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Do Facebook and Twitter want foes of jihad dead?

Over at PJ Media, I discuss a new example of the double standard Twitter and Facebook employ regarding those whose views they dislike:

Obaid Karki

Obaid Karki, @stsheetrock on Twitter.

The antipathy of Twitter and Facebook to conservatives is well-established. The social media giants’ hatred presumably therefore also applies to opponents of jihad terror, who are universally classified as “right-wing,” however absurd the label.

But do Twitter and Facebook draw the line at death threats against them?

The question arises because of one Obaid Karki, @stsheetrock on Twitter, who describes himself thusly:

I Ain’t Anglosexual Liberal Hippie, Neither Wolf nor Dog, I am a coyote. A Paulite Picassoic Provocateur Constitutionalist Libertarian.

Any doubt that he is quite spectacularly insane will be removed by a perusal of one or both of his incoherent and gleefully obscene websites. Karki is engaging in some bizarre parody of a deranged imam, or perhaps he is trying to make some other kind of inscrutable humor. One of his websites is titled “Obaid Karki St.Sheetrock’s Painfulpolitics Offensive Comedy Hepcat.” The offensive comedy is there, in spades.His other site is called “Suicide Bombers Magazine”, and bears this heading: “Dislaimer: we swear on Elvis’s pickled penis that ‘non-sapient beings’ I mean animals harmed during IED kahbooom.”

Hmm.

But just because Karki is insane or possibly joking doesn’t mean that he can’t be dangerous — especially if he is also making specific calls for people to be murdered.

Last Saturday, he posted this:

Robert Spencer mustn’t [be] featured but lynched from his scrotum along with Zionists scumbags, Pamela Geller, Pat Condell, Daniel Pipes, Debbie Schlussel and JIHADWATCH Jackass duo Baron Bodissey & Geert Wilders for inspiring Anders Behring Breivik to [kill] innocent students in 2011.

Actually, neither Bodissey or Wilders run Jihad Watch — I do — and I didn’t inspire Breivik to do anything, but there is no arguing with a crazy person. But what is interesting about Karki’s post, aside from his loony language, is that he posted this call for me and others to be lynched on Twitter, which has a clearly stated policy against death threats.

Per “The Twitter Rules”:

Violent threats (direct or indirect): You may not make threats of violence or promote violence, including threatening or promoting terrorism.

I therefore duly reported Karki’s threat, but as of this writing, it has not been taken down (in fact, Karki has since posted it again, and has posted variants of it several times).

Maybe Twitter is just slow to deal with the large number of complaints it receives? To buy that argument, you have to buy that they have a two-year backlog.

On May 12, 2014, Karki also posted this:

Robert Spencer must be arrested and lynched along the Zionists Dumbasses Daniel Pipes, Geert Wilders and JIHADWATCH …

You can see from this 2014 Twitter exchange linked above that several people claimed they reported Karki for this threat, as did I.

Not only does Karki still have his Twitter account — while many conservatives have lost their accounts for far less — but the 2014 threat remains there.

Hold on — I misspoke above.

I meant to say you would have to buy that Twitter has a three-year backlog of death threats to police.

Here, read a Karki tweet from September 18, 2013:

Robert Spencer must be shot head not only for comparing Alnoor 24:35 to Corinthians 11:14-15 satanically but for …

So now you have an example of how Twitter responded to death threats against a political opponent.

How about Facebook?

Not only is Karki on Twitter, but he also has a Facebook page containing the same lurid and paranoid content — including the threats. He did claim he was temporarily barred this Sunday:

I am axed outta Facebook for 7 days …

… but, I just read that on his Facebook page. What exactly this axing entailed remains unclear.

At least the social media titans are consistent. The site Epoch Times reported last March:

[W]hile 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.

The age of Obama has featured a rapid decline in appreciation for the freedom of speech. College students and — in many, many cases — their professors routinely avow that “hate speech is not free speech.” They cannot grasp that if they get their wish allows whatever the government subjectively deems “hate speech” to be criminalized, and the foremost protection against tyranny will have been removed.

At that moment, free society literally ends….

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Twitter ‘Not’ taking down Islamic State accounts, but banning users who report terrorists

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?

125000 accounts suspended

“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.

Who Suspended 125,000 Twitter accounts? #OpISIS #Anonymous #GhostOfNoNationhttps://t.co/BR44Ie1mP6 pic.twitter.com/kIa8mabJQd

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.”…

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VIDEO: It’s Time to Pray — #PrayUSA #300Christians #Just6

A friend sent me this video titled “It’s Time to Pray.” There is a growing anti-government movement in America. With the Supreme Court decision on gay marriage individual states are passing legislation to stop issuing marriage licences. Senator Rand Paul has called for government to get out of marriage.

