What illness has overtaken the people who run Twitter — and Facebook? What illness has overtaken mainstream media reporters and so much of the Western intelligentsia? Why are they so willing to abet evil?
“Hackers Say Twitter Isn’t Telling the Whole Story About Anti-Terror Fight,” by Joshua Philipp, Epoch Times, March 4, 2016:
Online activists have added fuel to the controversy over the effectiveness of Twitter’s attempts to fight ISIS supporters who use its services to spread terrorist propaganda and recruit new members.
While Twitter says it is making strong efforts to shut down terrorist accounts, activists say that not only is the microblogging company not taking down the accounts that matter, but it has even been shutting down accounts of users trying to report terrorists.
In January, a Florida woman, Tamara Fields, filed a lawsuit against Twitter, alleging that it breached the U.S. Anti-Terrorism Act by “spreading extremist propaganda,” which caused an attack in Jordan that killed her husband, a private contractor, Lloyd “Carl” Fields Jr.
Facing bad press and a lawsuit, Twitter published a blog post on Feb. 5, saying that since mid-2015 it suspended 125,000 accounts for “threatening or promoting terrorist acts, primarily related to ISIS.”
Members of the online anti-terrorist community were quick to fire back, however. They say that Twitter is taking credit for their work, and there are still many holes in its efforts to keep terrorist recruiters off its services.
Several hacker groups, including Anonymous, have rallied against ISIS under an online campaign they call #OpISIS. While most participants keep their identities hidden, most of their activities are public. They often publish lists of ISIS supporters and recruiters, and call on the community to report the accounts.
Through this campaign, Anonymous claims by Nov. 23, 2015 to have taken down more than 11,000 Twitter accounts linked to ISIS, according to a tweet from OpParisOfficial. GhostSec, another hacker group, claims it has reported 19,568 Twitter accounts promoting terrorism.
GhostSec was credited with helping prevent a terrorist attack in Tunisia, and may have helped stop another attack in New York City in 2015, according to Michael Smith, principal of national security company Kronos Advisory. Smith was GhostSec’s go-between for law enforcement and intelligence officials.
“Who suspended 125,000 accounts? Anonymous, Anonymous affiliated groups, and everyday citizens,” says a statement from WauchulaGhost, an anti-terrorist hacker with the hacker collective Anonymous, but was formerly with GhostSec.
“You do realize if we all stopped reporting terrorist accounts and graphic images, Twitter would be flooded with terrorists,” WauchulaGhost says.
After Twitter made its announcement claiming to have shut down ISIS accounts, many participants in #OpISIS saw a very different development. Twitter began banning accounts of users who were trying to report online terrorism.
Members of the community have taken this as a slap in the face. While Twitter is telling the public it’s working to stop ISIS recruitment on its services, it has been suspending accounts of the community who are doing the actual footwork.
Sometimes the accounts get hit one-by-one, other times in groups. Members of the community sometimes rally behind account holders, and Twitter gets them back up and running quickly. Other times, the accounts may stay suspended.
For instance, on Feb. 28 close to 15 Twitter accounts of users involved in the anti-terror campaigns were suspended, including some of the top accounts involved in #OpISIS, including WauchulaGhost’s. Their supporters barraged Twitter with tweets, and most of the accounts were back online about two hours later.
WauchulaGhost said he’s still not sure what happened, noting, “I never received an email from Twitter.”
After one week, Twitter had not responded to an email inquiring why it banned the anti-terror accounts.
Some members of the community say Twitter is suspending accounts in its new campaign to stop online bullying—but that explanation has raised the question of why calling out users spreading terrorist propaganda and trying to recruit terrorists is categorized as “harassment.”
“I can say they are suspending a lot of accounts for harassment. Good accounts not Daesh accounts,” WauchulaGhost said in an interview on Twitter. “Even a lot of our (Anonymous) accounts are being suspended for harassment.”…