Should social media companies be more aggressive in deleting pro-Islamic State propaganda?

“J.M. Berger, a researcher at the Brookings Institution working on a book about ISIS, says if someone feels sympathy toward ISIS, it’s fairly easy to follow a like-minded Twitter account,” writes NPR’s Laura Sydell.

One thing all of these social media platforms have in common is that they would not comment on the record about the issue.

“Facebook, Twitter and YouTube are all trying to address this problem to some degree,” Berger says. “But none of them stepped up or volunteered to do it. They all responded to outside pressures, whether it was negative news coverage or congressional hearings or stern letters from people in government.”

All of these companies could choose to ban pro-ISIS and al-Qaida propaganda because the First Amendment does not apply to privately owned websites like Facebook, Twitter or YouTube. They do have terms of service, and all of these companies ban violent threats. But for the most part they rely on other users to report violations.

Today’s Question: Should social media companies be more aggressive in deleting pro-Islamic State propaganda?

  • davehoug

    Even if pro-ISIS was completely and effectively taken off all forms of social media, it would be impossible to ban discussion of their principles and aims. “It is the duty of all Christians on the planet to support Christianity. Please help with money or your time or your service to the immediate need in Mosul”

    Now if that is OK but not if Islam is substituted………..that is a very slippery slope.

    • Sue de Nim

      A key difference, of course, is that for Christians the “immediate need” (in the post-crusades era, anyway) is to help disadvantaged people, not to fund military action against non-Christians.

  • John Dilligaf

    Yeah, that’s a tough one. Fanning the flames of violence and hatred versus freedom of speech. I’m a big proponent of not just the 2nd amendment, but also the 1st (and the other 8 in the bill of rights are pretty high on my list…) With rights and freedom also comes responsibility – individual rights and personal responsibility.

    I think there’s raising awareness and showing support for an opposing ideology versus raising funds for terrorist activities and recruiting suicide bombers. There needs to be some meddling by a moderator somewhere in between there. You shouldn’t restrict the free flow of information and ideas, but how do you achieve that balance?

  • Mominrural MN

    Of course the media should ban pro Islamic propaganda, especially when they promote any acts that are an aggressive threat to the USA and advocate to remove the freedoms of others. Yet, when MPR moderators have banned hundreds of Minnesotans because they wrote opinions contrary to the far left media, how we can expect Facebook and twitter to sand up? The studies are out showing without a doubt, that the bias of media is for the left shows in the massive stories they refuse to report , the stories that cast a negative story of the progressives. For example, they report the Koch brothers that employ 100,000 and contribute to conservatives but then the media ignores the far left’s One World Order advocate “George Soros” and Ford Foundations with billions given to the progressives. Just as they ignored Bill Ayers alliance with Obama or Valerie Jarret ( chief advisor) who was the scourge of Chicago for her role in patient dumping or the story of why Obama had the Passport service dept make all his travel records secret during the same week he was elected. No other president in history has ever ordered their passport records and university records sealed. Why?

    • the sheeple’s alarm clock

      I agree on the banning of propaganda. I’ll offer a why for the passport records sealing u brought up. 1 reason may be that he feared assassination, a very real fear as the first black president. 2. passports are a new thing relative to the total number of presidents

    • Yanotha Twangai

      Have MPR moderators in fact “banned hundreds of Minnesotans because they wrote opinions contrary to the far left media”? What evidence do you have of that? It’s clear that they didn’t act to remove your libelous post, which strikes me as prima facie evidence that they’re not doing what you’re insinuating.

  • Gary F

    Facebook already tries to shut down 2nd Amendment pages, so why not First Amendment? It’s their forum, they have the right to do it.

  • Gregory Clifford

    I think that this misses the point, as Maoists, Hitlerites, Stalinists, Aztecs, and on, and on, all strike a chord in a basic nature and inherent flaw in human evolution. This trait always finds a self-destructive rallying point and culture to rationalize and advance the ambitions of a few central figures. They will have only world war, if they can. Our free societies must only plan the resulting war crimes trials, and then resolve to settle this horror of disease in humanity quickly, and with finality. Rest assured, they will murder more of their loyal own than the enemies they must have, for this propaganda to work for them.