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Courtesy of Fabian Sommer/PA Images

Daesh, Twitter and the Social Media Ecosystem: A Study of Outlinks Contained in Tweets Mentioning Rumiyah

Stuart Macdonald, Daniel Grinnell, Anina Kinzel and Nuria Lorenzo-Dus
RUSI Journal, 25 September 2019
Cyber, Technology, Terrorism
Despite a drastic decline, some supporters still use Twitter to disseminate the organisation’s materials.

The presence of Daesh (also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, ISIS) on Twitter has greatly diminished over the past five years as Daesh’s propaganda dissemination strategy has evolved. Yet some Daesh supporters have persevered in their use of Twitter, using throwaway accounts to share outlinks to pro-Daesh materials on other platforms. Stuart Macdonald, Daniel Grinnell, Anina Kinzel and Nuria Lorenzo-Dus analyse 892 outlinks found in 11,520 tweets that contained the word Rumiyah (Daesh’s online magazine). They evaluate Twitter’s response to attempts to use its platform to signpost users to Rumiyah in the context of the wider social media ecosystem and highlight the role played by botnet activity in efforts to disseminate the magazine and the impact of traditional news media coverage.

BANNER IMAGE: The Twitter app is displayed on the screen of an iPhone. Courtesy of Fabian Sommer/PA Images

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