A recent video made by supporters of ISIS threatens Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and Twitter’s Jack Dorsey for fighting back against terrorism on their social media platforms.
The group who call themselves the Sons of Caliphate released a 25-minute propaganda video titled “Flames of the Supporters.”
A team of deep web analysts at Vocativ discovered the video on the social media message-sharing site, Telegram, which ISIS frequently uses.
The video shows photos of the two social media moguls covered in bullet holes and engulfed in flames.
It also shows hackers allegedly modifying profile accounts and posting Islamic state propaganda.
The video was posted in response to the action by Facebook and Twitter to combat terrorism by suspending accounts and removing posts that encourage terrorism and could provoke violence.
Twitter announced in a blog post in February that the company had suspended over 125,000 accounts that contained threatening content primarily related to ISIS.
“We condemn the use of Twitter to promote terrorism and the Twitter Rules make it clear that this type of behavior, or any violent threat, is not permitted on our service,” the blog post reads.
Assistant Professor of Intelligence and National Security Studies at Coastal Carolina University, Dr. Joseph Fitsanakis, said that ISIS needs social media platforms in order to expand.
“ISIS actually is very much in need of this media in order to promote it’s national agenda,” said Fitsanakis. “One thing that makes ISIS different from other terrorist groups is that ISIS is an international group. It has an international agenda. It has international followers. So it needs these platforms, the online platforms, in order to reach them.”
In the video the group claimed to have hacked over 10,000 Facebook accounts, 150 Facebook groups and 5000 accounts on Twitter and said that a number of these accounts have been handed over to their supporters.
The video concludes with a direct threat to the CEOs and their companies.
“You announce daily that you suspend many of our accounts, and to you we say: Is that all you can do? You are not in our league,” the video clip reads. “If you close one account we will take 10 in return and soon your names will be erased after we delete your sites, Allah willing, and will know that we say is true.”
In a recent interview with the CEO of Axel Springer, Mathias Dopfner, Zuckerberg expressed uneasiness that spans beyond the recent video threat.
“I am very concerned but not because of the video,” he told Mathias Döpfner. “There have been worse threats.”
Similar threats were made to Zuckerberg by a Pakistani extremist a few years ago. The extremist called for Zuckerberg to be sentenced to death because the company refused to remove a group that encouraged the illustration of the prophet Mohammad, an act that is illegal in Pakistan.
After the attacks at Charlie Hebdo, a kosher grocery store in Paris, Zuckerberg responded in a post on Facebook that encouraged the “need to reject a group of extremists trying to silence the voices and opinions of everyone else around the world.”
In the interview with Dopfner, Zuckerberg identified an underlying common theme in previous and current threats.
“I think the bigger issue is that what Facebook stands for in the world is giving people a voice and spreading ideas and rationalism,” said Zuckerberg.
Similar threats were also made to Twitter’s Dorsey when a self-identified group of ISIS supporters claimed that Dorsey and Twitter started a “war” against the Islamic State after suspending hundreds of the group’s social media accounts.
The Islamic State’s ultimate goal is much more complex than a war on social media.
Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at Coastal Carolina University, Dr. Jeffry Halverson, explained what the terrorist group is trying to achieve.
“ISIS wants to create a homogenous Sunni Muslim state that governs according to their puritanical, reactionary form of “Islamic law,” said Halverson. “The state would serve as base for attacks against regional governments deemed unacceptable or to be enemies of ISIS, as well as against foreign states that involve themselves in the region or that interfere with their ambitions, such as the United States.”