For Christians it is the time to pray. Please watch this compelling video:

Please go to Twitter and post these hashtags: #PrayUSA, #Call2Fall, #Pray714 #300Christians #just6.

Brookings Study of ISIS Twitter Accounts Reveals U.S. among Top Targets

A Brookings Institution examination of a complete data set of 20,000 ISIS Twitter accounts ranked Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Syria and US as the top four locations of twitter users, The ISIS Twitter Census: Defining and Describing the population of ISIS supporters on Twitter. The authors of the ISIS Twitter census are J.M. Berger and Jonathan Morgan.  Berger “is a non-resident fellow with the Project on U.S. Relations with the Islamic World at Brookings and the author of Jihad Joe: Americans Who Go to War in the Name of Islam (Potomac Books, 2011) and ISIS: The State of Terror (Ecco, 2015).”  Morgan “is a technologist, data scientist, and startup veteran. He runs technology and product development at CrisisNET, Ushahidi’s streaming crisis data platform, and consults on machine learning and network analysis. Morgan is also co-host of Partially Derivative, a popular data science podcast.”  The Brookings ISIS Twitter project was “commissioned by Google Ideas and published by Brookings”.

The Brookings Saban Middle East Center think tank has had a close relationship with the Obama National Security Council. Use of social media by Islamic extremist groups like ISIS figured prominently in President Obama’s recent, Summit to Counter Violent Extremism. See our March 2015 NER article, ‘Did President Obama’s Violent Extremism Conference Fail?

Notwithstanding the provenance of the Brookings Twitter Census report, the data and methodology are credible and revealing of  how ISIS and supporters use social media.  The authors noted three classes of Twitter users as a precaution interpreting the study results:

Covert supporters of ISIS:

Users who took medium to strong steps to conceal their support due to fear of prosecution or suspension by Twitter. Users who took only casual steps to disguise their support were generally detectable.

Pro-ISIS intelligence operatives:

Some users who follow accounts related to the enemies of ISIS, such as rival jihadists, would be coded as non-supporters under the conservative criteria we employed.

Anti-ISIS intelligence operatives:

These are accounts created to appear as ISIS supporters in order to allow ISIS’s enemies to monitor its activities, which would be coded as supporters (if done effectively).

Brookings ISIS Twitter top locations_jpg SMALL

Locations of ISIS Twitter Accounts. Source: The ISIS Twitter Census, Brookings Institution, 2015.

 Here is the  Twitter Census Data Snapshot drawn from the Brookings study:

Best estimate of total number of overt ISIS supporter accounts on Twitter: 46,000

Maximum estimate of ISIS supporter accounts on Twitter: 90,000

Number of accounts analyzed for demographics information: 20,000

Estimated percentage of overt ISIS supporters in demographics data set: 93.2 percent (+/- 2.54 percent)

Period over which data was collected: October 4 through November 27, 2014, with some seed data collected in late September 2014

Top Locations of Accounts: “Islamic State,” Syria, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, U.S.

Most common year accounts were created: 2014

Most common month accounts were created: September 2014

Number of accounts detected using bots and deceptive spam tactics: 6,216 using bot or spam technology for some tweets; 3,301 accounts were excluded from the Demographics Dataset for primarily sending bot or spam content

Average number of tweets per day per user: 7.3 over lifetime of account, 15.5 over last 200 tweets by user

Average number of tweets per user (Over lifetime of the Account): 2,219

Average number of followers: 1,004

Smartphone usage: 69 percent Android, 30 percent iPhone, 1 percent Blackberry

Among the principal findings from the Brookings Twitter Census were:

  • From September through December 2014, the authors estimate that at least 46,000 Twitter accounts were used by ISIS supporters, although not all of them were active at the same time.
  • Typical ISIS supporters were located within the organization’s territories in Syria and Iraq, as well as in regions contested by ISIS. Hundreds of ISIS-supporting accounts sent tweets with location metadata embedded.
  • Almost one in five ISIS supporters selected English as their primary language when using Twitter. Three quarters selected Arabic.
  • ISIS-supporting accounts had an average of about 1,000 followers each, considerably higher than an ordinary Twitter user. ISIS-supporting accounts were also considerably more active than non-supporting users.
  • A minimum of 1,000 ISIS-supporting accounts were suspended by Twitter between September and December 2014. Accounts that tweeted most often and had the most followers were most likely to be suspended.
  • Much of ISIS’s social media success can be attributed to a relatively small group of hyperactive users, numbering between 500 and 2,000 accounts, which tweet in concentrated bursts of high volume.

