May 1, 2017 MEMRI Daily Brief No. 126

An Internet Clean Of Jihadi Incitement – Not Mission Impossible

May 1, 2017 | By Yigal Carmon*
Palestinians | MEMRI Daily Brief No. 126


Social media companies are beginning to lose advertising revenue due to the hateful content that appears on their sites. According to reports, major advertisers (Johnson & Johnson, Toyota, General Motors, Walmart, AT&T, HSBC, and others) are pulling ads from social media platforms because they have found their ads placed alongside terrorist videos. YouTube alone may find itself losing $750,000,000 in ad revenue. It therefore seems as if financial considerations rather than moral responsibility are prompting Internet companies to take more vigorous measures to purge their platforms of hate speech and incitement to murder.

Government pressure on the companies is mounting as well. In Germany, Justice Minister Heiko Maas (SPD) is introducing new legislation imposing huge fines of up to 50 million Euros on companies that fail to remove hate speech from their sites. In Britain after the recent Westminster terrorist attack, Home Secretary Amber Rudd summoned executives from Google, Twitter, Facebook and Microsoft to a summit at the Home Office, at which they agreed to "create new technical tools to identify and remove terrorist propaganda" from their platforms, among other measures.

In addition, the families of terror victims are beginning to sue Internet companies for carrying the incitement that radicalized the terrorists and thus led to the killing or injury of their loved ones. One successful lawsuit of this sort will trigger a torrent of further lawsuits, entailing huge losses for the companies.

But will any of this guarantee an Internet free of hate speech and jihadi incitement? No. Not until both the governments and the Internet companies understand that the use of the Internet by jihadi movements poses a real threat to global security, which amounts to an emergency situation requiring them to act accordingly – namely, to make vast financial investments, to develop new technologies, and, most importantly, to fundamentally change their approach and the criteria they employ in removing content from the net.

The goals of this article are: first, to present the scope of the problem; second, to demonstrate the inadequacy of the measures taken to date to deal with it; third, to explain the need for a revolutionary approach; and fourth, to present in detail the components of a new, effective strategy to be implemented.

How Did It All Begin?

To understand the magnitude of the threat and the measures required to address it, one must go back to the beginnings of the Internet and of social media.

The Internet, just like nuclear energy and other developments in modern technology, is both a blessing and a source of danger. In most other fields, scientific and technological developments were followed by regulatory legislation to head off potential danger to society and to human life. Land, maritime, and aerial transportation, the pharmaceutical industry, the food industry, and an endless list of other industries and professions were all subject to regulation.

The Internet companies, on the other hand, enjoyed a climate of infinite license.  Since they are based in the U.S., with its almost unlimited free speech, the companies were subjected to few restrictions, and, when challenged, have argued that any further regulation of the information they carried would be an unthinkable violation of the First Amendment.

Europe knew better. As a continent that had been plunged into war due to the uninhibited rise of extremist movements, it understood that not only extremist deeds but also extremist speech and ideologies such as Nazism must be legally banned. Following WWII, Europe legislated against racism, xenophobia, anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial, leading to the conviction and penalizing of offenders. This helped keep the extremist blight and its mass influence in check.

The Current Global Jihadi Movement Is Unimaginable Without The Internet

But even in Europe, all this changed with the rise of the Internet. Internet companies worldwide exploited the legislative vacuum in which the Internet existed to create a supranational system that is above the law. A court could penalize the likes of British Holocaust denier David Irving and French comedian and political activist Dieudonné for anti-Semitic speech, but the material that established their criminal culpability remained freely available on the web to influence others. Extremist groups of all persuasions took advantage of this situation, and online hate speech inciting jihad, racism, xenophobia, and genocidal murder spread like a plague.

