A post written by ISIS supporters has emerged, threatening Twitter employees with death because the microblogging platform deletes accounts related to the terrorist group. Uploaded onto JustPaste.it, the post specifically targets Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey, with crosshairs superimposed over a photo of his face.
Written in Arabic, the post, which was first reported by BuzzFeed, says Dorsey and Twitter employees have “become a target for the soldiers of the Caliphate and supporters scattered among your midst!”
While it is difficult to ascertain if the threat was actually posted by people directly involved with ISIS, Twitter is taking it seriously. The company told BuzzFeed “our security team is investigating the veracity of these threats with relevant law enforcement officials.” Twitter issued the same statement to TechCrunch.
Twitter’s terms of service allow users to post “potentially inflammatory content,” but it draws the line at “direct, specific threats of violence against others.” The company has also cooperated with the British government to delete content which violates UK terror laws.
It’s unclear, however, why Twitter is the sole group mentioned in the post, since it is not the only social media site that has blocked content produced by or related to ISIS. YouTube has also cooperated with the British government and takes down graphic videos that show the murder of hostages by ISIS, while Facebook deleted videos showing the immolation of Jordanian pilot Muadh al-Kasasbeh.
The difficulty of policing social media sites was underscored in June, when Iraq limited access to Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter in an effort to keep ISIS from spreading propaganda through those sites.
ISIS supporters have also been able to get around bans by uploading links and content (like Sunday’s threat against Twitter) to sites like JustPaste.it, which allow anonymous postings.