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Congress May Force White House Strategy on Terrorism and Social Media
By: Jessica Cherok
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Social media has received a lot of attention recently for its part in the recruitment and proliferation of terrorism. In response, the U.S. Senate is considering a bill that would force the President’s office to come up with a social media strategy to combat terrorism.

This bill is coming on the heels of a similar one that passed in the House after the shooting of 14 people in San Bernardino, CA, largely believed to have been inspired by ISIS. The shooting marked a groundswell of support for government and law enforcement to implement strategies to stop the rising popularity of terrorism on social media.

Many lawmakers have criticized the Obama administration for not having a comprehensive strategy to deal with the threat of terrorism, as well as lacking an understanding of how serious terrorist activities are on social media. The bill requires the president to provide Congress with a strategy to combat the activities, an evaluation of social media’s role in radicalization, and training for investigators on social media types.

According to Emily Horne, spokesperson for the National Security Council, “When the use of social media crosses the line from communication into active terrorist plotting, that is deeply concerning and has to be addressed. This is something that we have been focused on for some time.”

Even if this particular bill doesn’t pass, there will likely to be additional attempts. Terrorist organizations have proven to be particularly effective in recruitment via social media.

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About the Author
Jessica Cherok is an advocate for online privacy, campaigning for ethical data practices and the protection of personal privacy.
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