This month the State Department boasted that it shut down thousands of Islamic State twitter accounts used to promote propaganda. Outraged over the administration's failure to wage more real war, Concerned Veterans of America CEO Pete Hegseth mocked the twitter offensive, saying:

"Until you can take a hashtag, load it into a magazine, rack it into an M-4, charge it and put it in the forehead of an IS fighter, they can take their hashtags and sit on the sidelines."

Hegseth is right about the need for more real military action. But I’d go a step further and say not only is removing the ISIS Twitter and social media accounts weak and ineffective, it could actually hurt our fight. 

Allowing ISIS to engage in genocide and massacre in silence is not the answer. Let them broadcast its crimes so people can understand the extent of the threat, those responsible can be held accountable, and the evidence is preserved for future generations to remember.

This is because we should generally allow ISIS to broadcast its savagery for the world to see, remember and condemn. Of course accounts that pose a real security threat should be blocked but in the big scheme of things ISIS is a threat in the real world, not the virtual information world of Twitter and social media.  

Allowing ISIS to engage in genocide and massacre in silence is not the answer. Let them broadcast its crimes so people can understand the extent of the threat, those responsible can be held accountable, and the evidence is preserved for future generations to remember.

There are also potential intelligence benefits to having terrorist groups openly operate on Twitter. According to some government officials and counterterrorism experts, Twitter accounts serve as invaluable reservoirs of intelligence information on ISIS, "areas of activity, its military capabilities, its tactics and strategy, its recruitment needs…" 

For example, an ominous Twitter post alerted people to a possible ISIS threat against a Chicago landmark, and last month after a man voiced support for violent "jihad" on Twitter, the FBI tracked and arrested him for plotting an IS-inspired attack on the U.S. Capitol.

Further, public outrage foments when graphic images of IS brutality are broadcast. Suspending accounts that share such images might do more harm than good by quelling that widespread outrage

Documenting terrorist war crimes in real-time generates much needed and widespread public outrage. The 2002 kidnapping and brutal beheading of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl by 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, did not receive the same widespread attention as the recent savage beheading of journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff, in part, because in 2002 Twitter and Facebook didn’t exist to create a surge of fury and attention. The Foley and Sotloff murder images going viral on Twitter certainly helped generate more media coverage, and widespread outrage.   

ISIS obviously has sinister motives for its social public relations campaigns. It is attempting to recruit new members, strike fear, and generate attention for its cause. But attempting to suppress ISIS messages could actually amplify its propaganda, drawing more attention to it through the “Streisand Effect.” This coupled with the ease of using alternative social platforms and creating new accounts, ensures suppressing propaganda won’t last. 

We also ought to let the spotlight of truth drown out the lies of this movement. Individuals who are undecided and susceptible to ISIS ideology should be exposed to an open forum where they can be dissuaded from joining or supporting the terror group. 

The recent Brookings Institution’s Center for Middle East Policy report on ISIS and Twitter found that ISIS supporters with “more out-of-net-work relationships may be exposed to moderating or deradicalizing influences…” with documented examples of “people turning away from its toxic ideology.”

And the State Department’s Center for Strategic Counterterrorism already does this on Twitter and Facebook, targeting those on the fence rather than wasting time with committed militants, explained former State Department official Will McCants. 

Allowing ISIS to engage in genocide and massacre in silence is not the answer. Let them broadcast its crimes so people can understand the extent of the threat, those responsible can be held accountable, and the evidence is preserved for future generations to remember.

Regimes like North Korea do everything they can to cover-up the bloody record of war crimes and brutal prison camps. They do this so crimes go unnoticed, and no one is accountable. The oppressed suffer in silence. One witness to the horrors of North Korean prison camps recently testified to a U.N. commission how he saw a camp guard force a mother to drown her newborn. 

The Nazis also attempted to cover up its genocide: “On June 15, 1943, Paul Blobel, an SS colonel, is given the assignment of coordinating the destruction of the evidence of the grossest of Nazi atrocities, the systematic extermination of European Jews,” History.com recounts

We should not help ISIS cover-up its atrocities. Let them broadcast the mass executions, drive-by murders, massacring of the Yazidis minority, abduction of girls, and forced conversions, instead of unwittingly helping them scrub the evidence from social media.

As private companies, social media platforms certainly have a right to censor ISIS and should consider privacy and security threats. Twitter, for example, should adhere to its policy, which forbids users to “publish or post direct, specific threats of violence.”

But, where possible, it should err on the side of allowing IS accounts, because the fleeting satisfaction terrorists’ gain from publicity, are far outweighed by the exposure that will help rally civilized people to want to “rack … an M-4, charge it and put it in the forehead of an IS fighter.” It will help inspire support for real military intervention to help rid the world of this dangerous scourge.

Eliyahu Federman writes frequently on religion, culture, business and law. Follow him on Twitter @EliFederman and find him on Facebook.com/eli.federman. He is also an executive at the e-commerce company 1Sale.com. The opinions expressed here represent his personal views.