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May 10, 2010 4:08 pm

Tweeting Terror

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When developing this article I really couldn’t decide if I was going to write it in a satirical manner or in a concerned manner? The concept was so ridiculous to me I wasn’t sure how to convey it to my readers.

The military wing of the terrorist organization Hamas, the Al Qassam Brigades, that murders, pillages, persecutes, fires rockets, throws stones, lynches, enlists homicide bombers etc. – has a Twitter account. The days are over when the unmarked video or cassette tape that is discreetly delivered to the Al Jazeera offices is the preferred medium for proliferating terrorist propaganda. You can simply “Follow” them on your personal Twitter account as Twitter has refused to remove the Hamas’ account.

The user name @AlqassamBrigade, popped up amongst the average 100 tweets an hour mentioning Gaza. The terrorists’ also have a website that provides the fun feature of being able to choose your favorite color scheme for the menu, and now their matching Twitter account, that Twitter has maintained.

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From the Sderot Media Center Twitter account, @SderotMedia, most likely only a couple of miles from the terrorists managing the Hamas Twitter account I thought to engage them in dialogue on one of the base debates in this conflict:

@AlqassamBrigade As you know, you terrorize thousands just over the border from Gaza here in Sderot. Or do you call it Najd?

I didn’t receive an answer, so following protocol I filed a complaint with Twitter to which they, responded as follows, refusing to remove the terrorist account: Twitter provides a communication service. As a policy, we do not mediate content or intervene in disputes between users. Users are allowed to post content, including potentially inflammatory content, provided that they do not violate the Twitter Terms of Service and Rules (name calling is not a violation).

Essentially, this gives the terrorist organization a green light to utilize the most popular worldwide media platform to preach whatever propaganda or hate speech they would like, because as you see above “name calling is not a violation.”

The automated Twitter response continues, “If a violent threat is posted in the future, please let us know, and send the status link.” So, only if Hamas tweets about the imminent launch of a missile attack will Twitter take action?

In the worldwide blockbuster jaw-dropping movie Bruno, created by comic mastermind Sasha Baron Cohen, the main-character Bruno is attempting to make peace in the Arab-Israeli conflict and while hosting a dialogue session he continually misuses the word “Hamas” for “Hummus,” which provides for the great light humor for which he is famous.

The mainstream legitimization of the terrorist organization Hamas, is so widespread as almost a household name nowadays, that one such as Sasha Baron Cohen can comically draw that connection on screen.

This is not a freedom of speech issue, as Hamas is considered a terrorist organization even by the United Nations. I encourage everyone with a Twitter account to file a complaint against Hamas’ account @AlqassamBrigade to get Hamas out of our households and stop the tweeting of terror.

Jacob Shrybman is the Assistant Director of the Sderot Media Center, www.SderotMedia.org.il. He hosts elected officials from around the world and international media visiting the Sderot/Gaza region. He has been published in The Jerusalem Post, The Huffington Post, YNet News, and appeared on several international television and radio stations.

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