Congress and the White House are leaning on Twitter to censor Islamic State posts on its network.
Rep. Ted Poe, R-Texas, the chair of a House foreign affairs subcommittee on terrorism, has singled out Twitter for allowing supposed IS operatives to recruit and propagandize on the social media platform.
“This is the way (the Islamic State) is recruiting — they are getting people to leave their homelands and become fighters,” Poe said.
He added “there is frustration with Twitter specifically” over its refusal to censor tweets the government claims promotes terrorism.
Poe and other members of Congress will send a letter to Twitter CEO Dick Costolo this week demanding the popular social media platform shut down tweets attributed to IS.
Costolo admitted earlier this month “We suck at dealing with abuse and trolls on the platform and we’ve sucked at it for years.“
Poe said the government wants Twitter “to treat this the same as child pornography,” Yahoo News reports.
Twitter has responded to the accusations by saying it provides user tracking information on alleged IS members to the FBI.
The White House, however, has complained that Twitter will not respond to inquiries.
The company “wouldn’t even return (White House officials’) phone calls,” a former U.S. official said, citing a complaint by Lisa Monaco, President Barack Obama’s chief counterterrorism adviser. “They were really pissed off.”
Twitter says it follows similar policies used by other social media sites like Facebook.
“Like our peer companies, we do not proactively monitor content,” a Twitter spokesman said. “We review all reported content against our rules, which prohibit unlawful use and direct, specific threats of violence against others. Users report potential rules violations to us, we review their reports and take action if the content violates our rules.”
Twitter has actively shut down IS accounts since July.
Over the last year, however, Twitter has suspended a large number of IS accounts. It has suspended nearly 800 suspected accounts since last autumn, but this “may be the tip of the iceberg,” as almost 18,000 accounts “related” to the Islamic State were suspended over the same time period, according to JM Berger, a fellow at the Brookings Institution who tracks Islamists on social media.
The Brookings Institution has promoted a number of neocon positions on terror and is linked to the “conservative” wing of the Democrat Party.
In addition to funding from the Carnegie Corporation of New York and the Rockefeller Foundation, the Brookings Institution is supported by the Ford Foundation, which has links to the CIA.