A study undertaken by Washington-based Brookings Institution, and financed by Google Ideas, reveals that about 50,000 Twitter accounts are being handled by the Islamic State terror group. The attempts of the aforementioned social networking site, to thwart the terrorist propaganda is going futile despite severe measures.
The renowned US research institute has declared the case, “a worrying indicator of the outfit’s reach on social media”.
The biggest challenge that stands in front of Twitter to curb this cancerous phenomenon is that although it has already suspended more than 1,000 accounts linked directly to the terrorist group, sympathizers have maintained thousands of active accounts to propagate the ideology. These users constitute a disciplined core group, releasing provocative messages. Thus, stimulating the impact further.
The group, also known as ISIS or ISIL, which is established in parts of Syria and Iraq, has used the social network to publicize executions of prisoners, including beheadings and at least one immolation, and to espouse death, violence and hatred for all perceived enemies.
Twitter’s strict step against the group has led to death threats against the company’s leaders and employees.
The lead author of the study and an expert on online extremism, JM Berger, said, “Jihadists will exploit any kind of technology that will work to their advantage, but the Islamic State is much more successful than other groups”.
Adding further, Berger said the threats against Twitter reflected, to a certain extent, the Islamic State’s increased reliance on open social media forums, a Western invention that seems incongruous with the militants’ desire for restoring the caliphates that once ruled vast areas of the Middle East.
A report by the ET states that in response to the study, executives at Twitter are of opinion that the research has significantly underestimated the number of suspensions. They declined to comment on the study’s findings. However, they did not deny the information of recently shutting down 2,000 Islamic State accounts in a single week.