Social media companies step up battle against militant propaganda

via Yahoo News

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Facebook, Google and Twitter are stepping up efforts to combat online propaganda and recruiting by Islamic militants, but the Internet companies are doing it quietly to avoid the perception that they are helping the authorities police the Web.

On Friday, Facebook Inc said it took down a profile that the company believed belonged to San Bernardino shooter Tashfeen Malik, who with her husband is accused of killing 14 people in a mass shooting that the FBI is investigating as an “act of terrorism.”

Just a day earlier, the French prime minister and European Commission officials met separately with Facebook, Google, Twitter Inc and other companies to demand faster action on what the commission called “online terrorism incitement and hate speech.”

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The thing that makes me nervous about censorship of sites based on “terrorism incitement” and “hate speech” is that perhaps today it is aimed at ISIS recruitment pages and profiles, but tomorrow, it could be aimed at those that support the Second Amendment, or Pro-Life groups, or Tea Party Organizations, or any group that a government deems to be going against its best interests. It has already been proven that the Obama administration used the IRS to target political enemies. The Obama administration has used regulations and threats to shut off the ability of gun shops to do business with Operation Choke Point. The point here is that they will use the emotional response to the heinous actions of San Bernardino in multiple ways – through online censoring and more aggressive identification procedures to gun control – while they have the backing of the vast majority of the constituents on their side, in the name of security and fighting against terrorism. But the whole thing can just as easily be flipped, and the next thing you know they are shutting down blogs and websites dedicated to the preservation of the US Constitution, hauling off veterans for a perceived threat, and rounding up gun owners because of their ownership of private property. – OP


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