Politics

Hashtag #StopIslam trends on Twitter in wake of Brussels terror attack

Twitter4After the tragic terror attack in Brussels in which at least 30 were killed and some 200 or more injured, the hashtag #StopIslam began trending on Twitter.

Part of the reason is that ISIS, the militant Islamic group wreaking havoc in the Middle East, took credit for the attack.

https://twitter.com/JaredWyand/status/712336317049413632

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https://twitter.com/Ed_Demolay/status/712330076986155008

https://twitter.com/ClassySnobbb/status/712323449226706944

https://twitter.com/8hes8/status/712344434961035265

And on it goes.

After the hashtag began trending, however, something happened.  According to some, Twitter began to manipulate things…

https://twitter.com/ClassySnobbb/status/712324362314059777

We thought this was interesting, so we conducted an experiment.  We tried searching for StopIslam to see what would happen.  Sure enough, even after typing all but the last letter, this was the result:

stopislam1

You’ll notice that even though #StopIslam was listed as a trending topic, Twitter’s autocomplete doesn’t show the hashtag by itself.  It does, however, show #StopIslamophobia…

Here’s what was trending as of this writing:

stopislam-trending

Imagine that…

Naturally, a number of people began tweeting very similar messages — almost as if they were following a script:

https://twitter.com/Kerem_Cevahir/status/712343011544408064

https://twitter.com/amjadt25/status/712323754823716865

There were a few variations of the same message, but not many.  Some even tossed out the race card:

https://twitter.com/fatmanuryy/status/712345465942056964

Last I looked, Islam is a religion, not a race.

It’s not the first time such a hashtag began trending after a terror attack like the one in Brussels.  After the January 2015 terror attack in Paris, many on Twitter called for a ban on Islam.

Now we have to worry about how long it will take social media sites to censor articles that mention Islam in any capacity.

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Joe Newby

A 10-year veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps, Joe ran for a city council position in Riverside, Calif., in 1991 and managed successful campaigns for the Idaho state legislature. Co-author of "Banned: How Facebook enables militant Islamic jihad," Joe wrote for Examiner.com from 2010 until it closed in 2016 and his work has been published at Newsbusters, Spokane Faith and Values and other sites. He now runs the Conservative Firing Line.

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