While corporate media publish stories defending Big Tech’s compliance in allowing terrorists to operate on their sites, others have noted the hypocrisy it takes to ban the leader of a free country from the platform and then turn a blind eye to murderous terrorists who use the technology to accomplish their goals.
Just a few months after Twitter, Facebook, and other Big Tech companies banded together to ban President Donald Trump, more than 40 GOP House members introduced legislation aimed at using sanction law to force Silicon Valley giants to ban foreign terrorist groups from their platform.
At the time, the bill’s cosponsors such as Reps. Andy Barr, Jim Banks, and Joe Wilson made it clear that the double-standard held by tech oligarchs was allowing anti-American groups to spread propaganda and fundraise for their causes without penalty.
“U.S. law gives big tech a free pass to provide platforms to terrorist groups and dictators,” Barr told Fox News in March. “Social media companies should not provide a vehicle for terrorist groups like ISIS to raise money or for dictators like the Ayatollah of Iran to spread propaganda.”
President Trump was kicked off social media, but we have state sponsors of terrorism propagating freely on here.
⁰Thanks to @RepAndyBarr, we have a bill that would fix this double standard and hold Big Tech accountable. https://t.co/ig6uMHr6pY
— Jim Banks (@RepJimBanks) March 2, 2021
Due to outdated sanctions laws, social media platforms can provide services to terrorists & rogue regimes with American blood on their hands. This is unacceptable & is why I cosponsored this important initiative with 40+ of my @RepublicanStudy colleagues https://t.co/NCxwHSujdh
— Joe Wilson (@RepJoeWilson) March 2, 2021
It is unclear, however, if the bill will resurface in light of the Taliban’s recent takeover in Afghanistan.
“It is embarrassing that the same American social media company that banned a sitting U.S. President from its platform is allowing the Taliban spokesman to have an account on their platform to spread propaganda, fundraise and recruit terrorists,” Barr, a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, told The Federalist. “That is why Congress must immediately pass my legislation to close the loophole allowing for social media companies to circumvent sanctions laws and provide their services to terrorists.”
As it stands now, the bill would “require the president to implement regulation that will treat social media platforms just like the bank and insurance companies — they cannot provide a service to a sanctioned individual or entity.” President Joe Biden’s lack of action and regard for the crisis in Afghanistan, however, raises questions about his and Democrats’ willingness to act in the technology sector.
It also raises questions about whether Big Tech companies would comply with any push to censor or deplatform murderous terrorists who hate Christians and women. Twitter has already decided to give a Taliban spokesman a platform on its website even though the terrorist group continues to ravage Afghanistan.
When asked why Twitter allowed the violent group’s propaganda and misinformation on its website after banning Trump for fears of “further incitement of violence,” a spokesman told The Federalist that the company will not act until it feels its policies have been violated.
“The situation in Afghanistan is rapidly evolving and we’re witnessing people in the country using Twitter to seek help and assistance. Twitter’s top priority is keeping people safe, and we remain vigilant. We will continue to proactively enforce our rules ad review content that may violate Twitter Rules, specifically policies against glorification of violence and platform manipulation and spam,” the statement said.
Facebook, which also took steps to ban Trump in January and keep his ban in place for years, and which uses fake “fact-checks” to filter dissenting information off its site, claims it has a team of people dedicated to monitoring and removing Taliban content.
“The Taliban is sanctioned as a terrorist organization under US law and we have banned them from our services under our Dangerous Organisation policies. This means we remove accounts maintained by or on behalf of the Taliban and prohibit praise, support, and representation of them,” a Facebook spokesman told the BBC.
Reports indicate, however, that the Facebook-owned WhatsApp was used by the Taliban to alert residents of the capital city of Kabul to their takeover. The terrorist group also used the Big Tech site to create doxing hotlines and emergency broadcast systems without any apparent penalties from Facebook.
“Twitter banned President Trump to sway the 2020 election—there was no other reason. The Taliban can get away with chanting death to America, killing civilians, and instituting Sharia law. So long as they don’t go after Section 230 protections, they’ll be fine. Twitter is morally bankrupt,” Banks told The Federalist.