Fight the spread of jihad ideology on social media

The gruesome and senseless attack by a young married couple on the innocent people in San Bernardino, California marked the first time that, self-radicalized American legal residents were inspired and prompted by ISIS ideology to mount a terrorist attack in the USA.

This massacre could be the harbinger of the nightmare that keeps the US security officials awake at night – the online brainwashing of seemingly normal Americans to set upon the path of Jihad without even setting a foot inside Islamic training camps.

As I was following the indignant statements on the tragedy by President Obama, Presidential contenders, and media know-it-alls, I was eagerly awaiting for someone to pounce on the principal medium of deliverance of Jihad agenda – the social media behemoths.

In this day and age the main vehicle for the spread of hateful Islamic propaganda throughout the world is the trinity of social media gods: Facebook, Twitter and Youtube, all domiciled in US or controlled by US persons.

How is it still fathomable that the US authorities are not cracking down on these conduits of hate? These companies have easy tools at their disposable to search their own data or to have automatic prompts when any terrorist-praising or fermenting material is posted. Yet, under the guise of misguided Freedom of Speech principles or worse, out of fear of alienating the Islamic web traffic, they turn a blind eye to the rotten virus in their midst even though Freedom of Speech does not apply to any utterances that incite violence.

There is a legal precedent for the law enforcement to prosecute enablers of illegal activity. For example, recently, operators of Bitcoin exchangers and other internet marketplace websites were harshly prosecuted and given lengthy sentences because illegal goods or services were sold on their sites by the third-parties. Even a landlord can be prosecuted for allowing illegal activity to take place in his or her building.

A possible answer to this willful ignorance of illicit terror-inducing activity on the social media networks could be that they have an army of lawyers and vast resources to defend themselves but smaller internet marketplace companies are easy targets for the wrath of the US government. If true, such gambling with our lives out of financial concerns should not be tolerated!

If before, US was not directly affected by the radical Muslim groups’ postings that motivated volunteers to join ISIS or stab innocent civilians in Israel, now the social media reach of Jihad has caused a bloodbath on our shores.

The time to act is now! US Department of Justice must address this social media threat by bringing either a civil or criminal action against the companies and persons who allow the spread of Jihadi messages.

About the Author
Michael Levitis emigrated from Moscow, USSR to New York City in 1987. Educated by Yeshiva University in Jewish Studies, Finance and Law, Michael practiced law for over 10 years. Michael Levitis is an active participant and organizer of various Jewish and Israel related charity events and fundraisers. Currently, Michael Levitis is the editor-in-chief of, a website on topics of interest to the large Russian-American community in USA and an administrator of 12,000 members strong Russian Insider Facebook Group. Michael's son is studying in his first year of yeshiva in Jerusalem.