Terrorists are using Twitter as a tool for propaganda, despite the fact that religious extremism promotes surrendering modern society, this being a double edged instrument for Washington. Why? Because it could help but also damage American interests.
Terrorists like Twitter, including the sunnit groups Islamic State in Iraq and Siria (ISIS), which use the network to broadcast messeges full of cruelty. When memebers of a terrorist group and ten thousand other fans appeared on Twitter these months, the situation has raised questions whether social media should be responsible when such groups colonize the platform.
There are no easy answers. Social networks exist for users to share information. Sites like Twitter are not equipped nor inclined to control their members. And within the information community there is no agreement that using Twitter as a propaganda site harms or helps American interests.
According to some voices, Twitter was negligent and allowed the multiplication of extremist accounts.” For years, ISIS followers hijacked Twitter to promote Jihad free with a minimal or no interference” said Rita Katz, director of SITE, who studies online behavior of extremist.
Others say that it is not that simple.” ISIS accounts can, in some cases, be and advantage for gathering information” says counterterrorism expert Clint Watts.
For this reason, some officials might prefer to keep these accounts open.” It is useful for us to follow them in Twitter” said William McCants, a former senior adviser in the State Department, which leads the Project involving the US relations with the Islamic world at the Brooking Institution.
A Twitter spokesman refused to comment on this information. Site rules prohibit threats with violence, harassement or abuse, and other government agencies or officials may request the removal of prohibited content. In 2013, Twitter has received 437 of such requests from Governments around the world and in the first half of this year has received 432.