Osama Bin Laden Is On Facebook?

Don’t expect any insightful status updates from this profile. Osama bin Laden likely won’t tell you what cave he’s hanging out in or say that he’s currently filming a video to taunt American media, but he does have his very own Facebook page just like the rest of us. He shares video clips of himself, terrorists training, and scenes from films issued by other terrorists groups. He lists his address as “the mountains of the world,” and he is amassing followers and fans just like any celebrity, brand, or cause.

Of course, security watchdogs want Facebook to shut down the page, though it is unclear if anything illegal or even against Facebook’s policy is going on here. There is no explicit anti-terrorism policy in the Statement of Rights and Responsibilities. Users are, on the other hand, prohibited from posting content that “infringes or violates someone else’s rights or otherwise violates the law.”

Although as a private site Facebook may censor posts as it wishes, it rarely removes content due to uproar and dislike from other users. Most notorious was their reluctance to shut down most of the groups which denied that the Holocaust ever occurred. Facebook must know that anytime speech gets censored for its content people become afraid to speak freely, and freedom of speech is at the very core of our country’s most important values. What is not protected by the First Amendment are “fighting words” which are defined by the Supreme Court as intended to incite violence and a breach of the peace. If this “Mujahideen” is attempting to preach terrorism, rally followers and use the page as a call to action, there might be a constitutional argument for removing it.

Publish date: April 16, 2010 https://dev.adweek.com/digital/osama-bin-laden-is-on-facebook/ © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT