It takes a cold heart to admit that you know that terrorists are using your app, but living with it does not seem to be too much of a problem with for particular gentleman. Pavel Durov is a man who sleeps well at night even though the Paris attacks might have been planned on his very own application. Durov openly admits that this is the final position that he has taken considering business and terrorism.
It is no rocket science to know that the online environment is a good way for terrorists to keep in touch and plan their deadly attacks. Unfortunately for us, no social media company is ever going to look into the people who are using its services anyway because that is what they are: services that are meant to be used by anyone. It is a failure if people do not use your services and as long as you have millions of downloads and messages every month, who cares about whether some of them might be terrorist acts?
Durov comes in front of the world and does not talk about humanity. He talks about business and how much more important it is that a company keeps the information of its users safe. It is true, but only if it were another context. The nature of the business gives these people all the freedom and ambiguity they need for them to spread chaos all over the world.
Think about it: they want to commit violent acts and they want to do so in an environment in which there are another 100 million people can occasionally talk about the same subject, use the same words and occasionally find themselves no more than a few meters away from each other. If an ISIS account is found, it will be banned, but another one will rise again. And another one, and another one and it will keep going on until people surrender or social media make all their services payed.
Is Durov’s company doing a good job? Yes it is, but it also shelters terrorism and there is nothing he can do about it. This is why he also claims that he “is not feeling bad about it”. Because as long as he is going his job well, the fact that there are terrorists around is a risk factor that affects everyone, not just him alone or his application.
If you know that terrorists are using your app, what are you going to do? Blame the business or do something about it?
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