|Deleting Terrorism on Social Media
By: Jessica Cherok
For a horrific terrorist organization, ISIS has managed one hell of a social media campaign. The group has used social sites, including Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube, to spread its propaganda campaign and recruit members.
While each of these sites does some level of monitoring themselves to identify hate groups and content, they all — for the most part — rely on their users to report offensive accounts and posts. However, in the aftermath of the shooting in San Bernardino, CA, social media sites are now being pressured to remove the content without having to wait for users to flag it.
Each social site is faced with balancing free speech and freedom of expression against what is supporting terrorism or promoting violence. On each social site, there are pages and posts that are largely regarded as distasteful, but do not meet that individual site's criteria for deletion.
But what exactly are the criteria for deletion is mostly a mystery. Twitter and Facebook have not publicly commented on how they identify inappropriate content that needs to be deleted. YouTube has a group of "super flaggers" to identify and remove questionable content, but the sheer volume of video uploaded to the site makes the task difficult.
Not to mention, for every page or post that is removed, several others can almost immediately pop back up in its place.
Jessica Cherok is an advocate for online privacy, campaigning for ethical data practices and the protection of personal privacy.
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