Online platforms filled with horrific pictures of beheadings, crucifixions, amputations, burnings, drownings, stonings,  and other forms of execution.[1] Jihadi organizations used the web to recruit supporters and fighters,[2] provide practical instruction and manuals for terror operations including car bomb and ramming attacks,[3] make arch-terrorists into heroic models for emulation,[4] and raise funds for their activity.[5] The Internet provided them with an ideal vehicle for spreading their ideas, even to young children. Recently, ISIS schoolbooks, including versions in English, written and used by the organization in its Syrian stronghold of Al-Raqqa, were circulated online via the instant messaging service Telegram – thus making globally available this crucial tool for indoctrinating the younger generation.[6] Terrorist groups' magazines and mouthpieces are also circulated online. Furthermore, some social media provide encrypted platforms, which enable the jihadis to share information safely. 

Extremists on the right have entered the fray as well, filling the Internet with their own hatred for minorities, some even urging to follow the example of "Adolfetto" Hitler and exterminate minority groups.[7]

However, most Internet companies have not seemed to care much about this problem. Hundreds of companies all over the U.S. have hosted terrorist organizations without knowing or caring who their customers were. As for social networks, most of their founders were young people largely devoid of historical consciousness. Focusing on their grand vision of a global online community, they were oblivious to the fact that they were also creating communities of terror and transforming scattered terrorist groups into a global jihadi movement. In the name of empowering people everywhere and giving a voice to each and every individual, they also empowered the most vicious elements in the global community – such as a jihadi who appeared on social media holding up a severed head, calling out "Allah Akbar" and preaching jihad and murder. Social media entrepreneurs continued developing this medium without considering the dangers and the need to take measures against them.

MEMRI's Efforts Vis-à-vis The Internet And Social Media Companies

MEMRI sounded the alarm about this phenomenon as early as a decade ago at a bipartisan congressional briefing co-hosted by the liberal Democrat representative from New York, Gary Ackerman, and the conservative Republican congressman from Indiana, Mike Pence. Both congratulated MEMRI on its initiative and activity, and Ackerman harshly condemned the Internet companies as "supporters of terrorism."[8]

Ever since, MEMRI has continued to warn about terrorist use of the Internet. Over the years, MEMRI has amassed a vast archive of materials on jihadis and jihad organizations, and its Jihad and Terrorism Threat Monitor Project (JTTM) has published countless reports demonstrating the Internet companies' reckless failure to prevent incitement to genocidal murder.[9] MEMRI has offered to place its expertise at the service of the companies that host websites, free of charge, by reviewing websites they were hosting and informing them about the jihadi organizations behind them. In 2008, we also established a committee of prominent public figures to inform the companies about these organizations.[10] MEMRI has briefed Congress on the need to hold Internet companies accountable, and even directly confronted some of the companies, such as Google, to which we referred in our reports as "an online jihad base" – resulting in a contentious meeting with them. MEMRI has also published articles in the media warning about the vital need for the companies to take responsibility.[11] One of the most prevalent motifs in jihadi online incitement has been the murderous incitement against Christian Copts. MEMRI has documented this in countless reports.[12]

Over the years, there has been some progress, especially after Members of Congress hinted at possible legislative measures, and after investigations of terrorist attacks confirmed the crucial role of the Internet in inspiring and radicalizing the perpetrators. Facebook has pioneered a change for the better, investing tens of millions of dollars in identifying and removing jihadi accounts, and Twitter and Google/YouTube have begun following its example.[13] But the measures the companies are taking are still inadequate for the scope of the threat.

The Invalid Excuses Of The Internet And Social Media Companies

It is important to review the excuses and ploys used by Internet companies to justify their irresponsible conduct. The first corporate ploy was to simply deny responsibility. "True," they said, "we supply the vehicle (and of course reap the revenues), but somebody else provides the content, so direct your accusations at them." While the terrorists should indeed be the prime target, the companies act as their willing accomplices by making their platform available for criminal use.

