This article first appeared on the Conversation. ISIS and other terrorist groups use the internet—and more specifically, social media—as a public relations outlet. They release their public campaigns through services like Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to provide propaganda designed for mass consumption to gain or maintain support. For instance, after the attacks in Paris, ISIS sympathizers were using the hashtag باريس_تشتعل# (parisonfire) to express support. In other cases, ISIS members participate in online chats about Islamist beliefs and practices or post video of military-style training and assaults or even executions. For ISIS, social media is a marketing plan, a way to release information to supporters. One analysis found Twitter to be the service most often used, not only during actual combat through photos, but also off the battlefield to send messages and gain followers when internet access is not available. Additionally, ISIS members use Twitter to send traffic to blogs, videos, Instagram and other sites. While world governments debate how best to deal with the ISIS threat, the diffuse global community of internet hacktivists is using its talents to help neutralize the Islamic militant organization. Since at least June 2014 , and ramping up efforts after the massacre at Charlie… Read full this story
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