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At first glance, I didn’t even give it a second thought.
The request by Rep. Ted Poe to have ISIS banned from Twitter seemed like a non-starter. (Something similar was in play when the Obama administration asked YouTube about the anti-Islam video that sparked unrest in parts of the Middle East a couple of years ago.)
No, the group shouldn’t be banned. Period. End. Of. Discussion.
Free speech rights are too important, and they especially shouldn’t be dictated by the government in a ham-fisted, haphazard fashion.
I pride myself on being a stickler on free speech issues and a glutton for punishment, if that’s what it takes to keep the free flow of ideas, well, free.
No matter how many times I’m called ugly names or sent death threats (or other kinds), I don’t ever plan to budge from that principle.
I’m just not sure what Poe is asking applies.
He is trying to put a dent into the recruiting process of a well-known, blatant terrorist group known for chopping off people’s heads, or burning them alive.
I share Poe’s concerns, though not his rhetoric about Twitter aiding ISIS. That’s a bridge too far.
But his primary point is that there are limits and a group like ISIS has gone well beyond them time and time again.
Even if his is a valid point, is it even possible to ban the group from Twitter, and social media in general?
In this new kind of war, the ability of ISIS to reach an international audience is one of its primary strengths. We should try to undermine that as much as possible.
But is Poe’s plan the right one?