt from laws that would otherwise make them responsible for the content that users put up on their platform.
Additionally, US authorities often prefer the existence of accounts of antisocial elements. Officials think activities on social media platforms would enable them to keep an eye on ISIS and their supporters. Issues like these have been a much debated topic with no imminent conclusion for now. Twitter, on the other hand, has decided to take some form of a definitive step and remove 125,000 accounts. A lot of Anons will sleep more peacefully than usual tonight.