Islamic State supporters threaten Twitter employees
Supporters of the so-called Islamic State have called for attacks on Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey and other Twitter employees as retribution for shuttering its propaganda accounts.
BuzzFeed was the first to translate the threat from its original Arabic. It reads, in part:
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. But when our lions come and take your breath, you will never come back to life.Twitter spokesman Jim Prosser told BuzzFeed that the company's security team is "investigating the veracity of these threats with relevant law enforcement officials."
The threat follows increased pressure from government officials in France and the United States for Twitter to be more proactive about silencing the extremists who use its service.
The French government has threatened to hold social media companies accountable as "accomplices" if they don't remove extremist content from their services. It has also given itself the power to block websites inside the country without first receiving a court order.
Meanwhile, in the United States, a group of Congressmen have asked Twitter to crack down on extremist content as it tries to combat Islamic State's propaganda with its own. (And, of course, it did so by conflating "extremist content" with child pornography.)
Twitter is sandwiched between both sides of the conflict. Islamic State's supporters can use threats like this to try to frighten the company's employees. Governments around the world can attempt to scare it with legal action. Twitter is at (varying degrees of) risk either way.
[illustration by Brad Jonas]