An Israeli Minister has demanded that Twitter police the official Hamas and Hezbollah social media accounts for being “actively engaged in inciting and executing attacks against innocent civilians.”
Israel’s Public Security and Strategic Affairs Minister Gilad Erdan addressed Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, threatening that if the social media giant doesn’t act against the terrorist accounts, the Israeli government will sue.
The three Twitter accounts in question belong to Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and Hezbollah. All three are officially recognized as terror groups by the U.S., Israel, and the European Union.
On Tuesday, Erdan composed a letter to Dorsey, stating, “I am certain that you do not wish to be responsible for supporting and enabling terrorist organizations who are actively engaged in inciting and executing attacks against innocent civilians.” He argued that Twitter’s neglect to curb the terror groups’ posting may be “a violation of existing Israeli law regarding providing support to terrorist organizations.”
Whether Twitter is beholden to Israeli law on the matter is debatable, but wouldn’t promotion of terrorism at least violate Twitter’s hate speech policies? For Hamas, at least, Twitter has made an exception.
In May, Twitter came out in defense of Hamas’ Twitter presence, following a Media Research Center report. Twitter said that the group is an exception to the platform’s speech policies due to its current engagement “in a peaceful resolution process.” Twitter also noted that Hamas has representatives “elected to public office through democratic elections.” Hamas has organized attacks along the Israeli border and getting its own people -- civilians and terrorists -- killed for months.
Erdan stated, “As a result, terrorist organizations have been increasing their use of Twitter as a preferred means of spreading their propaganda, as they are able to operate openly with little to no interference.”
He also provided Twitter with a list of 17 terrorist groups active on Twitter, adamant that failure to remove them “may necessitate the initiation of legal and criminal proceedings against Twitter.”