How the White House plans to stop ISIS from tweeting

How the White House plans to stop ISIS from tweeting
© Twitter

The White House wants to stop terrorists from tweeting.

As part of its plan to counter violent extremism throughout the world, the Obama administration is looking to blunt the impact that groups like the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) have on social media.

Working with foreign nations and private companies, the administration will launch campaigns to counter terrorist groups’ online propaganda, which have become a critical tool in their arsenal to spread their message and horrify people around the globe.

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“The U.S. government, in partnership with foreign governments, civil society, and the private sector, is working to weaken the legitimacy and resonance of violent extremist messaging and narratives, including through social media,” the White House said in a fact sheet on Wednesday.

In one effort, the government is organizing multiple “technology camps” to work with companies and community groups “to develop digital content that discredits violent extremist narratives and amplifies positive alternatives,” the White House said.

Additionally, the administration is putting a new focus on countering the extremist groups’ online messages by designating a new special envoy charged with discrediting them and launching a “digital communications hub” to focus specifically on ISIS’s messaging.

Terrorist groups like ISIS have been tremendously successful in spreading their message on websites such as Twitter and YouTube, which have helped launch their message to a global audience. Images of beheadings, masked men holding guns and similar scenes have helped to make the terror group a household name.

Social media websites have come under some pressure to do more to block those groups.

One letter currently circulating around Capitol Hill calls on Twitter to adopt new internal policies so that it treats posts endorsing terrorism like child pornography or pirated content.

“In light of the fact that designated Foreign Terrorist Organizations now actively use Twitter to post content depicting the murder of individuals they have kidnapped or captured, users should be afforded the option to report such content as obscene and objectionable — just as easily as they are able to flag child pornography,” lawmakers wrote in a recent draft of the letter shared with The Hill.