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Pro-ISIS hackers threaten Facebook and Twitter over crackdowns

The extremists aren't happy about losing key propaganda channels.
Jon Fingas, @jonfingas
February 24, 2016
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AP Photo/Manish Swarup

Surprise: ISIS isn't happy that social networks are taking down accounts sympathetic to its cause. Vocativ has obtained a video from a pro-ISIS hacking group that threatens retaliation against Facebook and Twitter for joining the US' campaign to fight online terrorist propaganda. The clip insists that the group will take 10 accounts for every one that Facebook or Twitter shuts down, and promises to eventually "delete" the sites entirely. There's also a segment where images of Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg and Twitter's Jack Dorsey are riddled with bullet holes.

That's bound to make the sites' executives a little nervous, and the video includes footage of purported account hijacks in an attempt to show that this is more than just tough talk. However, it's unclear if there's any meat to the threats. It's easy to produce a video, but it's another thing to mount a real attack. Moreover, the very existence of the clip suggests that the account takedowns are proving effective -- there wouldn't be pressure to respond if ISIS could simply shrug off the loss and move on. While it's no doubt important to take the threats seriously, they may say more about the extremists' hurt pride than anything else.

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