How Netizens Are Pushing Back Against ISIS’ Social Media ‘Propaganda Machine’
A recently published news hackers trace ISIS Twitter accounts back to internet addresses linked to Department of Work and Pensions in UK, keeps the ordinary citizen wonder how these extremists are able to “brain wash” its follower to recruit them into electronic war against the global powers, and so far wining it, regardless all technologies effort to contain or eliminate their social media accounts.
While Facebook and Twitter relatively succeed in banning Daash of graphic and hate speech content, “but the challenge for sites like Facebook and Twitter goes beyond tracking down content that promotes terrorism”, wrote Julia Greenberg to Wired.
It also requires defining “promoting terrorism.” In a sense, the two platforms are global communities, each engaged in a constant process of determining community norms as the use of the platforms evolves.
No one deny social media for-good approach in humanity, supporting noble causes and promote freedom of speech. However, in name of freedom of speech, Social Media (SM) is effectively used by Daash (or Daesh, ISIS) to recruit ordinary muslim youths from around the world, convert the ugly killing reality with high editing and Photoshop technologies to promote heaven via all kind of Jihad, from forcing sex to suicide.
In absence of any definite win over ISIS online war and after almost a year of successful employment of it SM accounts, Rita Katz, the director of the SITE Institute wrote that: Air strikes won’t disrupt Islamic State’s real safe haven: social media.
As the West continuous to mishandle the electronic jihad it is proving the militants right. Consider the State Department’s “Think Again Turn Away” social media campaign. In trying to win over would-be jihadists online, the program engages in childish discussions with jihadists.
According to Voices of the blogs study, late 2014, the support of ISIS Arabic content on twitter comes from Europe.
Outside Syria, support for Isis, always a minority among online communities, rises significantly. 47% of studied tweets and posts from Qatar, 35% from Pakistan, 31% from Belgium and almost 24% of posts from UK and 21% from the US were classified as being supportive of the jihadist organisation compared with just under 20% in Jordan, Saudi Arabia (19.7%) and Iraq (19.8%).
Attacking Islamic State’s Online Presence
Though that this post is unable to handle all actions, not even most, following are some examples of groups and individuals who attack ISIS online.
- Twitter account @ Claims that there is 50K ISIS twitter accounts need to bring down.
— Report A Terrorist (@reportterrorist) June 30, 2015
- Anonymous Group has published a series of guides to help those seeking to join its “war on ISIS” to track and identify Islamic State’s websites. It dedicates a twitter account @ to re-tweets, mock and hunt down ISIS accounts accompanied with the hashtag
— Anonymous Norway (@mntnape) December 16, 2015
— LavandulaWine (@LavandulaWine) December 14, 2015
- Several individual efforts by Arab netizens have joined the international coalition against terrorism online. One of these contributions is the twitter account @KSAssa or Saudi Arabia Electronic Army (20.7K followers) is taking a lead to stop and “destroy” accounts related to Daash and “every enemy” of which threats the country’s unification under the Arabic hashtag
#حمله_جيش_سبام_الدواعش (Campaign against Daash spam accounts).
— الجيش الإلكتروني KSA (@KSAssa) January 9, 2016
Your cooperation and activity is essential to delete criminals accounts and vandals, enemies of religion and our homeland.
- Also @BlockDaesh lead by @Mujtahid_i (30.4K followers) are among few of fire-back campaigns to bring down ISIS twitter spam accounts.
- Although the account
@faaars444 (25K followers) was originally created to ban the pro-Daash accounts that target Saudi national youths to join the so-called Islamic state. However, due to recently developed political relationship between Saudi Arabia and Iran, after Saudi Arabia Executes Top Shia Cleric Nimr Al Nimr Under “Terrorism” Charges, the account converted to fight the “Safaids“. (the most significant ruling dynasties of Persia in what known today as Iran).
باسم : جيش أسبام الصفويين حيث إنني قررت تغير النشاط من محاربة الدواعش لمحاربة الصفويين خاصة هذه الأيام وسوف نعود على الدواعش إن شاء الله
— جيش سبام الدواعش (@faaars444) January 11, 2016
[…] I decided to change the activity from fighting against Daash, especially these days, to fight the Safavids; and will get back to Daash God willing
And the question yet is beyond the air strikes and on-ground militar operations:
— Jessy El Murr (@JessyTrendSKY) July 6, 2015
But taking down ISIS Web Sites is like shooting Fish in a barrel, wrote the fight ISIS blog.
There is soo many targets out there right now on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and Sendvid all are flooded with ISIS users and Propaganda. You can help and you do not even need to be a Hacker to Shut Down ISIS Web Sites !!
Most of the Web sites, all we have to do is report the User to the Host (like twitter, facebook, Etc.) and they will Suspend or Shutdown the User / ISIS account.
Technology Review proposed more human approach, because what’s missing is a direct contact with the young generation (Muslims or non-Muslims) who been targeted by ISIS to disprove Jihad propaganda.
Indeed, the technological response to stanching the recruitment isn’t having much of an effect. Internet companies close accounts and delete gory videos; they share information with law enforcement. Government agencies tweet out countermessages and fund general outreach efforts in Muslim communities. Various NGOs train religious and community leaders in how to rebut ISIS messaging, and they create websites with peaceful interpretations of the Quran. But what’s missing is a widespread effort to establish one-on-one contact online with the people who are absorbing content from ISIS and other extremist groups and becoming radicalized.