For Facebook and Twitter CEOs Mark Zuckerberg and Jack Dorsey, death threats from one of the world’s deadliest terrorist organizations are just part of the job.
The two social networking services, particularly Twitter, have been cracking down on ISIS member’s accounts, trying to limit the terrorist group’s influence online. In a new, 25-minute video, a jihadist group calling themselves “Sons Caliphate Army,” who claim to be part of the greater Islamic State, superimposed pictures of Dorsey and Zuckerberg’s faces on a red background and riddled with bullet-hole graphics. Like many of ISIS’s videos, it was an immediate attention-grabber, but representatives from Twitter basically shrugged it off.
“It just happens all the time,” a Twitter spokesperson told the Guardian, who asked if terrorists regularly used images of Dorsey’s face. “All the time. Welcome to our everyday life.”
So far, Twitter said it has booted over 125,000 accounts off of its service for openly supporting violent extremism. Part of the Islamic State’s dangerous vitality has been their willingness to utilize new technology, especially social media, both to fight and to recruit new followers, even in Western nations, including the United States. Government cyber-terrorism forces have struggled to keep up as the spread out, loosely organized groups move from one communications network to another.
But Twitter and Facebook seem relatively comfortable handling themselves. Third party groups like Anonymous have jumped on the ISIS-bashing bandwagon, including targeting extremists’ social media accounts. In San Francisco, the Guardian reported that Officer Wilson Ng of the San Francisco police department was unaware of any “credible threats” against Twitter’s main offices, so the most recent round of threats seems like more bluster from the terrorist group, who also threatened war against Twitter, and Dorsey in particular, in May of 2015.
“You started this failed war,” the ISIS post reads, according to Buzzfeed. “We told you from the beginning it’s not your war, but you didn’t get it and kept closing our accounts on Twitter, but we always come back.”
Top executives from Twitter and Facebook attended a secretive meeting with government officials and other tech moguls in January to discuss how they could continue to combat extremism online. Facebook has not responded to the latest video, and for both social media giants, the latest round of threats appears to be business as usual.