21 December 2011

Are We Waving A White Flag In The War Of Ideas?

(and am I using too many capital letters in the headline?)

So the Shababians in Somalia are pretty fond of twitter and that's casuing heartburn in the US.

The United States government is increasingly concerned about the Twitter account of the Shabab militant group of Somalia, with American officials saying Monday that they were “looking closely” at the militants’ use of Twitter and the possible measures to take in response.
Hmmm... this doesn't sound good.

Most of the Shabab’s Twitter messages are in English, not Somali, and are clearly meant for an outside audience. American officials said they were worried that the Shabab might be using Twitter to reach potential recruits in the West.
So we're not even going to try to win the war of ideas, eh?

American officials say they may have the legal authority to demand that Twitter close the Shabab’s account, @HSMPress, which had more than 4,600 followers as of Monday night.
That sure sounds like "no" to me?

The State Department said federal law enforcement agencies had taken action in the past against individuals using “Web hosting and related services.”
So we're no longer allowing people to make public idiots of themselves in pursuit of their misguided goals. We're now afraid of boasting boneheads in Somalia?! Really? We can't out-debate these guys? We can't demonstrate the superiority of our way of life without resorting to techno/legal methods of simply cutting off their voices?

By: Brant


S O said...

What's more, the reflex is about censorship.

It's not just the non-violent defence and offence that's flimsy, it's also the steadfastness in defence of values. Same problem almost everywhere, btw.

About the propaganda/ideology war; neither side is winning, both sides flourish in their own environment and are weak in alien environments. Again no news; same problem as during much of the 20th century.

Anonymous said...

Yes, not so surprising at all, really. It's much easier administratively to shut a voice off than argue with whatever it might be saying; the problem is that the voice won't stay silent, and you lose points for not even trying to talk with it, or rather to show up how silly it is.