Where Do Terrorists Go When They Are Kicked Off Social Media Platforms?

Oct 20, 2018 by

Nikita Malik –

A few weeks ago, I published a piece on the social media platforms exploited by terrorists.

Using information released by the Crown Prosecution Service on terrorism in the United Kingdom in 2018, I found that people convicted for spreading hate from the Far Right tended to use only two platforms to do this – Twitter and Facebook. The majority of offenders (75%) disseminated material on Facebook.

Unlike the Far Right, Islamist related content was spread on a variety of platforms, indicating that perpetrators were getting better at hiding and spreading their messages. 33% used encryption – the process of encoding a message or information in such a way that only authorized parties can access it – to communicate.

Recently, I have expanded this search to include convictions from 2016, 2017, and 2018. Most of these offenders have used social media to prepare for terrorist attacks, collect and disseminate information, and encourage and support terrorism.

The question we need to ask ourselves, however, is what happens when technology companies identify these individuals, and ban them from continuing to use (and exploit) their platforms.


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