Senator Joe Lieberman Follows Up His 'Report Blog As Terrorist' Letter By Asking Twitter To Block Pro-Taliban Feeds
from the seems-it-would-be-simpler-to-just-revoke-the-Senator's-internet-access dept
Having taken a swing at long-form blogging, Lieberman is now taking the fight to the other end of the "wordiness" spectrum: Twitter.
Senators want to stop feeds which boast of insurgent attacks on Nato forces in Afghanistan and the casualties they inflict. Aides for Joe Lieberman, chair of the Senate Homeland Security Committee, said the move was part of a wider attempt to eliminate violent Islamist extremist propaganda from the internet and social media. The Taliban movement has embraced the social network as part of its propaganda effort and regularly tweets about attacks or posts links to its statements.Like everyone else in this digital age, the Taliban is using various social media to communicate with its fans. But why should our Senators be concerned about what the Taliban had for lunch? And more importantly, why do they feel so deeply that forcing Twitter to block these feeds will prevent future "violent Islamist extremist" action? If NATO forces are attacked and no one tweets about it, does it change the outcome?
The feeds named in the Telegraph article (@ABalkhi and @alemarahweb) are about as "threatening" as a Westboro Bapist Church Twitter account, with a few facts tucked away between tweet after tweet filled with jingoistic statements and "preaching to the converted." The very idea that blocking feeds like this will deter or diminish future Taliban activity is laughable at best, and disingenuous grandstanding at worst. In fact, it makes Lieberman and his fellow Senators nothing more than "preaching to the converted" grandstanders, scoring easy points with voters who still somehow believe the only thing Twitter has to offer is lunch descriptions and terrorist propaganda.
As for Twitter, it won't even confirm whether or not Lieberman has asked it to block the feeds.
Rachel Bremer, a spokesman for Twitter, said: "This isn't something we'd comment on."Not only that, but Twitter won't have to block these feeds no matter how nicely Lieberman asks because the Taliban is not registered as a terrorist organization by the State Department. Any censorship applied by Twitter would pretty much just be a personal favor to Joe, rather than a government-sanctioned shutdown.
Lieberman obviously believes that his success with Youtube filtering should be applied to every area of the internet. He's already gone after the long (Blogger) and the short (Twitter) which means his next request for "Report as Terrorist" buttons will be sent to Tumblr, possibly resulting in the removal of f*ckyeahterrorism.tumblr.com and ryangoslingtaliban.tumblr.com.
One has to wonder why Lieberman is so persistent in his attempts to turn every form of social media into a scattershot weapon aimed at the angry words and hashtags of "Islamist extremists." Possibly a core chunk of his key demographic responds well to blaming the internet for terrorism, but that seems unlikely. Maybe he just likes to see his name in print and, much like four-year-olds and Lindsay Lohan, firmly believes any "attention" is "good attention."
[Press here to "Report Senator as Idiot."]