It should come as no surprise that following the Charlie Hebdo assassinations, France, Germany and the UK are considering how to deal with the spread of jihadi propaganda by means of “social media”. Why? Because the major social media platforms allow jihadi propaganda to flourish by hiding behind “intermediary liability” statutes, or more precisely broadening the Communication Decency Act and DMCA even further as the Internet Association is lobbying for on behalf of its multi trillion dollar members in a report released today.
How many times have you heard that ISIS and other terror groups are experts at using social media to spread their message of hate and their death fetish? “Social media” means Google’s YouTube platform, Facebook, Twitter, you know–all those services that brought democracy to the Middle East in the Arab Spring, at least if you listen to Jared Cohen, the Most Interesting Man in the World, advisor to Hillary Clinton and Condoleezza Rice oh yeah baby.
Here, for example, is an ISIS video of Tangos on Mount Sinjar celebrating something or other:
The fact that YouTube is rife with videos glorifying jihad will come as no surprise to MTP readers as we have been documenting jihadi recruiting videos on YouTube for years. Credit where credit is due, we didn’t come up with that by ourselves, we cribbed it from The Long War Journal, the definitive site for information on the perpetual war with terrorists.
Does the jihadi Al-Furquan Brigades want to inspire recruits with a story of their attack on tankers in the Suez Canal? Easily done, brother. Shoot a cell phone video and post it on YouTube. Ironically, Google monetizes the video with ads by Shell Oil–and you have to ask yourself where does that money go.
The video is still up there, when we confirmed it there was an NBC Sports NASCAR ad on the preroll:
Google also uses jihadi videos to drive traffic to other channels on YouTube. For example, here’s a screen shot of a video from the “Jund al-Aqsa” (JAA) channel that was called out on the floor of the UK House of Commons by Diana Johnson, a leading Labour MP, who had quite a lot to say about Google’s involvement with jihadi recruiting.
I seriously doubt if Disney Parks or any of these other channels had any idea their YouTube traffic was coming in part from jihadi videos, particularly if they are ad supported. Which means that part of their revenue was being driven by jihadi videos.
The truth is that “social media” platforms are contributing mightily to the spread of the jihadi propaganda and profiting from it to one degree or another. Can Facebook say with certainty that ISIS hasn’t ever boosted a post? Does Google have any idea who they are sharing revenue with on these channels?
As Ms. Johnson told the House:
A very brief look at what was available on social media enabled me to come across deeply offensive and worrying videos and tweets. I am very pleased that we are proscribing the organisations that produced them, but I think that the Minister should bear in mind that social media companies are making such videos and tweets available for everyone to see, and consider what more can be done about those companies.
According to Reuters:
France is hoping to make internet companies such as Google and Facebook accountable for social media posts promoting terrorism, Bloomberg reports.
The French government is mounting pressure on web companies to take responsibility for online hate speech as the nation battles against extremist groups in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo massacre.
Bloomberg reports that President Hollande spoke in Paris on Tuesday about a new law that would make internet operators “accomplices” of such offences — making a racial statement is a crime in France. A draft of the legislation could be made next month and challenges messages across social media platforms.
The president was talking at a memorial for Jews deported in World War II. He said that social media sites “can no longer close their eyes if they are considered accomplices of what they host,” and added: “We must act at the European and international level to define a legal framework so that Internet platforms which manage social media be considered responsible, and that sanctions can be taken.”
Why does it come down to passing laws and conducting criminal investigations of these companies? Because they shove it in our faces and really have no discernible social conscience. Because they appear to be providing material support to terrorists who want to kill us and destroy our way of life. Instead, we have Google trying to block criminal investigations of their activities. Why?
We can find an answer in the Internet Association report calling for even greater “intermediary liability”–that would allow their members (notably Google and Facebook) to continue to profit from hate videos and potentially share revenue with those who distribute them by duping advertisers.
That’s right–because they’re special. They’re on the Internet. Can you imagine if NBC engaged in such activities?
Or said another way, je ne suis pas Charlie, je suis spéciale.