Friday, June 15, 2018

Hamas, NYT's Mark Thompson and Twitter

The New York Times' CEO Mark Thompson (who, incidentally, was a guest at my home in Shiloh for a long discussion) spoke at a June 12 event sponsored by New America’s Open Markets Institute and the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia University and addressed a new development in the media which is tech companies closely trusting algorithms to help determine which news stories are fraudulent or misleading. 

One example he provided was indicative.

As he said:
But with some examples of apparent censorship, it’s not clear if the removal or restriction of content is due to human moderators or the automated algorithms.Twitter recently blocked a user who posted harsh criticism of Hamas, the militant and political Islamist organization regarded by much of the international community as a terrorist group. The social media company told The Daily Caller News Foundation it was an “error,” but wouldn’t clarify if the mistake was directly human, or indirectly human-induced through the way of the “hateful conduct” detection algorithm.

What the real problem in this instance, I hope, is not that the person who tweeted the criticism was reinstated, or even the original blockage even though Thompson makes the false case that Hamas is rally two organizational entities, one non-terror and the other a social welfare agency.

The real problem is that, well, Hamas itself is on Twitter, openly.

Its TV station AlQuds

A second TV station.

Its newspaper.

A front news agency.

Izzat Risheq is on Twitter and he's a senior Hamas leader.

Mosa Abumarzook has a Twitter account and he is a senior member of Hamas.

I could on and on.  They recruit through social media outlets.  And they punish independent-thinking Gaza social media activists.

The AlQassam Brigades had their account suspended, though.

So the real problem is why does a terror group and its members get a Twitter account?

It's not a new question.



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