Iraq blocks social media in response to Islamist uprising

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You may have seen in the news that things aren’t going too well in Iraq. The government there is under significant threat from an Islamist insurgency known as ISIS, which is apparently too hardcore for Al Qaeda. Oh dear.

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ISIS apparently now controls a number of cities in the country – as well as in neighbouring Syria, so – perhaps unsurprisingly – it has been reported that the Iraqi government have now blocked Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Google and other social media websites because of fears that these services are being used by the terrorists.

In fact, it isn’t so much fears as something that is known: several of the major ISIS leaders have Twitter accounts (not to mention poor twettiquette – they just broadcast and never reply to or retweet anyone!).

Whilst it might be hard to judge the Iraqi government, as it is arguably partially our fault that it is in this mess, I’m not sure blocking websites is the way to go about stopping them. One group seizing power from another isn’t exactly a new phenomenon.

James O’Malley