Category Archives: social media

How Facebook and Social Media Promote Terrorism

The nature of Islamic terrorism throughout the world has changed in recent years. Alongside the established and organized groups — such as Hezbollah, Hamas, the Palestinian Islamic Jihad and even ISIS — a new and different type terror has been created, one that is nourished ideologically, spiritually, and intellectually by these groups, yet shows no connection — organizationally or operationally — to them.

This terror is defined by what we refer to as “lone wolves.” These are individuals whose nationalistic motives, religious incitement or psychological needs propel them to commit acts of terror without being a member of an organized group or cell. The one unifying aspect for all these lone wolves is social media.


The Social-Media Panic

All that matters to the center-Left is whether Silicon Valley will keep them in power.

Make no mistake: 2016 will never happen again.” Historians are not always reliable predictors of the future, but Niall Ferguson’s analysis of how Silicon Valley and the center-Left would react to the successive and surprise victories of Brexit and Donald Trump is proving correct. Conservatives and populists will not be allowed to use the same tools as Democrats and liberals again, or at least not use them effectively.


The Follower Factory

THE REAL JESSICA RYCHLY is a Minnesota teenager with a broad smile and wavy hair. She likes reading and the rapper Post Malone. When she goes on Facebook or Twitter, she sometimes muses about being bored or trades jokes with friends. Occasionally, like many teenagers, she posts a duck-face selfie.

But on Twitter, there is a version of Jessica that none of her friends or family would recognize. While the two Jessicas share a name, photograph and whimsical bio — “I have issues” — the other Jessica promoted accounts hawking Canadian real estate investments, cryptocurrency and a radio station in Ghana. The fake Jessica followed or retweeted accounts using Arabic and Indonesian, languages the real Jessica does not speak. While she was a 17-year-old high school senior, her fake counterpart frequently promoted graphic pornography, retweeting accounts called Squirtamania and Porno Dan.


British public would accept three-minute social media delay to tackle extremist content

In an extensive survey on the future of technology, Demos asked their 2,003 respondents how long of a delay – if any -they would be prepared to put up with between pressing “send” and their post appearing online if it meant technology companies such as Twitter and Facebook were able to better police the content uploaded to their sites.


Facebook Banned Me for Tying Islamic Terror to…Well, Islam

A week or so ago I was banned (again!) by Facebook for critical comments I made about Islam. I was reported by a Muslim female called Farnaz Javed. This Muslimah frequently carries out Islamic Da‘wah on a Facebook discussion page called “The Great British Political Debate.” In other words, she does very little politics; and what politics she does do is always connected to Islam in some way.


YouTube Finally Blocks Al-Alwaki Videos

YouTube has finally taken a step toward blocking jihadist recruitment videos from being shown. The company blocked most of the 70,000 videos posted by Anwar al-Alwaki, the leading English-speaking jihadist recruiter on the site.

Did I mention that al-Awlaki has been dead for seven years, after being killed in a drone strike in Yemen?


Twitter to label election ads after US regulatory threat

Twitter said on Tuesday it would add labels to election-related advertisements and say who is behind each of them, after a threat of regulation from the United States over the lack of disclosure for political spending on social media.

Twitter, acting a month after Facebook launched a similar overhaul of political ads, said in a blog post it would start a website so people could see identities of buyers, targeting demographics and total ad spend by election advertisers.

Silicon Valley social media firms and the political ads that run on their websites have generally been free of the disclaimers and other regulatory demands that US authorities impose on television, radio and satellite services.


Report: Google, Facebook, Twitter ‘Scrambling’ to Stop Regulation

According to Bloomberg, “Google summoned about 200 policy staff from around the world last month for a debate on whether the company’s size has made it too attractive as a target for government regulators,” while “Twitter executives have been in frequent contact with Congressional committees,” and “Facebook has hired two crisis PR firms.”