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Crackdown by Twitter stifling ISIS recruiting efforts

February 20, 2016  |  Posted by: JammedUp Staff
Crackdown by Twitter stifling ISIS recruiting efforts

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The Islamic State’s active Twitter campaign to recruit new radicals has severely decreased in recent months due to a stepped-up crackdown by the social media giant.

The extremist group’s social media arm have effectively utilized Twitter to recruit and radicalize new followers.

However, a study released on Thursday shows how suspensions of English-speaking users affiliated with Islamic State from June to October 2015 have devastated the radical group’s viral reach of specific users.

According to the report from George Washington University’s Program on Extremism, which analyzed a list of the group’s promoted English accounts was usually under 1,000, and that those users’ activity was mostly insular, limited to interacting with each other.

Twitter has long been the subject of criticism by U.S. government officials for its lax policing of content, compared to other social media platforms such as Facebook Inc. which began to enact more strict policies aimed at policing content posted by radical groups

Following the wave of criticism from the White House and U.S. law enforcement agencies after the Paris attacks, Twitter announced earlier this month it had shut down more than 125,000 terrorism-related mostly linked to the Islamic State group since the middle of 2015.

The company posted on its blog post it had increased the staffs of teams responsible for the monitoring and responding to reports, which has led to a significant decrease in it’s response time.

J.M. Berger, a co-author of the report, said Twitter is still less active than many of its rivals, but that part of that is due to its relative youth as a company.

“Each company has been dragged into this kicking and screaming,” he said in an interview.

The reporting of Islamic State-affiliated Twitter accounts is a steady, low-level activity generally, but occasionally events lead to “periodic purges,” Berger said.

The study occurred before the Paris attacks, which researchers determined was the likely cause of the heavy wave of suspensions, mostly in French and Arabic networks.

The average tweets per day measured across the lifetime of an account also declined during the monitored interval, from a peak of approximately 14.5 in June to a low of 5.5 by October, the report found. The average number of followers was measured between 300 and 400.

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