Senator Lieberman escalates war of words with Taliban on Twitter

Senator Joe Lieberman
Last week the Daily Dot reported on the U.S. military's clashes with the Taliban-related Twitter accounts. Now, Sen. Lieberman seeks to ban those accounts from the microblogging site. 

Senator Joe Lieberman is reportedly pressuring Twitter to ban the Taliban from using the microblogging service.

Aides told London’s Daily Telegraph that the move “was part of a wider attempt to eliminate violent Islamist extremist propaganda from the internet and social media.”

Last week a representative from International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), a NATO-based mission in Afghanistan, told the Daily Dot that there are “two main accounts” the organization tracks believed to “have some tie to the Taliban.”

Those accounts, @alemarahweb and @ABalkhi, largely serve two purposes: to link to stories in the Taliban propaganda magazine Shahamat and to antagonize the ISAF.

Lieberman petitioned YouTube to remove terrorist content in 2008, with partial success. However, according to YouTube’s official blog, the only videos YouTube removed were ones that violated its Community Guidelines—videos that “depicted gratuitous violence, advocated violence, or used hate speech.”

“We appreciate Senator Lieberman alerting us to videos that violated our policies,” the blog said.

Twitter rules state, “You may not publish or post direct, specific threats of violence against others.” The closest that those accounts have come to violating that rule is when they have linked to news stories—the truth of which is heavily contested by the ISAF—that US and Coalition troops are killed.

The Twitter accounts alternately refer to soldiers as “invaders,” “terrorists,” and “puppets,” while bragging about purported military gains, rather than threaten individuals.

Neither Twitter nor Lieberman’s aides returned a request for comment.

Photo by liberman_2006

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