Twitter has come under fire recently from pro-life advocates and conservatives who say the social media giant is censoring their message. Although Twitter is willing to crush the pro-life message, apparently the social media company is perfectly fine with allowing the terrorist group Hamas to have an account.
Whether it is shadowbanning or prohibiting pro-life advertising or limiting who can see the content from pro-life and conservative accounts, Twitter has been on the receiving end of complaints from pro-life advocates and conservatives around the globe. But apparently Twitter is willing to violate its own policies to allow a terrorist organization to have a presence on the social media website.
A Twitter spokesperson defended Hamas’ ability to maintain a presence on the site, despite Twitter’s rule against supporting and perpetuating violence. According to the spokesperson, the group’s alleged commitment to peace and status as a democratically-elected organization exempts Hamas from the explicit rule banning terrorist organizations from the platform.
The Hamas Movement Twitter account, known as HamasInfoEn, claims to be the “official account” of the Hamas Movement in its banner on Twitter. While it is possible the account is not actually affiliated with Hamas, it has been cited in reporting by Haaretz, the Jewish Press, and the Times of Israel, and others.
Even if the Hamas Movement Twitter account is not a real Hamas-affiliated account, its existence would seemingly still violate Twitter’s rule against “[v]iolence and physical harm,” which claims to ban users based on their support for a terrorist organization:
Violence: You may not make specific threats of violence or wish for the serious physical harm, death, or disease of an individual or group of people. This includes, but is not limited to, threatening or promoting terrorism. You also may not affiliate with organizations that — whether by their own statements or activity both on and off the platform — use or promote violence against civilians to further their causes.
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Hamas is considered a foreign terrorist organization in the United States, where Twitter operates. It was designated a terrorist organization in 1997 by former President Bill Clinton.
However, a spokesperson for Twitter told the Media Research Center there is actually a different set of rules that applies to Hamas, covered under the policies for “[v]iolent extremist groups.”
While the Twitter spokesperson said she could not comment on specific accounts, the spokesperson directed the Media Research Center to this specific passage of the rules against violent extremist groups:
Exceptions will be considered for groups that have reformed or are currently engaging in a peaceful resolution process, as well as groups with representatives elected to public office through democratic elections.