June 25, 2013

Report: Tweeting for the Caliphate: Twitter as the New Frontier for Jihadist Propaganda

What Twiiter? A platform for Islamic Terrorists? Shocking....

Combating Terrorism Center at West Point:

Almost all forms of online media allow, enable and empower users to generate their own content and interact by posting comments, questions or responses. Online media platforms facilitate a blend of audiovisual media interspersed with writings that further sanction and explain specific ideological dimensions of jihadist activity.[1] As the range of online platforms has expanded, jihadist groups have increasingly used sites such as Twitter,Facebook, YouTube, and Tumblr. The role of the “media mujahidin” has been approved, sanctioned and encouraged with the release of suggested strategies, although not all jihadists have perceived the move away from the traditional discussion forum websites as positive.

The classical jihadist discussion forums remain the vital hub for authoritative and cohesive propaganda online.[9] The importance given to Twitter by jihadist groups, however, was highlighted in the 11th issue of Inspire magazine, which was released by al-Qa`ida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) in May 2013.[10] Indeed, within the complex network of interconnecting sites, Twitter has become the main hub for the active dissemination of links guiding users to digital content hosted on a range of websites, social media platforms, and discussion forums.

This article discusses the emergence of jihadist social media strategies, explains how the Syrian jihadist group Jabhat al-Nusra (JN) has used Twitter to disseminate content, and analyzes content shared by JN. Using an interdisciplinary approach to the analysis of jihadist propaganda, this article demonstrates how jihadist groups are using Twitter to disseminate links to video content shot on the battlefield in Syria and posted for mass consumption on YouTube. Data for this article is derived from analysis based on more than 76,000 tweets, containing more than 34,000 links to web-based content. Through the mining of this data, this article identifies a content sharing network of more than 20,000 active Twitter accounts and a collection of YouTube video files that have been viewed nearly 450,000 times.

Read the rest.

Here is twitter's response to a complaint I wrote about twitter providing services to the specially designated terrorist entity al-Shabaab.

We understand that everyone has different levels of sensitivity towards content, and that you may feel uncomfortable with the posted content. However, Twitter provides a communication platform, and users may use our service to discuss controversial subject matter.

Here are some quick tips to help you with your situation:

* Do not respond to the user. We have found overwhelmingly that responding to a user who is intentionally attempting to aggravate you encourages that user to continue their behavior.

* Block the user. You can block the user using the blocking feature described here: https://support.twitter.com/entries/117063

* Learn more about how to deal with abusive users: https://support.twitter.com/articles/15794

If you believe the content or behavior you are reporting is prohibited in your local jurisdiction, please contact your local authorities so they can accurately assess the content or behavior for possible violations of local law. If Twitter is contacted directly by law enforcement, we can work with them and provide assistance for their investigation as well as guidance around possible approaches. You can point local law enforcement to our Law Enforcement Guidelines here: https://support.twitter.com/articles/41949.

So what to do about this?

Well specifically the Department of Treasury's OFAC needs to get off its ass. Contact these providers who knowingly host terrorists and seize the sites, fine and sanction providers who continue to provide these services to specially designated entities and persons despite orders to cease or fail to do due diligence after and order is issued.

And if the spooks don't like it, that's just too effing bad. Because the spooks aren't the ones getting their legs blown off.

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By Howie at 02:14 PM | Comments |