Facebook, Google and Twitter have been called upon by Hillary Clinton, the Democratic presidential front-runner, to fight the Islamic State as evidence get clearer about the San Bernardino shooters’ use of social media.
Facebook must deny “online space” to terrorists
On Sunday, in an interview on ABC’s This Week, Clinton said, “We’re going to need help from Facebook and from YouTube and from Twitter,” adding, “They cannot permit the recruitment and the actual direction of attacks or the celebration of violence by the sophisticated internet user.”
The former secretary of state said that Facebook and others will have to help the U.S. “take down these announcements and these appeals.” On the same day, while speaking at the Brookings Institute in Washington, Clinton said the San Bernardino incident is just the start of “directed attacks and self-radicalization that leads to attacks.” Calling on the tech community, Clinton said tech firms will have to come up with ways to deny “online space” to such groups and individuals.
Clinton admitted that such a task won’t be easy as there will be opposition over privacy concerns such as freedom of speech but added that in a war against terrorism, blocking terrorists’ means of communicating will help them stall their funding and flow of foreign fighters.Terrorists use “very ubiquitous sites” such as Facebook, YouTube and Twitter for communication, she said, adding that the woman jihadist involved in the San Bernardino revealed her loyalty on Facebook to groups Baghdadi and ISIS.
Facebook and other tech firms working quietly
Meanwhile, Facebook, Google and Twitter are also stepping up their actions to curb use of social media platforms by Islamic militants for propagating their agenda and recruiting. But it is believed that the internet firms are doing it quietly so as to escape the perception that they are coordinating with the regulators and breaching users’ privacy, says a report from The Sydney Morning Herald.
Facebook said it blocked a profile it believes is connected to San Bernardino shooter Tashfeen Malik, who, along with her husband, has been accused of killing 14 people in a mass shootout. The FBI is investigating the case as an “act of terrorism.”
Last week, European Commission officials and the French prime minister had a meeting with tech firms — including Facebook, Google and Twitter — asking them to take quick actions against “online terrorism incitement and hate speech.”