It should be mentioned that there is a clear precedent for holding carriers of incitement responsible for the results of that incitement. In the mid-1990s, the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda sentenced Ferdinand Nahimana, cofounder of the Rwandan radio station Radio Télévision Libre des Mille Collines, to 30 years in prison for spreading incitement that contributed to the Rwanda genocide. Obviously, I do not mean to compare Nahimana, who identified with and sought to promote the genocidal messages on his radio, to the magnates of social media, who are just demonstrating reckless indifference, but only to stress the principle that carriers of incitement can be held accountable for the consequences of that incitement. This principle was in fact established after WWII, in the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on December 9, 1948, which criminalizes not just the act of genocide but also "direct and public incitement to commit genocide."[14]

In the U.S., too, a district court ruled in 2006 that the First Amendment does not protect the right to disseminate information meant to result in violence. This ruling came in the case of radical animal rights and environmental activist Rodney Adam Coronado, who taught others how to build bombs. "The First Amendment does not provide a defense to a criminal charge simply because the actor uses words [rather than actions] to carry out his illegal purpose," the court stated.[15]

In fact, companies are well aware of their responsibility to limit the use of their platforms, as evidenced by their introduction of "community guidelines" and "terms of use" – which they later used as their second tactical corporate excuse. "We are doing what is necessary by establishing guidelines and community standards," they said.

This is the biggest deception of all. First, the companies are clearly failing to enforce their own guidelines, for had they enforced them, the Internet and social media would not be so full of hate speech and incitement to murder. Moreover, unlike companies that produce yogurt, cars, planes, or pharmaceuticals, and that allow government regulators and even end users access to information about their quality control departments and the experts and technologies they use to safeguard the consumer, Internet companies keep us completely in the dark. This information – access to which is an essential right of consumers and government – is their closely guarded secret. We have no idea how many experts they employ to remove hateful content, how proficient they are in Arabic and other relevant languages, what technological processes they use, or, most importantly, what specific criteria they apply. In fact, Twitter noted recently that it was identifying jihadi content using "internal, proprietary spam-fighting tools"[16] – a description that is a bad joke at the expense of innocent victims.

It is not even clear whether the screening mechanisms that companies have pledged to develop are aimed at removing hate speech and incitement. Google recently promised advertisers to "provide simpler, more robust ways to stop their ads from showing against controversial content,"[17] thus implying that such content would be kept away from ads, but not necessarily removed. Likewise, Facebook chairman and CEO Mark Zuckerberg implied in a recent post that his network's ultimate goal is to let users decide what content they will be spared from seeing, instead of categorically removing certain types of content. "The idea," he wrote, "is to give everyone in the community options for how they would like to set the content policy for themselves. Where is your line on nudity? On violence? On graphic content? On profanity? What you decide will be your personal settings."

A third corporate dodge was to shift responsibility onto users, an economic idea of absolute genius. Complaints about online content were answered with "Did you flag it?" Hundreds of millions of users were thus pressed into service as unpaid corporate employees. Beyond the chutzpah involved, this method is also ineffective, because flagging by users is only the first step of a process which continues with referral to committees to validate the flagging. These committees are part of an "internal" and "proprietary" process we know nothing about – save for the fact that the material they are supposed to remove remains online. MEMRI has repeatedly flagged accounts of social media companies and reported on the results. Some were removed; many were not.[18]

Finally, one of the companies' most intellectually dishonest arguments is that they are actually assisting law enforcement agencies. By allowing a free Internet, they say, they enable intelligence agencies to discover and track murderous conspiracies. The companies' argument was seconded by commercial companies seeking to profit from the status quo, and by unscrupulous academics.

This argument also fails because, as noted, some companies, such as Telegram, offer encrypted services which the terrorists gratefully use.[19] Additionally and most importantly, even if a few terror cells have been stopped thanks to a free Internet, the impact this has pales in comparison to the online radicalization of generations of young people. Moreover, the excuse of assisting intelligence bodies has never been endorsed by senior intelligence officials, who have always made the cost-benefit calculation that a free-to-incite Internet works to society's detriment. They have not been fobbed off by netting small fry, or even large fry, because they understood that this came at the price of wholesale indoctrination of generations.

