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Anonymous Claims Twitter Is Suspending 'OpISIS' Member Accounts (thestack.com) 75

An anonymous reader writes: Anonymous has claimed that Twitter mistakenly shut down several of its activist accounts in a widespread cull of pages belonging to terrorist supporters. In an effort to rid the site of an extremist presence, Twitter has recently suspended over 125,000 accounts for 'threatening or promoting terrorist acts, primarily related to ISIS.' However, the international activist group Anonymous is now reporting that among this number were multiple member accounts, which were actively supporting the fight against the Islamic State and helping to seek out terrorist supporters and recruiters online. Twitter has typically re-opened the Anonymous accounts within a matter of hours, bombarded with requests by hacktivists and the wider online community.
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Anonymous Claims Twitter Is Suspending 'OpISIS' Member Accounts

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  • And? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by mitcheli ( 894743 ) on Monday March 07, 2016 @12:55PM (#51653729)
    So the whole point of OpISIS is to shut down ISIS, and Twitter is shutting down ISIS.. I fail to see the problem here.
    • Re:And? (Score:5, Funny)

      by kainewynd2 ( 821530 ) on Monday March 07, 2016 @12:58PM (#51653749)
      I don't believe you're showing the appropriate level of nerd outrage. I mean, how dare Twitter shut down Anonymous accounts!?
      • by Anonymous Coward
        Well I for one I identify as an anonymous and this has triggered my outrage.
        • by Anonymous Coward

          Well I for one I identify as an anonymous and this has triggered my outrage.

          But you're a Coward!

      • Re:And? (Score:5, Funny)

        by Shadow IT Ninja ( 3891909 ) on Monday March 07, 2016 @01:49PM (#51654063)
        According to TFA, some anonymous person who claims to be Anonymous claims that they are the ones reporting the ISIS accounts to Twitter and without them, Twitter would miss many of the terrorist accounts. The problem for Twitter it to figure out which of the anonymous accounts are Anonymous accounts. Of course it's also possible that some anonymous terrorists are falsely reporting Anonymous accounts as terrorists. That's what I would do if I were them. By the way, who's on first?
    • by skywire ( 469351 )

      You need to work on your reading comprehension.

    • How does this "shut down ISIS"? You think Twitter is the only popular forum. The opponent you can see is far easier to handle than the opponent you can't. It doesn't stop anything, or really even slow it down. It just shows people Twitter removes anything it feels like (they removed people they probably should have left if reducing ISIS is truly their motive) which moves people away from Twitter. First the ISIS supports will move to a different forum, then the people trying to reduce ISIS supporters have to
  • Judging from the suspension of the account of journalist Robert Stacy McCain [battleswarmblog.com], disagreeing with Anita Sarkeesian seems a far more serious offense to Twitter's "Trust and Safety Council" than openly supporting Islamic terrorists.

    They also refuse to restore his account or even detail why it was suspended [theothermccain.com].

    • by BrookHarty ( 9119 ) on Monday March 07, 2016 @01:39PM (#51653997) Homepage Journal

      If twitter is going to ban people for free speech, then its not an open platform and shouldn't be endorsed by any government agency. Maybe we should ban all government agencies from using facebook and twitter pages since they are not open platforms. The public should not endorse censorship or promoting companies that censor.

      Or you could go the other way, and force them not to censor by law. Since they are beyond a typical company and moved into areas of speech and representation. We do want open access for all protected speech, including sexual, religious and ethnic. Its a corporation, and corporations are not people, so they shouldn't get the free speech protections, just like we dont want them to vote with political money.

      • by KGIII ( 973947 )

        I'd like to see (and I'm willing to help fund) similar platforms being run by the government. For cost and security reasons, it should be an option for just the one service.

        Note: That does not mean that the government should be taking over private services nor does it mean that they should be exclusively provisioned by them - one might say they'd be exclusively for government usage and not for public use except as a method of having information disseminated to them. Obviously, varied levels of interaction a

    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      Interesting articles. Both try to somehow link this to Sarkeesian, without any evidence or even any idea which tweets got him banned. It's highly dubious because we don't know if he was breaking the rules or not, since the tweets have been deleted, and because Sarkeesian isn't involved day-to-day with Twitter at all.

