France Wants Google, Facebook, and Twitter's Help Fighting Terrorism

Illustration for article titled France Wants Google, Facebook, and Twitters Help Fighting Terrorism

When it comes to social media presence, the Islamic State (ISIS) has Western nations completely outgunned. In fact, ISIS and its supports tweet and post upwards of 90,000 times a day and has led to the U.S. and the U.K. to reconsider its propaganda social media strategy. France wants to take a slightly different approach and work with the giant U.S. tech companies directly.


The French interior minister Bernard Cazeneuve met with Google, Facebook, and Twitter to talk about a possible partnership to help battle terrorism that uses online services as means to preach hate and violence. In official responses to The Associated Press, Twitter and Facebook say they do everything they can to scrub their massive platforms of any content that would incite violence but didn't go as far as to say they'd be a part of France's anti-terrorism justice league. Google tells NBC News that community flagging actually works pretty well, and that they're usually able to get videos down within the hour.

The reason for Cazeneuve's visit is to help speed up the process of reporting and investigating terrorist accounts online. AP reports that Cazeneuve doesn't want to go through normal government channels during investigations because they're simply too slow, and therefore, somewhat ineffective.


France's push into serious mode regarding the ISIS threat is spurred greatly by the grisly Jan. 7 murders of the Charlie Hebdo staff, a target of Islamic extremism. In response, the French government created a new website aimed at dissuading people from joining ISIS's ranks as well as an overall boost in anti-terrorism measures.

But just simply wiping the internet of anything labeled "terrorism," which is a historically slippery term, isn't really the greatest solution either. The Electronic Frontier Foundation argues that censoring the Internet just covers up problems that are not really going away and mentions that France has had a problem in the past with the "legal precision" of what "terrorist act" really means. Twitter also mentions that the U.S. government tracks ISIS through social media accounts, so wiping them out of existence isn't so simple.

Whatever the case, governments are scrambling to find any way to shut down ISIS's online propaganda juggernaut. Cazeneuve hopes to continue the conversation with Google, Facebook, and Twitter, this April in Paris. [AP and NBC News]

Image of ISIS "hack" of U.S. Central Command's YouTube account


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"O Prophet, fight against the disbelievers and the hypocrites and be harsh upon them. And their refuge is Hell, and wretched is the destination." -quran 9:73

"O you who have believed, fight those adjacent to you of the disbelievers and let them find in you harshness. And know that Allah is with the righteous." -quran 9:123

"And when the sacred months have passed, then kill the polytheists wherever you find them and capture them and besiege them and sit in wait for them at every place of ambush. But if they should repent, establish prayer, and give zakah, let them [go] on their way. Indeed, Allah is Forgiving and Merciful." -quran 9:5

They wish you would disbelieve as they disbelieved so you would be alike. So do not take from among them allies until they emigrate for the cause of Allah . But if they turn away, then seize them and kill them wherever you find them and take not from among them any ally or helper. -quran 4:89

"Fight those who do not believe in Allah or in the Last Day and who do not consider unlawful what Allah and His Messenger have made unlawful and who do not adopt the religion of truth from those who were given the Scripture - [fight] until they give the jizyah willingly while they are humbled." -quran 9:29

"Indeed, the penalty for those who wage war against Allah and His Messenger and strive upon earth [to cause] corruption is none but that they be killed or crucified or that their hands and feet be cut off from opposite sides or that they be exiled from the land. That is for them a disgrace in this world; and for them in the Hereafter is a great punishment" -quran 5:33

"[Remember] when your Lord inspired to the angels, 'I am with you, so strengthen those who have believed. I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieved,

so strike [them] upon the necks and strike from them every fingertip.' " -quran 8:12

"And fight them until there is no fitnah and [until] the religion, all of it, is for Allah." -quran 8:39

It is not for a prophet to have captives [of war] until he inflicts a massacre [upon Allah 's enemies] in the land. Some Muslims desire the commodities of this world, but Allah desires [for you] the Hereafter. And Allah is Exalted in Might and Wise. -quran 8:67

"Let not believers take disbelievers as allies rather than believers." -quran 3:28

"O you who have believed, do not take the Jews and the Christians as allies." -quran 5:51

"Not equal are those believers remaining [at home] - other than the disabled - and the mujahideen, [who strive and fight] in the cause of Allah with their wealth and their lives. Allah has preferred the mujahideen through their wealth and their lives over those who remain [behind], by degrees. And to both Allah has promised the best [reward]. But Allah has preferred the mujahideen over those who remain [behind] with a great reward" -quran 4:95

"So let those fight in the cause of Allah who sell the life of this world for the Hereafter. And he who fights in the cause of Allah and is killed or achieves victory - We will bestow upon him a great reward." -quran 4:74

"So when you meet those who disbelieve [in battle], strike [their] necks until, when you have inflicted slaughter upon them, then secure their bonds, and either [confer] favor afterwards or ransom [them] until the war lays down its burdens. That [is the command]. And if Allah had willed, He could have taken vengeance upon them [Himself], but [He ordered armed struggle] to test some of you by means of others. And those who are killed in the cause of Allah - never will He waste their deeds." -quran 47:4