What Is Required To Achieve The Goal Of An Internet Free Of Hate Speech and Incitement To Murder

1. Understanding The Scope Of The Threat And The Need For A Revolutionary Approach To Counter It

The war against terror has always been conceptualized as a battle against its violent manifestations. This focus has become even stronger since ISIS established its territorial base in Syria and Iraq. This terrorism, however, has ideological and religious roots, and these roots have grown stronger and more widespread since the Internet and social media companies have enabled them to use their resources toward their goals. Thus, due to the Internet, terrorism has evolved in recent years from isolated groups to a global phenomenon. The West’s misguided perception of terrorism as a military problem has led them to the belief that overcoming ISIS on the battleground of Syria and Iraq will solve the problem and curb terrorism in the West. However, the combination of the ideological and religious roots with the unlimited power of the Internet will entail that the defeat of ISIS in Syria and Iraq will lead to more –not less – terrorism in the West.

It is a little-known fact that the ideology of ISIS, in the early stages of its violent emergence, focused on enemies within the Islamic world, such as other terrorist organizations, Shi'ites, and others. ISIS represented an historic attempt to recreate a territorial base for radical Islam (the Caliphate). Fighting the West was not a priority. Indeed, this was the major difference between ISIS and Al-Qaeda, with the latter focusing on jihad against the West.[20] To this day, the ideology of ISIS is embodied in the call for hijra – immigration to the Caliphate – as the pinnacle of belief. Only those who cannot fulfill this call, because the gates of hijra have been closed by the West and because of the West's attacks on ISIS, are called upon to carry out operations in the West.[21] Hence, once ISIS is defeated in Syria and Iraq, and deprived of its territorial base altogether, the foreign fighters will return home and will attack the West from within, with a vengeance. In this battle, the Internet and the social media will play a major role in the recruitment of Muslim communities in the West to this battle.

This is the reason that the West must adopt a new, revolutionary approach to the role of the Internet and social media, in order to put a stop to its enabling role.[22]

2. Regulating The Internet Through Legislation Is Crucial To Protect Human Lives

The first step in implementing this revolutionary new approach should be the introduction of appropriate legislation. Democratic countries resort to emergency legislative measures in times of an existential threat to their freedom. Indeed, Western democracies have instated emergency laws in the face of terrorism in the past. Germany did so in 1977, following the assassination of the director of the industrialists' association, Hanns Martin Schleyer, by the Bader Meinhof terrorists. Italy did so following the 1978 kidnapping and murder of former prime minister Aldo Moro by the Red Brigades. France did so after bombs were placed by a local Hizbullah gang in the capital's Galeries Lafayette and Place de l'Opera in 1985–86. Canada went even further, reapplying the War Measures Act of 1942 to contend with a relatively minor terrorist organization, the Quebec Liberation Front. The U.S. passed the PATRIOT Act following 9/11.

In all of this, legitimate freedom of speech, which is at the heart of every democracy, must be protected. This can be done, as there is no inherent contradiction between preventing hate speech and incitement to murder and protecting freedom."

In Schenck v. United States (1919), Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes ruled that "the most stringent protection of free speech would not protect a man falsely shouting 'fire' in a theater and causing a panic." This ruling was effectively overturned by the Supreme Court in Brandenburg v. Ohio (1969), which ruled that even inciting speech was protected in certain cases. Today's use of the Internet as a vehicle for incitement, and the global insecurity that this creates, mandates an updated ruling on the limits of free speech. Sadly, to date no one has emerged from any of the three branches of U.S. government to shoulder this responsibility and protect innocent lives.

It should be stressed repeatedly that the aim is not to undermine the principle of free speech but to impose limits on hate speech and incitement to murder – lest we jeopardize the future of democratic society worldwide. If humanist elements do not assume this burden, they will be pushed aside by politically extreme elements, which may curb freedoms with a vengeance to our collective misfortune.