      It's sad that this kind of pure, unfounded speculation (what we sometimes call paranoia) is considered "journalism" by some sites.

      Your statement doesn't make any sense either, how is his banning

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Tweets arent deleted. His account is suspended. You cant see his tweets because of that. The whole point is he criticized Anita and he was banned. They wont tell him why, they wont unban him. This behavior goes against their banning and appeals process. The only way they skip appeals is if the person was permanently banned and was ban evading.

    • This is what people get for supporting closed platforms as Mr McCain did (by tweeting, thus adding to the amount of traffic that Twitter publishes).

      If anyone expects free speech on a closed platform, then I have a bridge to sell you.

    • The above statement, which is modded +5 informative at the time I write this (and has been for several hours), is 100% false except in stating that Robert McCain has been "banned" from Twitter. It is completely false to suggest Sarkeesian has anything to do with his ban. Twitter is full of conservative users, and full of critics of Anita Sarkeesian. And her role on the Trust and Safety Council is related to its function in ending abusive, something Sarkeesian is a recipient of [tumblr.com].

      Unless McCain has actually

  • Sounds like Twitter forgot to take advantage of RFC 3514 [ietf.org]. More generally, I'd like to see this implemented more generally. It would make things a LOT easier!

  • Word based ban lists (Score:5, Interesting)

    by BrookHarty ( 9119 ) on Monday March 07, 2016 @01:25PM (#51653919) Homepage Journal

    Facebook started word based ban lists few weeks back, and old posts are removed if they have such a word. Tranny is on the list, which for many mechanics wonder wtf facebook was going on about their posts being against decency rules. Also Milo's "Dangerous Faggot Tour" posts are removed due to Faggot being banned. I wonder if there are any smokers who got their posts removed too. There there is the whole Twitter going after Milo, so social media censorship is getting out of hand.

    I remember back when Microsoft banned usernames with Gay, and a bunch of people couldnt register if they had Gay in their names.

    Its like 1990's internet all over again, banned words everywhere.

    • by bill_mcgonigle ( 4333 ) * on Monday March 07, 2016 @01:37PM (#51653987) Homepage Journal

      Its like 1990's internet all over again, banned words everywhere.

      Except this time, there's plenty of compute resources to match word closeness and plenty of world-relationship mapping databases that it ought to be fairly straightforward to semantically map (tranny,chrysler,failed) into a different bucket than hate-speech, automatically. Pure stop-lists are just lazy.

      Maybe the information-retrieval people aren't on this team.

      • The only problem is that hate-speech, as such, is a fabrication of the weak minds of soft liberals. I see much of their rhetoric as hate-speech as well, the only difference being I am strong enough of mind to be able to handle having my views challenged without resorting to censorship.

        Banning words IS just lazy, just not technologically. It's intellectually lazy to not be able to handle criticism of your ideals.

        • I remember one site that replaced offensive words with asterisks, even if it was part of another word. So I couldn't mention the ra**** in my yard, or say anything about my wris****ch. I couldn't even talk about our VP (**** Cheny)!

  • When private organizations (or worse even government) start trying to stifle debate, you hurt both both sides. And in America such organizations are hurting one of the basic freedoms that is supposed to distinguish America from places like Russia or China: The ability to have open debate on any topic, no matter how distasteful (note: threat is not debate). Yet without debate, we all just become mindless drones (which is what most governments like anyway). All of this is a modern examples proving what Ben Fr
    • by KGIII ( 973947 )

      I've been pondering a rebuttal for Franklin's quote for a while. I see it misquoted, mistaken, misused. I'm not saying that's the case with your usage. I'm also in full agreement with his expressed sentiment.

      But...

      What happens when the majority is no longer convinced of the need for liberty and what does that mean for the rest of us?

      It's disheartening. One minute, the same person will rant about how encryption is necessary and that we shouldn't legislate based on fear and the next minute they're arguing tha

  • Friendly fire.

    Anonymous should just be grateful that it's nothing like the real thing.

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