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No #OpISIS? Twitter shuts down Anonymous accounts ‘for harassing’ extremists

Thursday, March 10, 2016 15:45
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No #OpISIS? Twitter shuts down Anonymous accounts ‘for harassing’ extremists – YouTube


Twitter has banned around 125,000 accounts linked to Islamic State, but activists from the ‘Anonymous’ hackers group, which targets the feeds of ISIS supporters, claim their accounts have been suspended too.


Online activists involved in the #OpISIS campaign to rid social media of an Islamic extremist presence say Twitter has been suspending their accounts for online harassment against the terrorist group.

An Anonymous hacker made the claims after Twitter said it suspended 125,000 accounts for “threatening or promoting terrorist acts, primarily related to ISIS” since mid-2015.

“You do realize if we all stopped reporting terrorist accounts and graphic images, Twitter would be flooded with terrorists,” WauchulaGhost, an anti-terrorist hacker with Anonymous told The Epoch Times.

Hackers from groups such as Anonymous, GhostSec,and Ctrl Sec regularly publish lists of Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) supporters and recruiters, and call on the wider online community to report the related social media accounts for suspension.

However, the hacktivists say they are now the ones being targeted by Twitter, which recently strengthened its rules regarding online harassment.

A number of the hackers’ accounts have been suspended, including some of the main #OpISIS accounts, with the handles being taken down one-by-one or in groups.

Twitter has tended to reinstate the accounts within hours after it is bombarded with requests to do so by other hackers and supporters.

WauchulaGhost, who had his account temporarily suspended in February, told The Epoch Times he’s still not sure what happened to prompt the suspension or ensure its reinstatement: “I never received an email from Twitter”.

In January, US widow Tamara Fields filed a lawsuit against Twitter after her husband was killed in Jordan in an IS attack. She accuses the social network of facilitating communication between terrorists and fueling the growth of IS.

About 3,000 IS-supporting Twitter accounts are active at any given time, according to a George Washington University report published last month.

The report found that Twitter and Facebook are the two main platforms used by IS supporters to spread their propaganda. It also found that the Twitter suspensions were having an impact on the propaganda reach of IS among its English-speaking supporters.


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