Based on their analysis, the authors concluded:

Recommend social media companies and the U.S government work together to devise appropriate responses to extremism on social media. Approaches to the problem of extremist use of social media, Berger and Morgan contend, are most likely to succeed when they are mainstreamed into wider dialogues among the broad range of community, private, and public stakeholders.

Our assessment is that given the close Brookings Middle East Center liaison with the Obama National Security Council and Undersecretary of State for Public Diplomacy, Richard Stengel, the latter tasked with social media counter messaging,  that little follow will occur. That is reflected in Google sponsorship of this Brookings Twitter Census report and overarching concerns of social media like Facebook, Google YouTube, Twitter and  Instagram about maintaining Constitutional guarantees of free speech.  These social media would prefer to establish their own criteria for suspending terrorists and supporters accounts.  Monitoring and development of metadata from  ISIS Twitter supporters in the West, especially in the US and the UK, should be left to counter terrorism intelligence echelons or private groups like SITE Intelligence Group and effective individuals like our colleague Joseph Shahda. Congressional Homeland Security and Select Intelligence Committees should hold hearings and investigations into current terrorist social media surveillance, especially for those US ISIS accounts identified in the Brookings ISIS Twitter Census.  Shahda commented after reading:

The only way to stop the terrorists propaganda and recruitment is to keep shutting down all their means of communications which means all their social media (Facebook, Twitter) accounts as well as their websites.

EDITORS NOTE: This column with graphics originally appeared in the New English Review.

Islamic State hoodies, flags and caps selling on Facebook, E-Bay, Twitter, Amazon.com

MEMRI reports:

Supporters of the Islamic State (IS) are now offering merchandise featuring the organization’s symbols for sale online. The items offered for sale include hats, clothing, and jewelry, all bearing the familiar black flag associated with the IS organization and its slogan – baqiyah (“will remain forever”).

One vendor, an Indonesian named Zirah Moslem, currently uses Twitter to sell his products after his Facebook page and website were shut down in June 2014. Products bearing the IS logo had also been sighted this summer in a local shop in Istanbul.

On Facebook, several pages still advertise T-shirts, baseball caps, flags etc. with the IS black flag logo, such as the “Baqiyah creation” Facebook page,  which is run by a French IS supporter based in Toulouse, France. This French salafi is a jihadi sympathizer who enjoys paintball and boxing, according to his Facebook posts. He advertises his products as being high quality and made for the true believers. He warns against wearing the clothes bearing the sacred Muslim creed of the shahada in impure places such as bathrooms. He also posts pro-IS comments and messages on his page.

Another Indonesian vendor who runs the “Al-Faruq Islamic Store” sells his products through Facebook and Ebay. One of the page’s banners on Facebook advertises: “We sell Islamic Flags, Badges, Headbands and other stuff.”

EDITORS NOTE: Screen captures courtesy of MEMRI. For a larger view click on the image.

iscapflag

ishoodies

zirahmoslemis

 

isflag

Mind control 2013: Who is really controlling your mind?

Mind control is the subject of George Orwell’s “Nineteen Eighty-Four“, which has regained popularity. Nineteen Eighty-Four is a dystopian novel published in 1949. The Oceanian province of Airstrip One (formerly known as Great Britain) is a world of perpetual war, omnipresent government surveillance, and public mind control, dictated by a political system euphemistically named English Socialism (Ingsoc) under the control of a privileged Inner Party elite that persecutes all individualism and independent thinking as thoughtcrimes.

As George Orwell wrote, “Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past.”

Citizens globally are concerned about their governments spying on them. Others are concerned about media pushing an agenda rather than holding government accountable. Recent scandals like the NSA gathering data on hundreds of millions of US citizens and our allies is front page news. In many cases the NSA, FBI and CIA are accessing personal information which is stored by phone companies, web hosts and social media sites such as: Facebook, Twitter, Google, etc. Governments want this data and many of these same media giants will share it based on court orders or voluntarily.

So who controls the present?

Geo-Intelligence posted an infographic (below) to show who controls major print publications, media, Internet sites and entertainment outlets in the United States. These few “privileged Inner Party elite” can influence how you think about everything from the purchase of laundry detergent to your social and political behavior. What you read, hear and watch is controlled by about forty organizations. When they work in concert with government and freely share your information it can violate civil liberties according to the ACLU.

Take a quick look at this infographic, you will be surprised who is involved in “public mind control”.

For a larger view click on the image.

George Orwell wrote, “In the end the Party would announce that two and two made five, and you would have to believe it. It was inevitable that they should make that claim sooner or later: the logic of their position demanded it. Not merely the validity of experience, but the very existence of external reality was tacitly denied by their philosophy.”

There is online a free full version of the movie Nineteen Eighty-Four released in 1954, click here to watch it. Below is the trailer to the movie Nineteen Eighty-Four release in 1984 and available on DVD: