Islamic State firming up presence on social media: Report
According to Vocativ website, “Online Dawah Operation” channel has gained popularity among the IS supporters via trolling since its launch some weeks agotech Updated: Apr 19, 2016 14:36 IST
In a bid to revive its online presence on social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook, supporters of the Islamic State (IS) terror group have created a new channel on the messaging app Telegram.
According to Vocativ website, “Online Dawah Operation” channel has gained popularity among the IS supporters via trolling since its launch some weeks ago.
This is how the brand new IS channel works.
The channel urges supporters of the Islamic State to post propaganda, and like and comment on posts, when they’re instructed to do so.
“I will share a Facebook post here at 5PM Mosul time today,” said Telegram channel in one of the posts.
“On this post that I’ll share here, we need everyone to go on and comment supporting the Islamic State. Also, whatever comments you see supporting the Islamic state, like them,” the report added, quoting the channel post.
The channel also advertises another Telegram group called “content for attacks” where supporters can find propaganda videos and other materials to post across social platforms.
It gives a weekly “schedule” showing what platforms should be targeted every day of the week.
“This week, two out of five days are dedicated to operations on Twitter while the other five are focused on Facebook,” the report added.
According to a recent report from George Washington University in the US, the reach of the IS on micro blogging site Twitter has stopped growing and is slowly rolling back.
JM Berger, a fellow with George Washington University’s Programme on Extremism, and Heather Perez, a law enforcement analyst, tracked a curated list of pro-IS twitter accounts between August and October 2015.
“We found that Twitter’s increased willingness to suspend users and make other changes to its terms of service have measurably reduced the size and activity of ISIS (alternatively used for IS) support networks on the platform, including steady reductions in follower counts and tweets per day,” lawfareblog.com quoted Berger as saying.
Although the terrorist group still maintains a significant online presence, there is at least a glimmer of hope that efforts to curtail them were bearing fruit, said the report released last week.
“Individual IS supporters who created multiple accounts and saw them repeatedly suspended suffered a disastrous loss of followers,” Berger said.
In its bid to curb the spread of terrorism-related tweets on its platform, the micro-blogging site has suspended over 125,000 accounts for threatening or promoting terrorist acts, primarily related to the IS.
“Like most people around the world, we are horrified by the atrocities perpetrated by extremist groups. We condemn the use of Twitter to promote terrorism and the Twitter Rules make it clear that this type of behaviour, or any violent threat, is not permitted on our service,” Twitter had said in a blog post recently.
According to a latest study by the US-based Brookings Institution, IS supporters may be operating over 46,000 active Twitter accounts.
“As the nature of the terrorist threat has changed, so has our ongoing work in this area. Since the middle of 2015 alone, we’ve suspended over 125,000 accounts for threatening or promoting terrorist acts, primarily related to IS,” the post added.
First Published: Apr 19, 2016 09:23 IST