Such legislation would force the companies and governments alike to take the necessary measures required to clean up the Internet from inciting material.

3. Developing Technological Tools To Identify And Remove Inciteful Content

This goal poses an immense challenge. The problem facing the Internet companies is the same as the one facing intelligence agencies: identifying the required information amid oceans of online material. Even intelligence agencies, despite having the necessary budgets, have not yet managed to develop a tool that does this accurately and reliably. But the companies have an advantage over the intelligence agencies, since they are the owners and developers of the platforms. Ultimately, the best results would emerge from cooperation between the companies and the governments of democratic countries, a concept that at present seems inconceivable in the mindset of both, but is crucial and, indeed, possible within the revolutionary approach proposed here.

4. Recruiting A Sufficient Amount Of Manpower

The solution to the problem of jihadi online incitement is not conditional upon developing technological tools – not to mention the fact that such development takes time and that we are in need of an immediate solution. That solution lies primarily in the recruitment of sufficient manpower – tens of thousands, or perhaps even hundreds of thousands of people.

No matter how advanced, the artificial intelligence on which the companies pin their hopes to identify inciteful content will never be able to do so without sufficient manpower, because it has no capacity for moral judgment and value-based decisions. As a result, it not only fails to remove inciteful content, but also – and embarrassingly – removes content that should remain.

Anyone who believes that recruiting sufficient manpower would entail too great an expense upon any single company should recall that the revenues of Facebook alone in 2016 reached $27.6 billion. Thus, only a tenth of the companies’ revenues would suffice for such recruitment. Indeed, there is a precedent for this, in the case of Volkswagen, which, in 2016, had to invest almost $15 billion to deal with its dangerous diesel emissions.

Moreover, since this is a problem shared by all Internet companies, they could pool their resources to meet a significant part of the challenge.[23] If governments are also required to invest in a solution, it becomes clear that the burden is not at all insurmountable.

5. Expertise In The World Of Jihad

Identification of inciteful material is often not easy. Regular employees cannot be expected to have the necessary expertise in this field. The companies need professionals in the world of jihad to direct those employees and answer their questions. This expertise exists both in governments and in a handful of organizations in the private sector, and the companies need to receive this expertise, as well as develop their own.

6. Changing The Criteria For Identifying And Removing Jihadi Content

However, none of the above measures will be sufficient unless the criteria and guidelines for removing content are changed in a revolutionary manner. One crucial element that is missing in the current guidelines is specificity. Democratic countries designate certain organizations as criminal via judicial channels, but the Internet companies do not name these organizations in their guidelines, and in fact do not even seem to consider themselves bound by these designations. Importantly, their terms of use fail to ban particular organizations, people, publications, ideological motifs and messages, and so on. They use only very general and vague terms, referring to content that is "upsetting," "offensive," or "abusive." Even the term "terrorist" is ambiguous without specifically mentioning to whom and to what it refers. Moreover, in some cases, the terms of service include convoluted legal terminology incomprehensible to the layman. Given such guidelines, personnel who vet content – regardless of their numbers – will find it difficult to make principled decisions.

Content removal must be based upon the above-mentioned specifics, as well as on clearly defined moral principles that distinguish between good and evil and between use and abuse. These are the same principles that underpinned post-WWII legislation criminalizing Holocaust denial and incitement to genocide, the conviction of the Rwandan inciters, and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. If Internet companies had applied them, the Internet would be much cleaner and safer today.

The companies' obligation to protect society from those who use their platform to harm others is compromised by their desire to provide every member of the human race with a platform to voice their opinion and their urge to foster a maximally inclusive community of users.

Is This Strategy Realistic?

