Twitter and Facebook's attempts to block terrorist content on social media have brought the ire of the terrorist group on them. The companies' CEOs, however, revealed that death threats from ISIS have become so common that they are unremarkable. Furthermore, Facebook's COO Sheryl Sandberg said counter-speech against hate, messages of tolerance and hope, is by far the best answer.
The Guardian reported that the Islamic state has released a video featuring the faces of Jack Dorsey (Twitter's CEO) and Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook's CEO) being shot. The scary video lasted for 25 minutes. Overwritten text proclaims: "If you close one account we will take 10 in return and soon your names will be erased after we delete you [sic] sites, Allah willing, and will know that we say is true." The terrorists also claim that the companies will find it difficult to remove them completely because they control over 10,000 Facebook accounts, 150 Facebook groups, and 5,000 Twitter profiles.
This is the terror group's response to the companies' stronger attempts to block terrorist content on the network. Both companies are increasing their anti-terror efforts recently, with representatives from both companies meeting with senior White House officials in January to discuss strategies on how to stem terrorism online. After all, modern terrorists, including ISIS, mainly carry out their recruitment online. They also show off their horrendous activities to the world through these social media accounts.
Despite how threatening the new video seems, a Twitter spokesperson said the company will not grace it with a response. The representative also said that these threats have become so common that they do not want to waste time on them anymore. "It just happens all the time," the spokesperson said, adding that it is already their "everyday life."
Last year, ISIS already released a statement against Dorsey to admonish him for attempting to ruin their activities. "Your virtual war on us will cause a real war on you," it reads. "You started this failed war. We told you from the beginning it's not your war, but you didn't get it and kept closing our accounts on Twitter, but we always come back."
To date, Twitter has already shut down 125,000 ISIS-related accounts. According to experts, the move has significant effects on the terrorist network's reach. Even if the terrorists make new accounts, it often takes a while before they can build a strong follower base again.
Facebook's COO, Sheryl Sandberg also has a strong stance against the terrorists. She suggested the social networks can engage in their warfare against ISIS using "a 'like' attack".
"The best thing to speak against recruitment by ISIS are the voices of people who were recruited by ISIS, understand what the true experience is, have escaped and have come back to tell the truth," she said. "Counter-speech to the speech that is perpetuating hate we think by far is the best answer."
She pointed out how German Facebook users formed a campaign to like the Facebook account of a neo-Nazi party and bombard the page with positive messages to counter the negative ones. What was a page filled with hatred and intolerance was then tolerance and messages of hope," she said.