The rise of Jihadist propaganda on social networks

Abstract

Using a dataset of over 1.9 million messages posted on Twitter by about 25,000 ISIS sympathizers, we explore how ISIS makes use of social media to spread its propaganda and recruit militants from the Arab world and across the globe. By distinguishing between violence-driven, theological, and sectarian content, we trace the connection between online rhetoric and key events on the ground. To the best of our knowledge, ours is one of the first studies to focus on Arabic content, while most literature focuses on English content. Our findings yield new important insights about how social media is used by radical militant groups to target the Arab-speaking world, and reveal important patterns in their propaganda efforts.

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Notes

  1. 1.

    The percentages of tweets that were labeled under each of the categories and had no stem words from the other three categories ranged from 90 to 96%. This means that most of the tweets that were labeled at this step had stem words just from one category and zero from the others and that majority-rule works well in this situation.

  2. 2.

    For more on the subject, read chapter eight “The AQ-ISIS War” in [4].

  3. 3.

    For more on the subject, read Milestones [23].

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Correspondence to Adam Badawy.

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Badawy, A., Ferrara, E. The rise of Jihadist propaganda on social networks. J Comput Soc Sc 1, 453–470 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s42001-018-0015-z

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Keywords

  • Computational social science
  • Social media
  • Twitter
  • ISIS
  • Islamic radicalization