WASHINGTON, March 14, 2015 — No, the Twitter hashtag #AskHamas, which is currently the second top trending hashtag, is not a joke. Well, at least it wasn’t supposed to be when the Palestinian terror group started using the tag under the Twitter handle @HamasInfoEn. What started as an attempt by the group to hold a propaganda question-and-answer segment quickly turned into a major embarrassment for the group.
Thousands of pro-israeli tweets quickly flooded the hashtag mocking Hamas. Questions ranged from serious in nature, such as “#AskHamas why it uses their children and schools as shields,” to hilarious, such as “#AskHamas My hamas isn’t spicy enough. What ingredients should I add to spice it up? BTW, love that stuff on pita chips.”
While many of their questions went unanswered, it was pretty great to see some of the creative tweets. Here are a few of my favorites:
#AskHamas do you find it annoying that you can’t silence your critics as easily on Twitter as you can in real life?
— ThisIsPalestine (@ThisIsPalestine) March 13, 2015
#AskHamas Are you proud to be the most dangerous group to ever wear a white mask, yet you’re still loved and defended by American Liberals?
— David Higgins (@dhiggins63) March 13, 2015
It’s not all fun and games, however, as today’s Hamas Twitter campaign is another recent example of Islamic terror groups using Twitter for evil. The list has included such names as the Islamic State and Al Qaeda. The Islamic State shocked the world last summer during the World Cup when it posted a picture of a severed head with the words “This is our ball . . . It is made of skin #WorldCup.”
These new propaganda tactics employed by terror groups such as the Islamic State and Hamas show an alarming trend in the evolution of warfare. Not only do these channels make it much easier to recruit new members, but they also allow for enhanced coordination between members of the terror group.
Twitter constantly makes attempts to rid the site of accounts that are connected to groups such as the Islamic State and Hamas, but experts say it’s not an easy feat, comparing the effort to playing a game of “whack-a-mole.” When one member is blocked, there’s always another one right there to take his place.
Today’s hijacking of the #AskHamas hashtag, while hilarious, should also serve as warning. While many use websites such as Twitter and Facebook for social networking, there are also many out there who use them for much more nefarious purposes.
I’ll leave you with this Vice News documentary on the Islamic State’s tactics: