Wednesday, March 7, 2018
The creation of the Internet and the advent of the handheld Information Age have revolutionized every aspect of modern life. A dark side haunts these new technologies, however. The Internet and the social media platforms have been insidiously used by hate groups, criminal enterprises, and terrorist factions to promote their perilous agenda. Social media has allowed terrorist groups including Hezbollah, ISIS and Hamas to become public entities with tens of thousands of followers, fan pages, news sites, and media production companies. The use of social media to promote extremist ideologies and incite individuals to engage in terrorist violence is dangerously effective and has established a new front in the war on terror.
While US law, including the Anti Terrorism Act, plainly prohibits American companies from having any contact or providing any support or services to the terrorists groups, the social media giants in Paolo Alto continue to provide their platforms to these designated organizations with impunity. The companies claim a legal defense under the Communications Decency Act of 1996, which they contend provides them with blanket immunity for the extremist posts and terrorist incitement on their platforms. There is a need to aggressively challenge the social media companies for their role in aiding and abetting terrorist organizations and hold them accountable for their documented provision of material support to the designated groups.
These details have recently come to light with the release of the book Harpoon: Inside the Covert War Against Terrorism’s Money Masters, co-authored by Nitsana Darshan Leitner of the Shurat HaDin Law Center. The book addresses how the terror groups are utilizing American social media.