Posted by: bklunk | March 5, 2007

But Are They on Myspace?

I can see the SNL skit developing here: radical nationalist groups tweaking their websites

Hamas Website Facelift « Globalization

According to an Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center article, Hamas has revamped its information website. This is important because it portrays how the dissemination of information to the far corners of the earth are becoming more and more significant in this globalized era. Additionally, it can be seen as a medium to circulate further hatred towards Israel and its allies. How did they achieve this, you might ask? Aside from the website facelift, Hamas also upgraded their Arabic, English, French, Russian, Urdu, Malaysian and Farsi sites so that it reaches a wide spectrum of audiences.

During the past half year, the English site of Hamas’s terrorist-operative wing, Izzedine al-Qassam Brigades, was upgraded, new Internet sites were launched and extensive technical and graphic improvements were made to the Palestine-info portal.

The above quote implies how Hamas is trying to appeal more to contemporary tastes by injecting their websites with “eye candy.” These are pretty interesting times and we’ll have to see if their massive investment into their website will be worth it.

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Responses

  1. It is too bad more websites cannot be this user friendly. I find it truly disturbing that organizations such as these are expanding their clientele in such a way. This is one of the problems with the interent. There is absolutly no way to control what it on it. Now, I am not condoning censorship, but the internet makes it too easy for the messages of these organizations to get out.

  2. The problem of terrorist groups like Hamas, or even more accessible groups like Aryans, creating worldwide websites is a very difficult and complicated one. Sharing hateful messages on the Internet is not necessarily illegal (especially where freedom of speech is protected) and the only way such communications can be controlled is by the state. However, there is a fine line between between regulating the distribution of terrorist ideals and denying the rights of citizens who use the Internet for general purposes. Many countries that have begun innocently enforcing rules surrounding mass communications (i.e. the television and the Internet) for the safety and protection of their citizens have taken this enforcement too far and ended up compromising basic rights. The idea of terrorist messages reaching anyone and everyone who types certain words into an Internet search engine is surely a scary one, but thought of regulating freedom of speech, which can develop into the revocation of other such rights, is nearly as frightening.

  3. The whole notion of globalization and the “flattening of the world” carries mainly positive connotations in day-to-day conversation, but along with the benefits of instant communication and unlimited access to information comes some negative stigmas in regards to security. The internet has become, as this article suggests, a powerful new medium of propaganda for terrorist organizations. With their recent expansion of their websites, perhaps this signals an effort to recruit beyond their regular sphere of influence. For example, by translating their hateful message into different languages, they can bolster support for their cause on foreign soil in places such as Russia, Malaysia and other places which could potentially start producing a new group of terrorists. This begins the difficult debate of whether or not these websites should be censored. In all actuality, it would be nearly impossible to regulate such websites. This dilemma serves as a perfect example of a downside to the technological revolution. Perhaps i’ll be a little more concerned when i get a friend request from Hamas…

  4. I am not at all surprised that Hamas has put effort into their website, giving it both more information as well as accessability, but it makes me laugh to hear that they are adding “eye candy”, frills and increased graphics at an atempt to appeal to a wider audience. I laugh because their tactic has done just what they wanted it to do. Any bit of media attention to their website update is going to cause an increase in website visits, which was probably what they were intending to achieve with the advancements. I don’t understand why it is a big deal in the first place. The internet is a free place with limited if any cencorship and that, by default, means that the information can come from anywhere, be about anything and doesn’t have to be true. Everyone knows this. As hard as it is to say about a known terrorist organization, I still give them props for their initiative to modernize and increase their marketability, something that can’t even be said about most government webpages.

  5. Usually anything connected to the word globalization tends to create positive images. To me images of globalization which come to mind are those where different cultures and backgrounds grow closer and learn more about one another. The internet makes this so easy for people on the other side of the world to communicate with one another. Although, according to this discussion, globalization is being used in a bad way. I find it so disturbing that people have decided to do this.

    To defend Hamas, I believe this is an intelligent move. It’s an easy way to stretch their message across a large area. People anywhere will be able to access it and read their words no matter their background. I find it funny that they have updated their page with interesting and technical graphics, in order to entice readers to look longer and become more engaged in their website.

    It’s too bad some form of government or leadership cannot regulate what terrorist groups put on the Internet. I guess you would have to do the same for all other groups then too. Also, depending upon where you are in the world, regulating a website for a group or even just one person could violate the right of freedom of speech. I know Americans can argue that here and majority of the time they win. A lot of other countries don’t have that right though, so maybe the country Hamas is from could ban their words of hate.

    To further question this topic, I wonder what Hamas plans to or wants to accomplish from this tactic. I cannot believe an uninformed person reading their site would just take on their beliefs because they could read it in their language.

  6. In response to the last post I believe that they are trying to do exactly what they have accomplished here. We are discussing this “expansion” of their site here in an academic situation, and thats exactly what they want to do. The more people talk about their group and their beliefs, the more they are knwon throughout the world. Now that their site is able to be read in differant languages, more people will be looking at their website and discussing it, and thus more people are becoming aware of their views and their group in general. It doesn’t matter that 99.9% of people don’t agree with them, because they are accomplishing their goal, or at least what I think their goal is, which is spreading awareness and becoming more well-known aroun the world. This allows them to spread their message much more widely than they could before. This is a victory for them because I bet they feel the more known they become, the better.


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