Clearly, there is no magic wand that will completely solve the problem of online jihadi incitement. Clearly, no strategy can be 100% successful in achieving its goals. Judging a strategy by such standards is generally a ploy to dismiss efforts to develop the necessary measures. If the strategy proposed is successful in removing even 80% of the jihadi incitement on the Internet, this will constitute a huge contribution to mankind.[24]

In recent years, the companies are proceeding, even if grudgingly, to remove jihadi content. But all their activity is simply not addressing the scope of the problem. Global jihad has taken on unimaginable proportions, mostly thanks to the Internet. Only a revolutionary change, as described above, can yield significant results.

But is it realistic?

Who ever thought that there would be security measures in air transportation, for example, that have such immense costs, that infringe upon personal liberties, that disrupt the economy, and that take a toll on normal life.  But it became reality, because it was clear to all that the sanctity of human life overrides other considerations.

Years ago, no one could imagine a scenario in which armed soldiers patrol the streets of some European capitals, and people going about their daily business are subject to security checks in shopping malls, museums, banks, and other public institutions. Just a few years ago, this would have been considered a gross violation of one’s personal liberties. Now, however, we accept this as a fact of life.

The infringements we face in Western democracies will only grow in the future, to the point that we will be living in what some might consider a police state.[25] People's acceptance of infringements upon their lives is directly proportionate to the extent of the threat. What all the defensive measures employed against terrorism have in common is that they contend with terrorism at its point of implementation. None of them can deal with terrorism at its source.

Purging the Internet of jihadi content, on the other hand, can deal with terrorism at its source, and can have an immediate impact on recruitment, indoctrination, and training of terrorists. This will significantly reduce the threat – which will, in turn, enable Western democracies to reduce the degree of infringement upon our liberties, freedoms, and daily life.

This is why the strategy proposed here is urgent, possible, and realistic.


[3] See MEMRI JTTM reports Al-Qaeda Media Arm Al-Sahab Releases Book Written In 2000 On Carrying Out Kidnapping Operations, February 10, 2017; MEMRI JTTM report Months Of Prior Warnings Regarding Terror Attacks Using Trucks, December 20, 2016. See MEMRI Inquiry and Analysis No. 1291, Germany-Based Encrypted Messaging App Telegram Emerges As Jihadis' Preferred Communications Platform – Part V Of MEMRI Series: Encryption Technology Embraced By ISIS, Al-Qaeda, Other Jihadis – September 2015-September 2016 and Germany-Based Encrypted Messaging App Telegram Emerges As Jihadis' Preferred Communications Platform – Part V Of MEMRI Series: Encryption Technology Embraced By ISIS, Al-Qaeda, Other Jihadis – September 2015-September 2016: Section 2 – MEMRI Research Documents Jihadi Use Of Telegram, December 23, 2016; MEMRI JTTM report Fifth Issue of ISIS Magazine 'Rumiyah' Offers Operational Advice For The Use Of Arson As Terror Tactic, January 15, 2017; MEMRI JTTM report WARNING - GRAPHIC: ISIS Video Features French Fighter Demonstrating Stabbing Techniques On 'Agent Of The Crusader Coalition,' Provides Step-By-Step Instruction On Bomb Making Using Acetone Peroxide, November 25, 2016; MEMRI Special Dispatch No. 6186, Social Media As A Platform For Palestinian Incitement – Part II: Video Tutorials, Tips For Achieving More 'Effective' Attacks, October 14, 2015; MEMRI JTTM report ISIS Supporter Uses 'Linktree' On Instagram To Circulate ISIS Videos And Bomb-Making Instructions, February 14, 2017; MEMRI JTTM report French-Speaking ISIS Media Operatives Distribute Guides On Using Poison, Making Bombs, September 26, 2016; MEMRI JTTM report Issue 3 Of Islamic State Magazine 'Rumiyah' Instructs Lone Wolves On Use Of Trucks To Target Outdoor Conventions, Markets, Parades, And Political Rallies, November 10, 2016.


