Mapping the Jihadist Information Ecosystem

Mapping the Jihadist Information Ecosystem
7th January 2020 GNET Team
GNET Team
In Reports

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).

Online disruption efforts generally aim to reduce the availability of jihadist content. Yet, the speed and agility of jihadist movements online – a multiplatform approach which a co-author of this paper has previously described as a ‘swarmcast’ – has allowed groups to evolve in response to disruption efforts and find new ways to distribute content. This paper describes a model of the flow of users between social media platforms and surface web pages to access jihadist content, using data obtained through innovative collection methods. The model provides an approximate picture of the jihadist information ecosystem and how multiple platforms are used to disseminate content. As this research highlights jihadist organisations’ increasingly complex multiplatform communication paradigm, the recommendations focus on the steps needed to develop a new generation of approaches rather than specific ways to fine-tune the current ‘whack-a-mole’ disruption paradigm.

 

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