ISIS uses 46,000 Twitter accounts to spread its hateful propaganda online

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The terrorist group Islamic State operates at least 46,000 Twitter accounts, which it uses to help spread its hateful propaganda online, a new report from a U.S based research organisation has found.

The ISIS Twitter Census (pdf), was released last week by the Brookings Project in an attempt to try and quantify the influence and reach ISIS has online via social media.

The report, which includes data compiled from September to December 2014, determines the number of social media accounts run by Islamic State and its supporters, in what is the first public study of its kind.

It estimates how IS operates at least 46,000 Twitter accounts, although the actual number is thought to be much higher, with terrorist group probably controlling as many as 90,000 Twitter accounts, says the report.

The report, which was financed by Google Ideas, found that IS supporters are typically located in Syria and Iraq and that three quarters of their Tweets are in Arabic, whilst about one in five are in English.

The report also said that each Twitter account operated by IS has an average of 1,000 followers, which potentially puts the reach of IS on Twitter into the millions.

JM Berger from the Brookings Project who co-authored the report with Jonathon Morgan, a data scientist and technologist, explained how jihadists will exploit any kind of technology that will work to their advantage, and also said that Islamic State “is much more successful than other groups”, when it comes to spreading its message online.

According to the report, most of the IS Twitter accounts were created within the past year, which could suggest that support for the terrorist group has risen steeply in recent months, despite Twitter stepping up its operations in order to be more pro-active in closing down IS accounts on the site –  a move which resulted in a number of Twitter employees, including co-founder Jack Dorsey, receiving death threats.
Source: Brookings

Via: The New York Times

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