[9] See MEMRI Inquiry & Analysis No. 1136, From Al-Qaeda To The Islamic State (ISIS), Jihadi Groups Engage in Cyber Jihad: Beginning With 1980s Promotion Of Use Of 'Electronic Technologies' Up To Today's Embrace Of Social Media To Attract A New Jihadi Generation, November 19, 2014.

See MEMRI Daily Brief No. 54, The Facebook Model For Taking On Jihadist Groups Online, August 31, 2015; MEMRI Daily Brief No. 80, Twitter, Once Jihadis' No. 1 Social Media Platform, Attempting – For Now – To Purge Jihadi Content, , February 25, 2016; MEMRI Inquiry and Analysis No. 1218, ISIS's Use Of Twitter, Other U.S. Social Media To Disseminate Images, Videos Of Islamic Religious Punishments – Beheading, Crucifixion, Stoning, Burning, Drowning, Throwing From Buildings – Free Speech? January 6, 2016; MEMRI Inquiry and Analysis No. 1042, On Twitter, British Pro-Jihad Islamist Anjem Choudary – Whose Network Is Regarded As 'Single Biggest Gateway To Terrorism' For European Fighters in Syria – Incites To Violence And Jihad, Calls For Conquest Of West; In Tweet, He Defends Opinion Expressed By Accused Islamist During His Trial That U.K. Is 'A Theoretic & Practical Battlefield' December 13, 2013; Inquiry and Analysis No. 939, Faces Of Death: On Twitter, Jihadis Distribute Photos Of 'Martyrs' February 22, 2013; Inquiry and Analysis No. 849, HASHTAG #Jihad: Charting Jihadi-Terrorist Organizations' Use Of Twitter, June 21, 2012; Inquiry and Analysis No. 755, Deleting Online Jihad on Twitter: The Case of British Jihadi Anjem Choudary – Tweeting for the Caliphate and the Conquest of the White House, November 3, 2011; Inquiry and Analysis No. 948, Online Jihadis Embrace Instagram (Warning: Graphic Images), March 14, 2013; Inquiry and Analysis No. 1255, The Jihadi Cycle On Content-Sharing Web Services 2009-2016 And The Case Of Favored By ISIS, Al-Qaeda, And Other Jihadis For Posting Content And Sharing It On Twitter - Jihadis Move To Their Own Platforms (Manbar, Nashir, Alors.Ninja) But Then Return To, June 6, 2016; Inquiry and Analysis No. 724, Al-Qaeda, Jihadis Infest the San Francisco, California-Based 'Internet Archive' Library, January 11, 2017; MEMRI JTTM report Snapchat App Used By Jihadi Fighters In Syria And Jihadi Supporters In The West, January 11, 2017; Inquiry and Analysis No. 769, YouTube – The Primary and Rapidly Expanding Online Jihadi Base, Part VI: Following Deaths of Bin Laden and Al-Awlaki, Jihadi Groups Continue To Post Thousands of Videos, Provide Cyber Jihad Tools on YouTube; The Case of 'Muslims Against Crusades', December 5, 2011; Part V: YouTube - The Internet's Primary and Rapidly Expanding Jihadi Base: One Year Later on YouTube - Anwar Al-Awlaki's Presence Expands, Al-Qaeda Goes Viral, Jihadists Post Thousands of Videos of Killing of U.S. Troops; European Jihadists Also Embrace YouTube, December 17, 2010; YouTube – The Internet's Primary and Rapidly Expanding Jihadi Base – Part III: Despite Removal Efforts, Taliban YouTube Page Promising Terror Attacks on U.S. Cities Remains Active, December 17, 2010; YouTube - The Internet's Primary and Rapidly Expanding Jihadi Base - Part IV: Young American YouTube Follower of Anwar Al-Awlaki on the Ground Zero Mosque and 9/11: 'America Reaps What It Sows'; 'You Pretend Like the World Trade Center and the Pentagon Was a Daycare Center or a Maternity Ward; No - The World Trade Center Was the Epicenter of American Economy That Funds So Much Death And Destruction... If the People Who Did 9/11 Wanted To Kill Innocent People, They Would Have Bombed a School... Church... Daycare Center', August 27, 2010; YouTube – The Internet's Primary and Rapidly Expanding Jihadi Base: Part II, May 3, 2010; Deleting Online Jihad and the Case of Anwar Al-Awlaki: Nearly Three Million Viewings of Al-Awlaki's YouTube Videos – Included Would-Be Christmas Airplane Bomber, Fort Hood Shooter, 7/7 London Bomber, and Would-Be Fort Dix Bombers, December 30, 2009; Inquiry and Analysis No. 1033, MEMRI's Behind-The-Scenes Role In Twitter's Shutdown Of Accounts Belonging To Designated Terrorists: The Case Of Al-Qaeda Affiliate Al-Shabaab And The Westgate Mall Attack), November 6, 2013; Inquiry & Analysis No. 1042, On Twitter, British Pro-Jihad Islamist Anjem Choudary - Whose Network Is Regarded As 'Single Biggest Gateway To Terrorism' For European Fighters in Syria - Incites To Violence And Jihad, Calls For Conquest Of West; In Tweet, He Defends Opinion Expressed By Accused Islamist During His Trial That U.K. Is 'A Theoretic & Practical Battlefield,' December 13, 2013; Inquiry & Analysis No. 1162, As Twitter Removes Some ISIS Accounts, Al-Qaeda's Branch In Syria Jabhat Al-Nusra (JN) Thrives, Tweeting Jihad And Martyrdom To Over 200,000 Followers, May 20, 2017; Inquiry & Analysis Series No. 772 - Somali Al-Qaeda Affiliate Al-Shabaab Tweets Jihad and Martyrdom, December 13, 2011.

