Social Media the New Weapon for Extremist Groups
Many forms of Extremists are beginning to use social media to recruit, radicalize, and raise funds for their organization. In particular, the Sunni militant group ISIS, formally known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, has began to use social media to their advantage to influence our modern day world. Most recently, they started posting pictures on Twitter of an alleged mass shooting of Iraqi soldiers
The Dawn of Glad Tidings
One of ISIS’s successful attempts to to attract followers is an Arabic-language Twitter app called DAWN.
DAWN keeps its follows updated wight he latest news in regards to the jihadi group. Hundreds of users have signed up for the app, and when they do they are asked to give a handful of personal information.
The app immediately begins to post tweets to your account, with the content being decided on by someone in ISIS’s social media operations. The Tweets are the same as everyone else who holds an account, but are spaced out as to avoid triggering Twitter’s spam-detection algorithms.
An example was when the extremist group was reported to have advanced towards Baghdad, hundreds of DAWN users began “tweeting” and image of an armed jihadist gazing at a flag.
The use of organized hashtag campaigns also magnifies the group’s message. Similar to how Western corporation ‘s that we are used to seeing use social media to advertise their company, ISIS uses hashtags to foci- group messaging and branding concepts. ISIS is able to project strength and promote engagement online with its supports, as well as spread pictures of graphic violence, attract new fighters, and incite lone wolves.
Much of the media today has began to focus in on ISIS’s use of social media to spread wariness for their extremist organization. They have successfully been able to promote their cause through the use of advancements in technology, just as we all do on an everyday basis.