Beirut: The Islamic State, which has gained control over Syria’s ancient city of Palmyra, has targeted another ancient temple in the city according to “Syrian Observatory for Human Rights” that is monitoring the Syria conflict, as quoted in an Economic Times report.
The Temple of Bel that has been targeted is a Roman-era structure and at least a part of the structure has been destroyed, though the extent of damage is unknown.
This is a second temple that has been targeted by the IS within a month. On 25-August, the IS had blew up the ancient Baal Shamin temple using explosives.
The IS had captured the city of Palmyra in May and now has a tight control over the city including on all its channels of communication.
Rabbi Abraham Cooper, the Wiesenthal Center’s associate dean, said Facebook in particular built “a recognition that bad folks might try to use their platform” as its business model. “There is plenty of material they haven’t dealt with to our satisfaction, but overall, especially in terms of hate, there’s zero tolerance,” Cooper said at a New York City news conference.
Rick Eaton, a senior researcher at the Wiesenthal Center, said hateful and violent posts on Instagram, which is part of Facebook, are quickly removed, but not before they can be widely shared.
He pointed to Instagram posts threatening terror attacks at the upcoming World Cup in Moscow. Another post promoted suicide attacks with the message, “You only die once. Why not make it martyrdom.”
Cooper said Twitter used to merit an F rating before it started cracking down on Islamic State tweets in 2016. He said the move came after testimony before a congressional committee revealed that “ISIS was delivering 200,000 tweets a day.”
Cooper and Eaton said that as the big tech companies have gotten more aggressive in shutting down accounts that promote terrorism, racism and anti-Semitism, promoters of terrorism and hate have migrated to other sites such as VK.com, a Facebook lookalike that’s based in Russia.
There also are “alt-tech” sites like GoyFundMe, an alternative to GoFundMe, and BitChute, an alternative to Google-owned YouTube, Cooper said.
“If there’s an existing company that will give them a platform without looking too much at the content, they’ll use it,” he said. “But if not, they are attracted to those platforms that have basically no rules.”
The Los Angeles-based Wiesenthal Center is dedicated to fighting anti-Semitism, hate, and terrorism. (VOA)