Does Twitter give Hamas a platform to spread their hate?

Incitement to violence has deadly consequences and the new medium to do this within is social media. Unless Twitter acts to uphold the policy it advocates, it risks being complicit in Hamas’s agenda.

For example, on March 15, 2018, Hamas tweeted that it was time for a “Mass Participation in Day of Rage.” This phrase is consistently used to urge Palestinians to use violence against Jewish and Israeli citizens.

And as expected, after this request violent attacks against Israelis rose. On March 16, 2018, a Palestinian terrorist rammed into a group of Israelis, killing two and injuring two others. On March 18, 2018, a Palestinian terrorist stabbed and killed a Jewish Israeli in Jerusalem. And in typical fashion, in response to the attacks, Hamas issued statements applauding the perpetrators.

Twitter has rightly acted to remove or suspend thousands of accounts associated with ISIS and now explicitly reference terrorism within the Twitter rules. So why no action on Hamas from this platform? After they are terrorists (countless democracies, including Canada, the United States, and the European Union have rightly designated Hamas as a terrorist group) and they are using social media to advance their violent objectives?

Twitter’s policy against hateful conduct explicitly bans violent threats and wishes for the physical harm of individuals or groups, and bans users from “promoting terrorism” or affiliating “with organizations that – whether by their own statements or activity both on and off the platform — use or promote violence against civilians to further their causes.”

Hamas has claimed responsibility for the murder of more than 1,300 Israelis since it was created. Hamas attacks against civilians include suicide bombings, missile attacks, mass shootings and vehicle attacks and its own charter openly reject’s Israel’s right to exist and glorifies jihad.

Doesn’t Twitter realise it is enabling the enemy by allowing terrorist organizations like this to operate on its network freely? They instead continue to freely spread their violent propaganda and continue to mobilize their war on Israel (which is more than just about ‘self-defence’ it’s about annihilation of the Jewish state).

In the current war against right wing and populist thought, academic argument and opinion, it’s ironic that the likes of Hitler are criticised, but the same level of opprobrium is not placed squarely on the shoulders of the likes of Hamas who like the villainous and sick Hitler would rather see all survivors of the Holocaust and their descendants obliterated. Hamas don’t even try to hide the means of their vendetta: “The Qur’an is our law. Jihad is our way. Dying in the way of Allah is our highest hope.”

We’re talking about a movement that sends rockets into Israel regardless of the consequences for its followers and would love nothing more than to create martyrs in its midst.

Isn’t it time the FBI and Twitter take action, how many more ‘days of rage’ need to be happen before it does?

About the Author
Saurav Dutt is a published author, lawyer and political columnist who has written for IB Times and been featured in The Independent, Sky News, BBC and more.
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