Twitter and terrorism

Rep. Ted Poe, R-Texas, is asking the FBI to investigate Twitter accounts being used by terrorist groups to recruit and promote jihad.

In a letter Poe wrote to the FBI Director Robert Mueller at the beginning of September, he asked that the agency take down the accounts of terrorist organizations Hamas, el Sahbaba and Hizbollah.

Poe asked Mueller to “stop terrorist use of Twitter.” Poe estimates that if the FBI shut down the Twitter accounts, “al-Shabaab would lose some 14,000 followers, Hezbollah 19,000 followers, and Hamas nearly 20,000 followers.” To date, Rep. Poe has not had a response from the FBI.

Earlier this year, Rep. Poe cited information gathered by the Middle East Media Research Institute, in a congressional hearing, reporting that Hizballah averaged 250 tweets a day since it opened a Twitter account last November.

“Hizbullah began tweeting on Nov. 16, 2011,” MEMRI reported on July 27. “As of this writing, it has posted 50,942 tweets – that is, an average of about 250 per day – and has 16,932 followers. The tweets are in Arabic, French and English.”

Hizballah is listed by the U.S. State Department as a foreign terrorist organization.

Irina on Israel goes viral

A 19-minute YouTube video narrated by a 23-year old former Obama supporter has gone viral.

According to The Blaze, the little-reported video “Absolutely Uncertain” has logged roughly 650,000 hits in just three days.

The video analyzes President Obama’s relationship with Israel by Irina, a 23-year-old “Jewish New Yorker.”

“Adding that many of her fellow students also had ‘confidence’ in President Obama,” the Blaze reports, “Irina explains that the more she learns about politics and the Middle East, the more she doubts President Obama’s ready commitments to Israel’s security.”

Watch the video.

2012 race predictions

We are just a month away from deciding who will be our next president.

Fox News has designed a site that is manna for political junkies. Here’s where you can predict the number of electoral votes you think each presidential candidate will win. And you can see how much money each candidate has raised and spent in the battleground states. Also, how many times each candidate has been mentioned on Twitter or searched on for Google.

What is Obama’s last name?

Talk about voter ignorance: If you want to laugh, or cry, checkout this Twitter trend for “What is Obama’s last name.”

Facebook doesn’t like it

A law that restricts the ability of websites like Facebook to collect info from kids under the age of 13 is being scrutinized by the Federal Trade Commission.

The regulators want to expand the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, or COPPA, which was passed in 1998 before smart phones and mobile apps arrived on the scene, to now also include apps, ad networks, games and online plug-ins.

Facebook doesn’t like the idea, arguing the expansion would infringe on children’s constitutionally protected right to free speech. At question is kids’ ability to “like,” comment on or recommend websites among other things.

Facebook is available only to users who say they are older than 13. Which brings up a bigger question: Just how much of a child’s life should be available and accessible on the Internet?

Related: Since Facebook launched its Gifts program, shares have jumped nearly seven percent. Gifts is where Facebook users send real gifts to friends or family on their special events: birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, etc. What does Gifts mean to Facebook’s Profit and Loss sheet? Here are a few guesses.

Apple’s Ping a thing of the past

Apple’s iTunes music social network – Ping – began alerting its users this month that Ping is no longer accepting new users and was going to be shut down.

The reason? According to the Los Angeles Times, “Apple will update iTunes next month and integrate it with Facebook and Twitter, letting users ‘like’ and share songs, apps and other pieces of content.”

Related: Apple’s Maps bites the dust too.

NFL ref call significantly ups tweets

Last week’s game between the Seattle Seahawks and the Green Bay Packers erupted into a conflagration when refs made a call that infuriated Packers fans across the country. And the number of tweets that resulted from it was staggering in number and intensity.

According to Twitter:

A week of controversial @NFL ref action means a week of highly charged Twitter reaction: With a number of challenged calls, upsets, impossible plays and injuries, fans and players took to Twitter to tweet their frustration, encouragement, excitement – even condolences.

Last night during #MNF, Twitter conversation went into overdrive, when the@seahawks went head-to-head with the @packers at Qwest Field. Players and fans flocked to Twitter to share their opinions on what happened in the game’s final seconds. The now-infamous final play of the game generated more than one million Tweets (and used a fair amount of colorful language – consider this your disclaimer).

One of the most vocal was @packers guard @TJLang70, whose series of blunt Tweets generated more than 150,000 retweets between them.

I’ll leave it at that and let you click over to Twitter to read them… if you dare! Language alert.

Related: Twitter has created a Discover page to find and follow your favorite TV stars from this week’s premieres at

A step up from milk cartons

It may not be as ubiquitous as the milk carton sitting on your kitchen table, but the 404 error code you get when you’ve hit a page that doesn’t exist might be a good supplement to the Missing Children alerts.

The Verge reports, “A new European organization is asking website owners to help find missing children by using websites’ 404 error pages to display their pictures. The newly launched NotFound project – founded in cooperation with Missing Child Europe and Child Focus – already has nearly 500 participating websites, and is actively recruiting more at

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