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A Study of Outlinks Contained in Tweets Mentioning Rumiyah

A Study of Outlinks Contained in Tweets Mentioning Rumiyah
7th January 2020 Prof. Stuart Macdonald

This report is from Phase 1 of GIFCT’s research network initiative. Please note that during this time the network was known as the Global Research Network on Terrorism and Technology (GRNTT) and was delivered by the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI).

This paper focuses on the attempts by Daesh (also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, ISIS) to use Twitter to disseminate its online magazine, Rumiyah. It examines a dataset of 11,520 tweets mentioning Rumiyah that contained an outlink, to evaluate the success of Daesh’s attempts to use Twitter as a gateway to issues of its magazine. This paper’s key finding include that Twitter was effective in its response to Daesh’s attempts to use its platform as a gateway to Rumiyah; and that roughly one-third of the tweets outlinked to news reports and coverage of Rumiyah, raising questions about the role of traditional news media in the dissemination of terrorist propaganda. These findings led to the recommendation that dialogue is needed between the GIFCT and the news media regarding the use of social media to share news coverage that has the effect of amplifying the terrorist message.


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