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October 26, 2008

Twitter As a Terrorist Tool?

By Li Evans

Terrorism Cartoon by BradFitzpatrick.com I was doing my normal reading of the main stream media sites - CNN, MSNBC and FoxNews and my eyes got a glimpse of a headline that contained the word "Twitter" in it, so of course, curiously I clicked on it. 

"U.S. Army Says Blogging Site 'Twitter' Could Become Terrorist Tool"

*blink*  ..... *crickets* ..... *blink*

Wow, really?!  A terrorist tool?  Now I don't know about you folks, but I tend to give terrorist a little more credit in the secret and brains department.  Ideally these folks don't want ANYONE knowing what they are up to right?  I mean seriously, a terrorist tool?

According a a report by the Agence France-Presse news agency, the 304th Military Intelligence Battalion contains a chapter entitled “Potential for Terrorist Use of Twitter,” which expresses concern over the increasing use of Twitter by political and religious groups.

Am I wrong, are we not in America?  Seriously, isn't this they way that grassroots efforts are suppose to work?  They use tools to communicate a like minded message and join together for a common cause.

I think what the government is missing, very clearly here, is the way social communities police themselves.  If there's a crazy person in the group, or on the channel or in the forum, or espousing crap from their blogs, people either do two things 1) Ignore Them or 2) Look at their blog for the next crazy thing they are saying and laugh.

Twitter is already used by some members to post and/or support extremist ideologies and perspectives,” the Army report said.

Most normal human beings can spot a whack job a mile a way.  At least the type of whack jobs this report is describing.  These whack jobs can say whatever they want on twitter, it's just like they can print whatever they want, too.  It's just like those people with the weird hairdos and clothese at the airport that are selling flowers, or those Scientology members passing out fliers on Market St. in San Francisco.  Unless you want to listen to the music or read the message, you trash the communication device or ignore it altogether - you just don't listen to it.

Hugh_macleod_cool_sheep_cartoon The article goes on ..... "The blogging service and social networking site has previously sent out messages known as “Tweets” faster than news organizations during such major news events as the July Los Angeles earthquake and the Republican National Convention in Minneapolis."

I guess they forget to give credit to Scoble for getting a tweet about the earthquakes in China.  I guess they also missed that Beth Kanter raised over $2,500 dollars for Cambodian Children, in an hour live from Gnomedex.  I guess they missed the thousands of other great things Twitter's been used for and to spread the word about in an instance? 

Maybe Joe the Plumber should tweet his questions to the candidates, and then maybe it'll be worth the candidates mentioning how great Twitter is, instead of our government labeling it a terrorist tool?

What say you?

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Comments

I thought the terrorist were busy passing messages back and forth on World of Warcraft... at least that was the tech scare waffle the other week...

I think that the idea of using Twitter as a terrorist tool is real. Think about it, one tweet to a group of terrorists and it could send them into action. Heck it's a lot quicker than sending an email, IM or phoning.

Of course, just about anything can be used as a terrorist tool. Diesel fuel and fertilizer make a deadly combination.

I think the bottom line is that we just need to always keep our eyes and ears open to things that seem out of the ordinary.

I guess any online platforms can be used my anybody as a weapon..that's why we always need yo be careful and watchful in our surroundings.

They sure did.

I think anyone can have access to twitter, terrorist or non-terrorist. But should they come to sign in, their identity were just internet users. So what scaring them? Aren't they confident of their military arsenal?

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