On the Cover
Terrorists exploit social media
Tuesday, 24 January 2012 19:41
Written by Tessa Reed
International terrorist organisations are focusing their activity on social media platforms, according to a recent study.
Hackers invading databases “is just the tip of the iceberg” in online terrorist activity, warns professor Gabriel Weimann, of the University of Haifa, who carried out the study. He adds that a number of Facebook groups are asking users to join and support Hezbollah, Hamas and other armed groups that have been included in the West’s list of declared terror organisations.
“Today, about 90% of organised terrorism on the Internet is being carried out through the social media. By using these tools, the organisations are able to be active in recruiting new friends without geographical limitations.”
Weimann’s findings are based on a 10-year study of public Internet sites of terrorist groups and terrorist sympathisers, forums, video clips, and other online information relating to global terrorism.
Weimann explains that terrorist organisations are aware of the shift to social media. He argues that these organisations are exploiting Facebook’s popularity. Apart from recruiting new friends, these groups use Facebook as a resource for gathering intelligence.
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