In the wake of attack on Paris newspaper extremists take to Twitter

first_imgDewey writes The Post’s The Intersect web channel covering digital and Internet culture. © 2015, The Washington Post Facebook Comments In the aftermath of adeadly attack on the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo in Paris, many took to social media to rally and mourn — changing their profile pictures to “Je suis Charlie” after the name of the paper, and making the terms #CharlieHebdo, Bernard Maris, Cabu and Wolinski trend worldwide on Twitter.But in murkier, quieter corners of the Internet, other hashtags are also trending: While it’s not entirely clear, at this point, who is responsible for the attack, a number of self-proclaimed jihadis have been celebrating it on a hashtag that Al-Hayat’s Joyce Karam translates as #ParisInvasion.“Mock the Prophet of Islam and pay with your life,” reads a rough translation of one tweet. “This is a deterrent for every coward.”“God is great,” wrote another, next to a graphic picture from the attacks. Another tweeted a picture of a man on a stretcher with a reference to a Quranic passage about jihad. tweets are, if nothing else, a fairly predictable illustration of extremist vitriol. But they’re also examples of a relatively new danger for mainstream social platforms like Twitter: infiltration by extremists who use the sites to recruit and spread their views.One would think that kind of thing has been going on for a while — after all, sites like YouTube, Facebook and Twitter were born at the height of the war on terror. But representatives for several major U.S. networks say it’s a problem that’s become particularly pressing since the rise of the Islamic State, with its sophisticated messaging and propaganda strategies.The group has, for instance, used the anonymous question-and-answer site to recruit a number of Westerners to its cause, including three American teenagers who tried to travel to a Syrian camp three months ago. They’re active on Twitter, Facebook, Kik and even Tumblr, where a number of fighters and their wives have started personal blogs. (Sample post from the blog Al-Khansaa: “Are there decent hair driers and straighteners in Syria?”)In September, an Islamic State-affiliated account even took to Twitter to threaten employees of the site, warning that “every Twitter employee in San Francisco … (should) watch over himself, because on his doorstep there might be a lone assassin waiting.” The account was quickly suspended, and Twitter promised a full investigation into the tweets.Unfortunately, weeding out extremists and their sympathizers is more difficult than it looks. For one thing, many extremists don’t use language that would catch the attention of keyword filters or other automated moderation tools; the jihadists who have recruited Westerners to join them in Syria, for instance, often speak more generally of religion or “travel.”“It’s a really tough issue,” Catherine Teitelbaum, chief of trust & safety at, told The Washington Post last month. “The language itself is benign — the tone of the conversations is actually very casual. There’s very little reference to violence. It’s not like other areas of abuse.”Even when social networks do find terrorists in their midst, they often leave the accounts up at the behest of law enforcement, who hope to glean some intelligence from them — or even tweet back.That’s an awkward, and complicated, position for networks: On one hand, they’re cooperating with law enforcement; on the other, they necessarily open themselves up to incidents like these — and accusations that they serve as some kind of mouthpiece through which extremists reach the moderate masses.Still, the opposite is true, too. On Wednesday morning, one of the more popular tweets on the #ParisInvasion hashtag was from the U.S.-based Arabic-language blogger Naseem Alomari.“No to terrorism, yes to dialogue,” it says, in part. French Internet users start using this image “I am charlie” as profiles.— Julien Pain (@JulienPain) January 7, 2015center_img Related posts:Publication attacked in Paris has history of bold satire World leaders express outrage over attack on Paris publication Blood, bodies, bullets turn heart of France into war zone France, allies signal major response after Paris attacks leave at least 127 deadlast_img read more

States Calif Counties Stand To Lose 25B In Medicaid Shift Push For

first_imgBloomberg: California Counties May Lose As Brown Shifts Health CostsCalifornia counties may lose as much as $2.5 billion in state funding over the next three years for indigent health care as the state assumes responsibility under the federal Affordable Care Act, Gov. Jerry Brown said. The most populous U.S. state plans to cut $300 million this year from counties as its [Medicaid] program expands, Brown told local officials yesterday in Sacramento. The governor projected that figure will grow to $900 million next year and $1.3 billion in the year beginning in July 2015 (Nash, 5/29).Boston Globe: New Push To End Inequities In Payments to HospitalsAn unusual alliance led by the state’s fastest-growing health care company and its largest health care union will press for higher payments to community and safety net hospitals, saying Massachusetts faces a widening gulf between the quality of care in affluent and low-income areas. The group, the Massachusetts Healthcare Equality and Affordability League, is being launched Thursday by Steward Health Care System, a for-profit cluster of community hospitals, and Local 1199 of the Service Employees International Union, which represents about 47,000 workers in the state (Weisman, 5/30).  MPR News: Evaluating Mental Health Of Crime Suspects A Tough TaskLegislators in Minnesota and around the country have responded to recent mass shootings by passing laws designed to keep guns out of the hands of people who have mental illnesses and may be dangerous. Experts say most people with mental illness are non-violent. Still, each year in Minnesota, dozens of people accused of committing gun-related crimes are evaluated to determine if they are mentally competent enough to stand trial (Williams, 5/29). Idaho Statesman: Idaho Gov. Otter Wants More Personal Accountability In Medicaid Gov. Butch Otter wants to make it harder for people to benefit from Medicaid unless they make healthy choices. It’s one of the options he’s weighing as he ponders whether to add Idaho’s poorest adults to the program. A plan in the works by the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare carries the same theme — personal responsibility — but takes a different path (Dutton, 5/30).Boston Globe: Mental Services For Teens Avert CutsCambridge Health Alliance officials said Wednesday they will not shrink services to children and teens with acute mental illness this year, as they had planned. The hospital system backed off a proposal to consolidate psychiatry units serving children and teens and to cut the total number of beds from 27 to 16, a week after the state Department of Public Health issued a letter saying those services were critical to Eastern Massachusetts (Conaboy, 5/29).  Oregonian: Oregon Hospitals Use ‘Grass Roots’ Group To Promote TaxAs a bill renewing the Oregon hospital tax became locked in late-session legislative brinksmanship earlier this month, a lobbying group representing hospitals mobilized support for the tax using a “grass roots” group it set up months ago. A May 13 e-mail went out to followers of the group Our Health Our Community, urging them to click on a link to send a letter to their lawmakers supporting the tax. “Without this bill, critical services to thousands of Oregonians are in danger of disappearing,” it said (Budnick, 5/29).Lund Report: Oregon Medical Association Backs ONA’s Pay Equity Bill For Nurse Practitioners The Senate Health Committee has passed a nurse practitioner pay parity bill that has found consensus between the Oregon Medical Association and the Oregon Nurses Association, bringing to a resolution one of the most divisive issues in the state medical community this legislative session. “I’m so happy we have these two organizations up here in a very nice ‘Kumbaya,'” said Sen. Laurie Monnes Anderson, D-Gresham, the chairman of the Senate Health Committee, before the vote last week (Gray, 5/29). Health News Florida: Health Clinic Offers Free Care To UninsuredFor nearly 25 years, the Brandon Outreach Clinic has provided free health care to people who can’t get care any other way. … Watts says about 80 percent of the people who call the clinic actually qualify for help somewhere else, either through the Hillsborough County Health Care Plan or Florida’s Medicaid program (Watts, 5/30). This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription. States: Calif. Counties Stand To Lose $2.5B In Medicaid Shift; Push For Hospital Payment Equity In Mass.last_img read more