[10] See APPENDIX, this document.

[11] See for example a January 30, 2015 Forbes article, Terrorist Use Of U.S. Social Media Is A National Security Threat.

[13] It is typical of Google's approach that it initially invested money in hiring lobbyists to defend its reputation, and only later in actually removing jihadi content from its sites.

[14] Article III(c). For the full text of the convention, see

[15] U.S. v. Coronado, S.D. Cal, 2006.

[16], March 21, 2017.


[20] For more on Al-Qaeda, see Y. Carmon, Y. Yehoshua, and A. Leone, “Understanding Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi And The Phenomenon Of The Islamic Caliphate State,”

[21] See Y. Carmon, Y. Yehoshua, and A. Leone, “Understanding Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi And The Phenomenon Of The Islamic Caliphate State,”

[22] For several years, Western countries have engaged in efforts to counter the ideological and religious roots of terrorism by positive, rather than negative, means. Instead of preventing the dissemination and spread of the jihadi ideology, they exert media efforts aimed at promoting a moderate alternative. Such efforts have failed, for a variety of reasons. For one thing, in comparison to the massive jihadi efforts to spread their ideology, these attempts were insignificant in number. Second, it is misguided to believe that Muslim individuals and communities would be swayed by ideological content offered by Western governments. Third, and most important, such efforts have no chance of being successful if no adequate effort is taken to counter the deluge of violent ideological messages.

[23] Needless to say, these expenses are, by definition, operational costs and as such, should provide tax benefits for the companies, further reducing the financial burden. 

[24] Developing the above-mentioned measures would be instrumental in the fight against other criminal content online, such as pedophilia. On April 28, 2017, Peter Wanless, chief executive of Britain’s National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, called on the British government to regulate Internet publishers and social media networks in the same way as traditional media. See

[25] Just one year ago, I gave a briefing to security officials from a major European country, who came to Israel to study its counter-terrorism defense deployment strategy. When I suggested that this was the scenario awaiting them, they responded with disbelief, saying that their country would never become a “police state.” This happened faster than anticipated.

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